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«Minutes Nordic & Baltic Area Group September 26 & 27, 2014 At Betaniahjemmet, Kg. Georgsvej 2, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen Present: Chair person: ...»

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THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

NORTHERN EUROPE AND EURASIA CENTRAL CONFERENCE

Minutes

Nordic & Baltic Area Group

September 26 & 27, 2014

At Betaniahjemmet, Kg. Georgsvej 2, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen

Present:

Chair person: Bishop Christian Alsted (CA)

Denmark: Ole Birch (OB), Rebekka Steinvig (RS)

Estonia: Taavi Hollman (TH), co-secretary,

Meeli Tankler (MT) Finland F: Pasi Runonen (PR) Finland S: Monica Lundgren(ML) Latvia: Gita Mednis (GM) Lithuania: William Lovelace (WL), co-secretary Norway: Hilde Marie Ø. Movafagh (HM), Øyvind Helliesen(OH), Per-Endre Bjørnevik (PB)

Also present:

Lilli Uth (LU), assistant to the Bishop

Absent:

Berit Westad (BW), Norway Agenda item 1

Opening and approval of the agenda:

The agenda for the meeting was approved.

Agenda item 2 Minutes meeting: November, 2013 Minutes from the last meeting were approved.

Agenda item 3

Work in subcommittees:

Subcommittee 1: Continued education for pastors and deacons:

Subcommittee members: Hilde Marie Øgreid Movafagh (chair), Pasi Runonen, Rebekka Steinvig, Meeli Tankler

THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

NORTHERN EUROPE AND EURASIA CENTRAL CONFERENCE

1. Seminars on Wesleyan Theology The first seminar is happening in Norway: Randy Maddox will held a seminar on holistic salvation in the end of January 2015, and Danish pastors are invited to participate.

The proposal of the subgroup is to organize a similar event for Finnish and Baltic pastors, probably in Tallinn in 2016, and apply for financial support from Nordic Means for Wesleyan Theology Fund.

Meeli and Pasi will bring the idea further.

We agreed to ask for a Wesleyan theology seminar at the School of Congregational Development. Some days ago Hilde Marie was asked to do a track on Methodist identity in the School of Congregational Development.

Hilde-Marie: An idea of pastors and theology students visiting Wesley-related places in England combining it with some lectures on Methodist history.

Doing it through the school may also open some doors for financial support for having lectures etc.

2. Wesleyforum.org Pastor in Norway Andreas Kiernald is willing to manage the website.

The proposal of the subgroup is creating a supporting network for the webmaster helping to discover resources for the webpage. We also propose to add links to translations into different languages concerning texts like By Water and the Spirit, and This Holy Mystery.

Perhaps adding also a news page, and opportunity for debates or blogs. The balance between different perspectives as well as historic/contemporary issues need to be considered, as well as an academic level of the page.

3. e-academy Finnish students are very satisfied with their learning experience. We could do a small survey in the end of their studium. We wonder whether there is any data about students from our area.

4. Publishing Wesleyan Theology Hilde Sanden is writing a book on contemplative prayer.

4.1. We propose to make a database on already published books (since year 2000) that could be put it to wesleyforum.org webpage.

4.2. We propose inviting people from our area to write theological esseys on a certain topic, and publish a book with some best writings – putting some additional writings on

THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

NORTHERN EUROPE AND EURASIA CENTRAL CONFERENCE

wesleyforum.org webpage. The review committee is needed for selecting the best writings. Our proposal for the first topic is What is Methodist identity today. Length ca 3500-4000 words.

First we invite people to write in English – and if there are not enough responses we shall broaden the language scale, and perhaps invite certain people to write. The goal is to have a book ready by School of Congregational Development in September 2015. Draft of the timetable: end of July ready for printing; end of May to layout person, proofreading end of April, committee gets writings on 1-st of March 2015.

Asking writings from Hans Växby, Christian Alsted, someone from England?

5. Applications to Nordic Means for Wesleyan Theology

Four applications received:

5.1. Application for support to the pastors meeting January 2015 with 21 000 DK Propose to give 15 000, and the annual conference would cover the rest.

