Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Ukraine


View Global Ministries: Ukraine in a larger map

Russia/Eurasia Mission Initiative

After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, a number of countries, including Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova re-emerged and declared their independence. Global Ministries’ work in Russia began almost immediately after the Communist regime fell. Its primary purpose was delivering food to the Moscow region, but soon the Russia Initiative expanded beyond aid programs to include re-establishment of Methodism in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Methodism had roots in both northwest and far east regions of Russia prior to the Communist Revolution. Global Ministries designed the program on the Wesleyan holistic approach to mission, which combines both spiritual and physical nurturing.

The Eurasia Annual Conference was established in 1997, with expansion to four annual conferences in 2003 and a fifth annual conference in 2005. The United Methodist Theological Seminary in Moscow was launched in 1997.

The Russia/Eurasia Initiative is a mature mission program that is in transition from the mission initiative phase to the Global Ministries/established church partnership within the United Methodist connection.

Challenges: The vast geographic size and cultural/ethnic diversity of Eurasia have been a challenge to the mission. Another significant challenge facing the mission initiative is to develop a culture of self-sufficiency. Bishop Hans Växby (retired) said that there has been a fall into a “deep dependency trap,” with Eurasian congregations becoming too dependent on US partners.

Assets: The backbone of the mission initiative is the Partner Church Program, with US-based churches providing relational and financial support to the emerging churches in Eurasia. It is the first Global Ministries mission program based on a church-to-church partnership model that empowers local leaders and ministries.

Goals: In 2009 the United Methodist Church in Eurasia adopted a vision called “The Roadmap to 2015,” a comprehensive plan of church development and self-sufficiency by 2015. The initiative will assist the United Methodist Church in Eurasia in its various ministries, including education, mission, evangelism, and social outreach. Partner churches will be encouraged to remain engaged and their work is coordinated with the efforts of the bishop and Eurasia leadership team. A Eurasia Evangelism Academy took place in 2013.

The mission initiative is transitioning into annual conference structures within the United Methodist connection, completing the initiative phase of the program by May 16, 2015, at the Russia-Eurasia Partnership Roundtable in Moscow, Russia.

Statistics: There are 91 churches and five faith communities, with 113 pastors, four missionaries, and seven Nationals in Mission.

In Mission Together Coordinator:
Elizabeth Montgomery
montgoa@aol.com

Regional Executive:
Üllas Tankler
utankler@umcmission.org

Assigned Bishop:
Bishop Eduard Khegay

Related News

"Do What It Takes"--New Missionaries Challenged
New York, NY, October 12, 2011--A dynamic Korean American church in one of earth's most ethnically diverse neighborhoods was the setting where ten new ...
A "New" Mission Initiative Grows Up
New York, NY, April 13, 2011--A little more than 20 years ago United Methodist people took a bold step in reigniting in Russia mission work interrupte ...
A letter from Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference
As unrest in Ukraine continues, United Methodists are urged to pray for peace. Read letter now.
In November, thousands of protesters filled the streets in L'viv, Ukraine.
A Letter from Ukraine
Missionary John Calhoun shares an update on the political crisis in Ukraine.
A Reflection by US-2 Nicholas Haigler
US-2 Nicholas Haigler reflects on the loss of his friend, student volunteer Illya Onoprienko.
Ukraine Flag
Bishop Khegay Offers a Prayer for Ukraine
Bishop of The United Methodist Church in Eurasia offers a prayer for peace and unity in Ukraine.
Bishop Khegay Offers a Statement about the Ukraine and Moldova Annual Conference
"The Holy Spirit moves us to create new things and to be even more united as the body of Christ."

Missionaries in Ukraine

Vargas, Duvan
#3022246 - Duvan Armando Vargas is a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, serving for two years in student ministry with the St. John’s United Method ...