The General Board of Global Ministries started its ministry in the former Soviet Union in January of 1991. The country was going through rapid political and economic transition. Perestroika and Glasnost brought freedom to millions of people but rapid collapse of the government run social system resulted in massive increase in the poverty rate and severe hardship to an already poor population. These changes also brought freedom for religious organizations to serve people both spiritually and through social outreach. Following the food relief program of 1991-1992, the Joint Task Force of GBGM and European Central conferences was created. It concluded that the United Methodist gifts and traditions of a holistic Wesleyan theology, the connectional nature of the church, and a commitment to indigenous worship and service offer a vital option to many people of Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union.
Goals & Objectives
This Advance project provides the main channel of giving for the Russia/Eurasia Initiative Partner Church Program by which United Methodist churches support the development of the United Methodist Church in Eurasia. Funds are needed to support pastoral salary, continuing education, laity leadership training, purchase and construction of church buildings for worship, and for a broad range of church programs.
The United Methodist Church in Eurasia has developed a Roadmap to 2015 that includes a comprehensive plan of church development in five major areas of ministry: - Quality of ministry - Education - Self-sufficiency - Mission, evangelism, growth - Social service.