Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Annual Conference Report

The Ukraine/Moldova Annual Conference concluded meetings June 1-3 with a large gathering of United Methodists worshiping together to celebrate Pentecost (eastern calendar) in five different languages.

The Annual Conference was hosted by the cluster of churches in the Uzhgorod area.  These vital congregations show the diversity of the the church in Ukraine.  Some survived the Soviet days, others are new church plants.  A few are in the heart of their oblast's capital and others are in small surrounding villages.  The churches served as wonderful hosts and made the closing worship a wonderful experience for all.

The District Superintendents gave reports of common struggle and shared joy in ministry in Ukraine and Moldova.  While different congregations experienced different challenges, it was noted that many were growing and expanding to begin new ministries and even pushing forward to try to plant new congregations.

As Bishop Vaxby finishes his final year as Bishop of the Eurasia Episcopal area he stressed that our Roadmap for the United Methodist church in Eurasia does not end with his tenure, but continues well into the term of the Bishop who will be elected this October.  The roadmap states:  We see the United Methodist Church in Eurasia in 2015 dynamically growing, recognized in the society and helping people to become committed Christians

- A new congregation was welcomed into the United Methodist connectional system.  Seredna UMC is a small congregation comprised of Roma ethnic minority persons.
- Alla Vuksta and David Goran were ordained as Elders.  Valodya Prokip was made a licensed local pastor.

The Ukraine/Moldova Provisional Annual Conference grew in membership, average worship attendance, and financial benchmarks toward self-sufficiency.  The conference is comprised of 15 United Methodist congregations as well as two large-scale social justice ministries working with street kids, two beginning stage church plants, and an inter-confessional campus ministry.

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