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. The Joint Task Force 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 Ukraine, Moldova, and other countries of the former Soviet Union.
Goals & Objectives
Develop and implement comprehensive programs that foster new missional relationships, establish new congregations, and support their growth and development in Ukraine and Moldova.
GBGM is utilizing a partnership model for Russia/Eurasia Initiative development. This model includes a number of steps that require participation of partner churches/conferences, various GBGM units and teams, and other general agencies of the UM Church. They continuously cultivate new and uphold existing partnership, offer guidance to emerging churches, enable their participation in a broad range of ministries, provide conditions for networking with other churches/conferences, secure financial support for programs, and develop and bring up to date mission initiative strategies and methods of mission implementation.
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.
- Mission, evangelism, and growth.
- Social service.