Eight Years of Unity

2016. július 04., hétfő

The end of May marked the eighth year of the uniting of the Hungarian Reformed Church (HRC) at the Constituting Synod that took place on 22 May 2009 in Debrecen. Since then, annual celebrations revolving around Unity Day have taken many different forms as the HRC seeks to engage communities around the Carpathian Basin.

The main celebration of Unity Day took place in Cluj, Romania on May 22nd and was hosted by the Transylvanian Church District. Important church leaders and members of the HRC gathered together to worship and celebrate their fellowship together.

More than twenty-one thousand volunteers carried out acts of volunteering on the third weekend of May at the Bridge of Love event, organized by Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (HRCA). Bridge of love is a weekend of volunteering, a program of HRCA that has been taking place annually for the last 8 years in the Carpathian Basin where both the young and old alike are motivated to join in the initiative. Thousands of people came out to express their Christian faith through works of love in more than 260 placements. Even more important than this, however, is the tangible blessing that is displayed in the community during this weekend when neighbors help neighbors and participate in acts of good-will for the benefit of the larger HRC network. Bridge of Love coincides with Unity Day each year and is another way in which members of the HRC throughout the Carpathian Basin embody the love of Christ in their daily lives.

This year also marked the 13th annual celebration of the Reformed Music Festival in Budapest. The performers this year included festival choirs, students from Reformed schools, as well as various other musical ensembles and bands.

Another vital event that also takes place around Unity Day is the Calvinist Hymns concert, performed annually since 2002 by the Carpathian Basin United Calvinist Choir. This year the concert took place on the first weekend of July and was a wonderful way to continue the tradition of unity through the progression of summer. According to Müpa Budapest (the Palace of Arts), where the concert is hosted, “The event is held to allow concert recordings to be made of psalms and choral works from the Calvinist hymnbook sung by professional musicians, which are then made available on CD and DVD. Now numbering 350 members, the Carpathian Basin United Calvinist Choir is responsible for bringing a wealth of excellent chorus masters, soloists, chamber choirs and organists to the series. […] Besides choirs from Hungary, the Carpathian Basin United Calvinist Choir – as an expression of our solidarity with ethnic Hungarians abroad – each year invites choirs from the formerly Hungarian regions of Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania and Serbia.” So far, the choir has recorded and released a total of 240 Calvinist hymns and choral works, and they seek to continue performing in an effort to do the same for all 512 hymns in the Calvinist hymnbook.

For the past eight years, Hungarian Reformed Christians have come together throughout the Carpathian Basin to celebrate not only their unity but also their faith and dedication to living a Christ-like life. The events coordinated around Unity Day each year bring together communities throughout the region in a spirit of love and joy – one that informs the way they embody the church in their everyday lives throughout the rest of the year.

 

Article by Kearstin Bailey

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We encourage you to read our  former GM intern Kearstin Bailey's blog about her time, spent in Hungary.