5.2. Application to support the development of www.wesleyforum.org with 13 000 DK Propose to give 13 000 DK

5.3. Application to support Ecumenical and Interreligious Training in Nordic countries with 10 000 DK Propose to give 10 000 DK 5.4. Application to support young clergy gathering with 33 000 DK Propose to give 33 000 DK Sum total: 71 000 DK Subcommitee 2: Development of the connection in the Episcopal area Participated: Monica Lundgren (Finland Swedish), Gita Mednis (Latvia) chair, Taavi Hollman (Estonia) secretary,

1) Friendship congregations – prayer connections

start from small; those who have shown interest get connected:





§

i) Grankulla (Finnish Swedish) accepted connection with Räpina (Estonia)

THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

NORTHERN EUROPE AND EURASIA CENTRAL CONFERENCE

ii) Oulu (Finland Finnish) is ready to enter into connection. Estonia will find match and offer it to Oulu iii) Pirkkala (Finland Finnish) is ready to enter into connection. Latvia will find match and offer it to Pirkkala iv) Borgå is ready to enter into connection as well and we ask Lithuania to get a match and offer it to Borgå

v) Two congregations from Sweden are ready to enter into connection as well. Taavi writes a letter to Nils-Gustav about this we urge the DS-s to continue to spread information. The congregations § who are interested in connections should contact the secretary of our committee through e-mail: taavi.hollman@gmail.com

2) Contacts with the Nordic-Baltic-Eurasia (NBEYC) youth council Jan-Erik Hansen has found out what is going on in the Nordic-BalticEurasia youth council (NBEYC). We accept the information. Audun Westad is the leader for the NBEYC at the moment.

Suggestions:

Encourage youth to invite youth from other Annual Conferences within § the Episcopal area to participate in the camps and other events they organize encourage to invite more young people to participate at the SoCD in § Tallinn in September 2015 encourage the planning committee of the SoCD to make the program § and advertising appealing to the young people under 40 at the SoCD ask Audun Westad to inform youth about SoCD and encourage them to § participate Encourage NBEYC to meet separately during the time when EMYC § meets

3) Information sharing development set up the area calendar on the Episcopal web site § national headquarters should be given permission to upload their § information on the "calendar" in English about camps, retreats and all kind of other open events

Subcommittee 3: International and ecumenical representation:

Ole Birch, Øyvind Helliesen, Per-Endre Bjørnevik and William Lovelace.

Actions on Reports submitted:

Agreement of Full Communion between from Equimeniakirken (Uniting Church Of Sweden) and the United Methodist Church.

THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

NORTHERN EUROPE AND EURASIA CENTRAL CONFERENCE

Agreement of Cooperation between Equimeniakirken (Uniting Church Of Sweden) and the United Methodist Church.

Recommendation: (Note, make Uniting and United consistent throughout the document.) Document should be approved in the Nordic and Baltic Area Group, referred to the Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relations for comment and with final approval by the entire Central Conference Council. Celebration of the approval will take place at the Fall meeting of 2015.

Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relations (OCUIR) Knut Refsdal Recommendation: Receive the report Note: paragraph 611 in the adapted 2012 Book of Discipline supplement says the Central Conference Council has the responsibility on the Central Conference level to fulfill the function a Christian Unity and Interreligious Relations committee, instead of creating a separate structure referred to by paragraph 642 in the Book of Discipline.

Connectional Table Ole Birch Recommendation: Received for information.

Methodist Church in Britain Annual Conference Keld Munk Recommendation: Received for information.

Committee on the Status and Role of Women meeting report Berit Westad Recommendation: Receive the report and recommend discussion on first two bullet points under the recommendations in the report.

Report of the 13th European Methodist Conference for Lay Persons Recommendation: Received for information.

Recommendation: The application for financial support for the next Conference in Macedonia should not be granted.

United Methodist Men Recommendation: Received for Information.

Reply to World Methodist Council from Bishop Christian Alsted

THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

NORTHERN EUROPE AND EURASIA CENTRAL CONFERENCE

Recommendation: Received for information.

