Members of the European Methodist Council (EMC) discussed ecological problems at their annual meeting. The following statements came as a result as well as some others:

– We pledge to be active in our own churches and countries with respect to climate change and to raise awareness in our local contexts.

– We pledge to prefer the use of train/bus/local boat travel and only use a plane when necessary when travelling to EMC meetings. If it’s really necessary to take the plane, we will pay a compensation fee for the emission. This fee could be used within the church to fund renewable energy sources for local church buildings.

– We pledge to measure the “carbon footprint” of our (church) offices, determine how to reduce it, and implement those changes.” (God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action).

– We pledge to use reusable and renewable materials and avoid non- biodegradable and/or single-use plastics at the EMC meetings. We remember that we are a paperless council.

– We pledge to publish the results of 1 – 6 on the homepage of the EMC and report our progress at the 2020 EMC meeting.

Natalya Prokhorova, а pastor of Samara UMC and a member of the European Methodist Council from Eurasia, shares her impressions about participating in the meeting.

“September 14-17, 2019, a meeting of EMC was held the Centro Ecumene in the town of Velletri near Rome, Italy. The center belongs to the Italian Methodist Church.

Bishops and delegates from Methodist churches in Europe come to one of the countries where there are Methodist churches every year. This time we were welcomed in warm, sunny and fertile Italy.

The main topic of the meeting was “Global Climate Change”. All the reports, spiritual evenings, prayers and meetings were devoted to this topic.

On Sunday we visited the Italian Methodist Church in Rome where we participated in the worship service glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ all together. The brothers and sisters of the church were hospitable and generous. We were able to communicate at the festive table they prepared for us. The beginning of the Methodist Church in Italy is quite an interesting story. The church was founded by a missionary from England, pastor Henry James Piggot, in 1861 In 1871 another missionary from the United States Episcopal Methodist Church Leroy Vernon came to Italy. Together they laid the foundation for the ministry of the Methodist Church in Italy. In 1975 The Waldensian Church joined the Methodist Church in Italy.

There are 54 communities and about 5,000 Methodists nowadays in Italy.Communities are very multinational. Immigrants, who come to Italy, find a warm welcome and a good shelter in our Methodist communities. Members of the European Methodist Council were also blessed with the warmth and love of the Italian Methodists. The European Methodist Council ended with a prayer for the Methodist churches of Italy, Europe and the whole world. The Council’s next meeting is planned to be held in Stuttgart, Germany”.

Following the example and statements of the European Methodist Council, what steps can we take at the level of our local churches in order to contribute to the preservation of the planet’s environment?

Photo by Ullas Tunkler

Author: Natalya Prokhorova

Translate by Yelena Chudinova