About our mission
At the 2005 District Conference, members voted to enter into a three-year partnership with the United Methodist Churches of the Czech Republic through a General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) program called “In Mission Together.” Under the terms of this partnership, the Johnson City District (as we were known at that time) agreed to provide $3,600 per year in financial support to the Czech Republic District, money which is used to support their missions and programs. The District Conference voted to renew this commitment indefinitely in 2008, and this continues to be a vital ministry for the Three Rivers District.
In addition to providing financial help we have chosen to become very involved in serving the Czech District through Volunteer in Mission teams. However, perhaps the most important part of this partnership is that we have covenanted with the United Methodists of the Czech Republic to support them with our prayers, and to maintain a connection with them via letters, emails, phone calls, etc.
Another offshoot of this partnership was the creation of the English Speaking United Methodist Church (ESUMC) in Prague. Launched in 2011, this is a growing community of believers from a variety of countries who gather to worship in English. The church provides a space to experience the love of Christ, through music, prayer, weekly messages, worship, outreach ministries and fellowship. The Three Rivers District and Czech Republic District partner to support this ministry and our missionaries, the Redmonds. You can learn more about ESUMC Prague here.
Why do we focus on the Czech Republic?
The fall of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989 provided Christianity in the Czech and Slovak Republics with a unique opportunity to renew its strength. The task is daunting. Two generations have been indoctrinated with the Marxist idea that religion is the opiate of the masses, leaving the area with the highest rate of atheism in all of Europe. Surveys show that 67.9% of the population of the Czech Republic claims no religious affiliation. Nearly 60% of the 1500 members of Methodist churches there have become Christians since the fall of Communism in 1989. The Church is considered by many to be a cult, and Christians are often viewed as lunatics.