2019 Poland Annual Conference

June 21-23, in Ostóda, Poland

At the 2019 meeting of Poland Annual Conference, historical decisions were taken in regard to the ordination of women.

The 98th meeting of Poland Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church took place from June 21-23, 2019, in Ostróda in Masuria. Prior to this gathering, many people were curious whether — for the first time after 60 years — a woman would be ordained elder.

Monika Zuber serves, together with her husband, the people in the region of Ełk, in the northeast of Masuria. He, Dariusz, had been ordained elder seven years ago. She, Monika, had started her service two years later, had been on maternal leave for a short time, but had also experienced the hurdle of not always receiving required majority vote on her journey towards the ordained ministry. Therefore, her journey lasted considerably longer than she had hoped for. This led, however, to the situation that more and more people had been able to witness her gifts and the fruit of her ministry. Finally, at this year’s clergy session, a historical decision was taken: The now Rev. Monika Zuber was recommended for full membership and ordination as elder. Together with her, two men were also recommended and ordained in a festive worship service on Sunday.

In addition to these three new elders, there were several new applicants for the ordained ministry. Three of them were accepted as probationary members — among them another woman. This woman’s husband was among those who were ordained as elder this year. Since over the course of the past conference year an active pastor, the Rev. Janusz Daszuta, had passed away after a long illness, while another pastor had stepped down from his ministry, this increase in clergy members is very welcome.

Among the important decisions of the annual conference was also a resolution calling for the preservation of creation in favor of future generations. In December 2018, a United Nations Climate Change Conference had taken place in Katowice (Poland), and because of this event, the public at large was made aware of environmental matters. The resolution calls upon the Polish Methodists to act more consciously and environmentally friendly in view of the integrity of creation.

The next meeting of Poland Annual Conference will take place from June 26-28, 2020. Since three local churches had applied for serving as hosts, the church council will have to decide where this meeting will take place.

— Bishop Patrick Streiff, Zurich, Switzerland

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