The Fund for Mission in Europe was established in 1990. It was the time when the United Methodist Church in the former Communist countries – after decades of restriction, oppression and even persecution – faced many new opportunities to spread the Gospel in words and deeds. However, the Church in these countries was far from being able to maintain and strengthen the existing work or to establish new ministries without assistance from abroad. The Fund for Mission in Europe was therefore primarily established to serve as an instrument of financial solidarity between West and East.
15 years later a new alignment of the Fund for Mission in Europe took place. The aim was to evolve into an organization, which is more than just an instrument of financial solidarity. The agenda of the new Fund for Mission in Europe includes establishing new or reinvigorating existing churches as well as supporting new diaconal activities. However, sharing in this mission should increasingly be mutual instead of one-sided. As a result, the Fund for Mission in Europe bid farewell to the concept of ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’ countries. All of us have something to share – faith stories, time, experiences, a spiritual life, a cultural heritage, finances, etc. – but all of us need help and encouragement from others, as well. Therefore the new motto of the Fund for Mission in Europe is: To help one another – to learn from one another.
The Fund for Mission in Europe is still an important funding source for 30 to 40 projects and programmes annually – in the East, West, South and North of Europe. The focus is on the following priorities (you can read more about them in the project list, which you can download from this site):
- Working towards sustainability
- Education and leadership training
- Being a learning church
- Diaconal work
This funding is possible because of contributions from an increasing number of countries all over Europe. However, other aims of the Fund for Mission in Europe are to serve as a forum for current challenges, to facilitate mutual encouragement and prayer support and to enable encounters (e.g. through partnerships or practical outreach) as well as exchange of mission ideas and workers.
The Fund for Mission in Europe is an opportunity for you to get encouraged and inspired – and to make a difference.