Covid 19: Letter from EMC Co-Chairs

Dear friends,


We are writing to you at a time that is unlike any we have ever experienced in living history.  Our churches and countries are dealing with exceptional challenges alongside the incredible difficulty of seeing many suffer at the hands of this new virus.  We remember with gratitude our time spent in Italy last September and can scarcely take in the enormity of human suffering that is happening there now. It is difficult to grasp the reality of what may come for all of us in the weeks and months ahead.


Following our Executive Committee meeting in Frankfurt at the start of March we had hoped to be providing you with booking details for our upcoming EMC meeting in Stuttgart, 5-8th September 2020.  While we would ask you to keep these dates in your diary it would be impossible to proceed at present with travel plans etc. We will keep the situation under review in the coming weeks and months and keep you informed. While the prospect of being physically present together may currently seem uncertain the purpose of the European Methodist Council remains clear at this time – to brings together Methodist leaders from across Europe to discuss common issues facing the church, to learn and grow in understanding, to support each other and to share in fellowship and encouragement.  


It is more important than ever that we stand with each other and find ways of encouraging each other in this time.  Below you will find a prayer prepared by Rev. Mirella Manocchio, President of OPCEMI (Opera per le Chiese Evangeliche Metodiste in Italia), for personal and corporate use.  We would encourage you to share it with your churches for use during online services or to publish it on your website or social media feeds.  We are thankful to Mirella for writing these prayers and giving us this encouragement to unite together in this way.


It is our hope to connect each other in prayer and mission throughout the duration of this crisis and we ask for your help with that.  Kathryn Harte will be in touch with you to request some information so that each week we can send an e-mail with a focus on the church in a different country.  Again, you may wish to share these prayer requests and stories on your websites and social media feeds so that we might remember that we are not alone in this battle. We would love that you could share the following:


  1. Specific prayer requests for your country
  2. A short story of how your church is adapting to continue to be part of God’s mission

We leave you with these words from Psalm 27: 13 (New International Version)

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.


Our prayers go with you,

Bishop Harald Rückert (EMC Co-Chair)

Doug Swanney (EMC Co-Chair)