Purpose & Mission
The European Methodist Council exists to:
- enable member churches to consult together on matters of common concern
- develop a stronger Methodist witness in Europe
- enable member churches to share resources with one another, as need may arise
- enable member churches to be more adequately represented in ecumenical and secular bodies
- enable member churches to share with other ecumenical partners in Christian mission in Europe
- co-ordinate existing co-operative Methodist work in Europe
- offer advice to member churches.
The Council is consultative only, and its decisions are not binding on member churches. However, as the members of EMC are among the senior leaders of the member churches, discussions and learning at the Council often serve to inform and influence the decisions made in members churches. The Council meets once per year for around 3 days. Meetings include time for prayer and reflection, learning days and discussion on the issues facing the church in Europe.
The Council has one standing Committee: “Fund Mission in Europe”. The responsibility of FMiE is to raise and distribute funds for those churches and conferences in Europe who need help in their mission and social work.
EMC welcomes members from a broad range of churches who have links with Methodism, including European Methodist churches, churches who have Methodist heritage and Methodist churches from outside Europe who have a significant presence in Europe. Currently, the membership comprises:
- The Central Conferences of Germany and of Central and Southern Europe of the United Methodist Church and the Methodist Church in Britain: five members each (including the Bishop, President, or some other senior church leader and at least two lay representatives).
- The Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference: six members (including two Bishops and at least two lay representatives).
- The Methodist Church in Ireland: three members (including the Secretary of Conference and at least one lay representative).
- The Methodist Church in Portugal; (Igreja Evangélica Metodista Portuguesa); The Opera for the Evangelical Methodist Churches in Italy (Opera per le Chiese Evangeliche Metodiste in Italia, OPCEMI); The Spanish Evangelical Church (Iglesia Evangélica Española); The Church of the Nazarene;The European District of the Korean Methodist Church; Equmeniakyrkan (Uniting Church in Sweden): Two members (including a senior church leader).
The Council relates to other Methodist bodies in Europe, and invites each of them to report to the Council each year.
- European Methodist Youth and Children report to each other, and send a representative to each others’ meetings. The executives of EMYC and EMC occasionally join together in order to discuss issues of common interest and coordinate project proposals and other matters to the Councils.
- European Commission on Mission (ECOM). If not otherwise represented in the Council, ECOM is welcome to send its chairperson to council meetings with expenses paid by the Council.
- World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women (Europe: Continental and Europe: Britain & Ireland Areas).
- European Lay Seminars.
- Joint Commission of the United Methodist Central Conferences in Europe. The United Methodist members of the Council meet in a separate session to deal with matters of common interest.
- The United Methodist European Historic Commission.
- World Methodist Council (WMC)
- General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church (GBGM)
The Executive consists of two co-Chairs from different Methodist traditions, a Secretary and a Treasurer (the Officers), and up to three other persons appointed by the Council. The Executive meets once a year, and continues its work online between meetings.
Bishop Harald Rückert (Germany), Co-Chair
Doug Swanney (Great Britain), Co-Chair
Uwe Onnen (Germany), Treasurer
Bishop Christian Alsted (Denmark)
Bishop Sifredo Teixeira (Portugal)
Margarita Torodova (Bulgaria)
David Turtle (Ireland)
Greetje Van der Veer (Italy)
Emil Zaev (Macedonia)
Support Officer: Kathryn Harte
Committees / Related Organisations
Fund for Mission in Europe:
European Commission on Mission: Rev’d Bill Mullally (Ireland) Chair