African University - Jørgen Thaarup Recommendation: Received for information.

GBGM Board meetings - Tove Odland Recommendation: Received for information.

GCFA, European Methodist Council, and GBCS- Per-Endre Recommendation: Report will be ready for the March meeting, minutes not delivered yet.

General Recommendations:

Send out the guidelines one more time. One page report, no attachments.

Agenda item 4 Reports from the Subcommittees The subcommittees presented their reports for discussion in the Plenary session.

Action on Recommendations by Sub Committee 1 in Plenary:

Decision: All Recommendations Confirmed.

Decision: 5.1: 15000 DKK for the pastors meeting Norway Denmark. 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 were granted.

Discussion and Action on Suggestions of Subcommittee 2 in Plenary:

A) Friendship congregations – prayer connections Decision: 1. complete the list which churches have connections

2. main thing is for building relationships

B) NBEYC – see: email from Jan-Erik Hansen Meeli T: are all the countries represented in the EMYC?

Can we suggest that they have within EMYC meeting an extra day

THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

NORTHERN EUROPE AND EURASIA CENTRAL CONFERENCE

Ole B: where would the finances come from? Would Norway and Denmark be ready to cover the cost of others as well?

Bishop C: EMYC delegates do not pay; each country can send a delegate.

Oyvind H: the EMYC represents are not necessarily be the national leaders.

Ole B: can we have a discussion with the youth leaders Bishop C: who should get them together just to talk and share.

Ole B: the level of the commitment varies from year to year. People with very different commitment.

Per-Eric B: could we invite youth to meet us Decision option: a) we encourage youth who go to EMYC, would meet one extra day.

b) invite them here and Taavi H: we need to know what would be their task Bishop reads paragraph 551 from the addition of the BOD what is stating the purpose for the NBEYC.

Decision: We can finance one meeting to get the CC Youth Council together to define their task, how they would like to meet, and to discuss possibilities for funding.

We can offer them opportunity to meet with us (same time) or fund an additional day in connection with EMYC.

The bishop will contact Audun Westad.

Hilde Marie: let them know the members of the CC and how they can connect.

C) Information sharing development Recommendation: Bishops office will set up information from national headquarters.

Decision: support

Actions on Recommendations in Subcommittee 3 in the Plenary:

Decision: All recommendations are accepted.

Agenda item 5 Per-Endre Bjørnevik chaired the session.

Agenda item 6 Budget 2015 – The Episcopal fund and signing of Auditor’s Report, 2014

THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

NORTHERN EUROPE AND EURASIA CENTRAL CONFERENCE

Per-Endre Bjornevik is leading the session I move that we approve the budget Decision: Budget is approved.

Lilli: we should add that Annual Accounts of 2013 approved by e-mail in March are valid.

Decision: we accept the Annual Accounts of 2013 approved by e-mail are valid.

General Decision on email voting:

Decision: We accept approvals by e-mail if every member is participating.

Agenda item 7 Nordic & Baltic School of Congregational Development 2015 Funds: DKK 250.000 Taavi gives a short overview of the planning committee work Agenda item 8

Baltic Pastors Salary & Pension Support Fund:

Proposal: To apply Fund for Mission in Europe for a yearly support of EUR 10.000 in 2015, 2016 and 2017 in order to grant a support from BPSPSF to the Baltic pastors salaries also in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Agenda item 9 The 2016-Central Conference in Fredrikstad, Norway.

Budget – Theme/program – Plenum/groups NEEBoD 2016 supplement – Petitions – Election of bishop Date of Central Conference: October 19-23, 2016 Location: Fredrikstad, Norway Contact person is Øyvind Helliesen

Discussion:

Rygge airport is the nearest We to aim for a 600 € per delegate cost.

THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

NORTHERN EUROPE AND EURASIA CENTRAL CONFERENCE

One option to cut costs is to stay in homes, and to have the conference sessions in one of the churches.

Theme: needs to be set by CCC which will set the theme in March 2015.

We need to make CC sessions to make from appealing We will ask proposals on how can we improve it.

What do we want to bring into agenda?



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