EBF Consultation on Roma Ministry: “We Are One in Christ”

EBF Consultation on Roma Ministry: “We Are One in Christ”

Dianne McNary, Coopertive Baptist Fellowship - October 30, 2018

EBF’s Freedom and Justice Commission held a Consultation on Roma ministry at First Baptist Church from 18-21 October in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Consultation’s theme was “One in Christ” based on Galatians 3:28.

Twenty participants, including five Roma leaders, representing six European countries shared about their experience with ministry among the Roma. Presentations were divided into three areas: Mission/Evangelism/Church Planting; Theological Education/Leadership Development; and Early Childhood Education/Social Ministries.

Two themes were repeated often: trust and unity. According to Radko Kratsov from Bulgaria, “One of the most important things in building trust with Roma is coffee!” Drinking coffee takes time – time to share stories, victories, defeats, joys and sorrows. Time spent together is intended to enjoy getting to know each other. It is an opportunity to learn about similarities and appreciate our differences. Spending time together over coffee opens doors to working in unity together. Unity as individuals and churches makes us more effective in our ministry. “We are not so different as humans,” commented Magnus Helmner from Sweden.

During two full days of presentations and testimonies we identified similarities among the Roma and celebrated the rich diversity within Roma culture. We also celebrated the blessing our Roma sisters and brothers are to our churches and ministries.

A fuller report including affirmations for effective engagement with the Roma and action points is being compiled by Consultation participants.

Photos: Shane McNary