Extra Session of the the Central Conference Called to Change the Borders of Episcopal Areas
In a meeting on 24th March of the Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference Council a motion was passed with more than a two-third majority to ask the bishops to call an extra session of the Central Conference per ¶542.2 of The Book of Discipline (2016).
The call of an extra session of the Central Conference is issued in response to the war in Ukraine and is limited to acting upon a motion of the Central Conference Council to temporarily until the next regular session of central conference to change the borders of the two episcopal areas by moving the Ukraine Moldova Provisional Annual Conference from the Eurasia episcopal area to the Nordic and Baltic episcopal area.
The extra session of the Central Conference will be held Saturday April 30, 2022, 9.00-12.00 CET / 10:00-13.00 EET / 10:00-13.00 MSK. The extra session will be convened online.
The motion of the Central Conference Council to the Central Conference reads:
Whereas The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church 2016 § 40 says that “The number, names, and boundaries of the annual conferences and episcopal areas shall be determined by the jurisdictional conferences in the United States of America and by the central conferences outside the United States of America” and in § 543. 5 says that “A central conference, in consultation with the bishops of that central conference, shall fix the episcopal areas and residences and make assignments to them of the bishops who are to reside in that central conference”.
Whereas a state of armed conflict has existed between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea and the eastern parts of the Ukraine since 2014.
Whereas the Ukraine and Moldova Provisional Annual Conference gathered in June 2020 decided that they wanted to leave the Eurasia Episcopal Area.
Whereas a request to join the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area in June 2020 was sent to the Central Conference Council by leaders in the United Methodist Church in Ukraine and Moldova.
Whereas Russia since February 2022 has attacked Ukraine in a full-scale war bombing Ukrainian cities and causing millions of Ukrainians to flee their homeland.
Whereas the local churches of the United Methodist Church in the Ukraine are in dire need of leadership as they struggle to be in ministry with the refugees.
Whereas it is deemed impossible for both emotional and practical reasons for a Russian bishop to give relevant care and spiritual leadership under these circumstances.
The Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference Council makes the following motion:
The Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference decide to temporarily, until the next ordinary Central Conference, change the borders of the episcopal areas in the Central Conference so that the Ukraine and Moldova Provisional Annual Conference be moved to the Nordic and Baltic episcopal area.