Since 1871 the Methodist Church in Portugal is a small minority Church in a country with a population of about 10.5 millions. There are 14 Methodist congregations with an overall constituency of about 2000 people. But although small in numbers, the Methodists in Portugal continue to aim at «Sharing Jesus in words and actions», being aware that there is a growing number of people in need of help on their way to God.
Thinking of the church he has been leading for almost 13 years already, Bishop Sifredo Teixeira is grateful: «We thank God for the involvement and support of the church members and friends. And there is also gratitude in us for all those who, throughout all the past years, have been faithfully helping and supporting us with their prayers and gifts, even living in different countries and realities.»
It is a continuing prayer concern that the Church may have the necessary conditions to improve the pastoral ministry – and that there are new people providing this work with continuity. Actually, there is one candidate whose aim to start his theological studies is considered by the Annual Synod. Bishop Teixeira: «We still need to implement various ministries – with children and youth, but also, for instance, music ministries.»
There is a Methodist missionary from Brazil working with the Methodist Church in Portugal. His primary task and aim is to start a new local church growing out of a discipleship program, which is run in various groups meeting in private homes.
Recently the Methodist Church set up a communication and projects office with the part-time employment of two young people. This was an answer to an urgent need of the church and also as a sign of hope for the young people who are very much affected by the high unemployment level in the country.
There are also projects to improve the church premises in order to increase the self-sustainability of the church and to have better conditions for the church activities, including the social serving ministries.
In January 2014, at the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, there was a historic religious ceremony in Portugal: at Lisbon’s Lusitanian Church Cathedral of St. Paul, a joint declaration of mutual recognition of the validity of the sacrament of baptism was officially signed by representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist and Presbyterian churches, as well as the Lusitanian Church (Anglican Communion in Portugal) and the Orthodox Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. This lively ceremony was considered a very encouraging sign for the future of ecumenism in Portugal.
Bishop Sifredo Teixeira
edited by Urs Schweizer, Manager of the Fund for Mission in Europe
Recognition of Baptism
Timoteo (Candidate to the pastoral Ministry)
Bishop Sifredo Teixeira
(источник: http://vimeo.com/94765547 )
Video: «Portuguese Bishop Sifredo Teixeira bringing greetings to the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Filmed March 2nd, 2014 in Valdosenze, Portugal while on a visit with a delegation of North Georgia United Methodists to the Methodist Church of Portugal». (Sourse: http://vimeo.com/94765547 )