Inspired by the life and work of John Wesley, the Church of the Nazarene in Croatia, in collaboration with the Bible Institute and Global Methodist Church in Zagreb, embarked on a remarkable endeavour. Together, they undertook the task of publishing a book titled ‘The Life and Work of John Wesley’, by Timothy Crutcher.  This historic publication marked the very first translation of Wesley’s biography and teachings into the Croatian language, making his profound influence accessible to a wider audience. The joint efforts ensured the successful realisation of this meaningful project, furthering the mission of spreading the holiness message through John Wesley’s teachings and theological insights to the Croatian community.

The book was initially created four years ago at the Bible Institute; however, its editorial process faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the pandemic,  the Global Methodist Church and the Church of the Nazarene began gathering on a monthly basis to provide mutual support. During one of these meetings, the idea of finishing the publication of this book surfaced. It was during this discussion that both churches expressed their commitment to take on the editing responsibilities. As the project unfolded, the Nazarenes and the Bible Institute dedicated their efforts to the intricate task of translation, ensuring that the essence and message of the book were faithfully conveyed in the Croatian language. Simultaneously, the Methodists undertook the crucial responsibility of meticulously editing the translated work, enriching it with theological insights that resonated with the spirit of John Wesley’s teachings. Their collaboration resulted in a finely crafted literary work that stayed true to its origins.

Upon the completion of the arduous editing process, both churches, in conjunction with the Bible Institute in Zagreb, orchestrated a modest yet meaningful event to herald the book’s launch. During the event, the critical importance of the book within the context of local churches was eloquently underscored. The event provided a platform to discuss how this book could serve as a catalyst for meaningful conversations and as a source of guidance for pastors and congregation members navigating the complexities of a polarised world. It shed light on how John Wesley’s teachings, captured within these pages, offer a unique and timeless perspective that can help bridge gaps, inspire dialogue, and cultivate a sense of unity among diverse churchgoers.

Rev. Cezi Glendenning, reflecting on the significance of the book, remarks, “The life of John Wesley prompts self-reflection and raises questions about our motivations in ministry. At the same time, his message of holiness resonates with many people. Although the concept of holiness is often viewed through the lens of separation, specifically separating good from evil, there is a need to see it as liberation from evil and an inner liberation from human tendencies. These two messages were important to us, which is why we translated the book.”

Wesley’s legacy serves as a guiding voice, fostering unity and understanding amidst the tumult of conflicting viewpoints. This book can be seen as a bridge to a more harmonious and compassionate world, offering a sanctuary of wisdom and a path toward the middle ground where understanding and empathy flourish.

– written by Sharon Tigga

photo taken at the book launch on 22nd May 2023