The 24th-25th of May will be a festival weekend in the Hungarian Reformed Church (HRC). In Budapest we celebrate the reformed unity with the traditional 3-day long music festival, while in Debrecen a full-day reunion will commemorate the fifth anniversary of the HRC’s Constituting Synod in 2009. We asked Zoltán Tarr, the general secretary of the Reformed Church in Hungary about the latter.
How many visitors are you expecting in Debrecen?
Ten or twelve thousand people from the Carpathian Basin and all around the diaspora. From Transylvania, two weeks before the meeting, 2,000 people, and from Sub-Carpathia 1,000 people indicated their intention of participating, and several buses will also come from the Hungarian areas of Slovakia, Croatia and Serbia. But we do not live for numbers; we want our brothers to experience the unity of reformed people.
What kind of programs will be at the Unity Festival in Debrecen on the 24 of May?
At 10 a.m. in front of the Great Church we start with the opening ceremony commemorating the past five years, and then on two stages there will be cultural programs with participants recommended by our churches. Religious concerts in the Great Church, liturgical occasions for stillness in the Reformed Small Church will be waiting for the participants. Religious institutions, organizations and publishing houses will be present at the festival, and an interactive initiative will present what the HRC does for people and how is it present in our life from the cradle to grave. The program will close with communion worship by the Great Church at 4 p.m. We hope that this day will be a blessed occasion that gives power to people and causes them to glorify God for his miracles.
“Make your actions visible!” the slogan of the 7th World Summit of Hungarian Reformed People also wants to call the attention to God’s miracles?
The task of the Church is to help the world recognize the acts of God and to help people find the way for happiness, peace and the solution of their problems. It is important to highlight that we will gather only to celebrate and voice the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not against something and not for a public case. This is what the motto of our festival wants to express.
Has an evaluation of the five years of the HRC already happened?
Several types of retrospectives are already done, e.g in the Kálvincsillag magazine, but we will talk about this period also at the General Convent in Sepsiszentgyörgy that will unify the presbyteries and church district presidiums of the Carpathian Basin on 10 July. Probably the closing document of the Unity Festival will also analyze this past period.
If we would ask you for a quick evaluation, what would you say?
We managed to create new communities in several topics that changed the life of the Church. Even the fact that a unity organization was not created, our faith has deepened. To mention some examples: a reform of the worship order, the creation of a common song book and the unification of the election system.
Interview by Sándor Kiss; translated by Nóra Csobán