Friday, May 13, 2022

Recommended Reading: Ukraine Moved To Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area

The Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference met in special session on Saturday, April 30th to consider a request from the Ukraine-Moldova Provisional Annual Conference to be temporarily moved from the Eurasia Episcopal Area, overseen by Russia-based bishop Eduard Khegay, to the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area, overseen by Denmark-based bishop Christian Alsted.

The Ukraine-Moldova Provisional Annual Conference had requested such a move prior to the start of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine, but that development has made the request more pressing. Bishop Khegay and delegates from elsewhere in the Eurasia Episcopal Area had indicated their opposition to the move and boycotted the meeting.

As a press release issued after the meeting indicates, the participating delegates in the Northern Europe and Eurasia special Central Conference voted overwhelmingly to approve the change, 48-0-1. The delegates noted Khegay's objection to the change, but "choose to place decisive emphasis on the wishes of the annual conference in question."

The move has implications not only for United Methodist polity, but also for the provision of aid to Ukrainians during the war. Bishop Patrick Streiff of the Central and Southern Europe Central Conference, whose office has led United Methodist aid coordination efforts, presided during the vote. Bishop Alsted has already been working with relief efforts in the annual conferences previously under his jurisdiction.

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