The United Methodist Church is not only a growing but also a young church in Albania.
On the one hand the roots of the Methodist mission in Albania go back to the 19th century. And already at that time, sharing the Gospel was inextricably linked with diaconal ministries – particularly in the field of education. But then, there was no Methodist work in Albania for decades, and the oldest of the currently four United Methodist congregations is just about 17 years old.
While the work in this oldest congregation (Bishnica) has considerably decreased due to migration, the three urban churches in Pogradec, Elbasan, and Tirana have developed very positively. This development particularly found its expression in early November 2015 when, during a special worship service in Pogradec, 27 people were admitted as professing members of the UMC. And also in Elbasan, where there has been a regular United Methodist presence for a little more than one year only, seven people could be admitted as professing members of the UMC in early December 2015.
The fact that the UMC is a young church in Albania also finds its expression in the average age of all professing members in the country, which is 31 years! All the more it is amazing to see how many men and women dedicatedly try to build on their heritage and to be a church, which is socially relevant. A number of diaconal projects and income-generating activities are expressions of this commitment. Therefore, the current development is not only a hopeful one for the UMC in Albania, but the members of the church also bring hope to many houses in the name of Jesus Christ.
Source: Jean + Supt. Wilfried Nausner, Tirana / Office of Patrick Streiff, Zurich
Date: December 16, 2015