Be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. (1 Peter 4,7)
In light of the COVID-19 virus and in accordance with the latest measures introduced by the Hungarian government, the Presidium of RCH issued a Communique on the 16th of March requesting congregations to suspend all church events.
The Presidium of RCH addressed congregations, ministers and church members with the request to suspend all church events and activities until further action. All community events are to be cancelled, including Sunday worships, devotions, marriage preparation courses, bible study groups, confirmation classes, youth events, baby and toddler groups. Official church meetings (sessions, regional and district councils, Synods) and official visitations are being postponed. The temporary regulation applies also to the Elders’ and Women’s Association, any kind of conferences, trainings, and other group activities and community events.
Congregations are encouraged to use online platforms and hotlines for administration, reduce the number of people attending funerals to the closest family members.
The Communique also urges church run conference centers not to accept guests.
Congregations are encouraged to share prayers, reflections and meditations with their members electronically and are invited to follow the morning devotions that are distributed on RCH’s official website every morning. Reformatus.hu will livestream Sunday worships.
Pastors are requested to provide materials and resources for members of the congregations for their personal home devotions and prayers.
Hungary declared a state of emergency on Wednesday 11th March, and reintroduced border checks on the Austrian and Slovenian border, banned entry from Italy, Iran, China, and South Korea. The entry ban was extended to Israel on Friday. As of Monday morning, universities and schools were closed. As of today Hungary closed its borders for all passenger transport and only Hungarian citizens are allowed to enter.All events are banned, pubs, cinemas and other cultural facilities are also closed. Restaurants, cafes and shops will be allowed to remain open until 3pm, the restriction will not apply to food stores, pharmacies and drug stores.
For updated information visit abouthungary.hu
“We ask that you only share well established and valid information in social media and refrain from scaremongering and irresponsible statements,” warns the Communique of the Presidium. “We ask young people in our congregations to help the elderly people with the necessary shopping, either in partnership with the local government or organized by the congregation itself”.
Families with young children are encouraged to help each other out in the care of their children.
“We urge our brothers and sisters to comply with all health regulations and ask them to continue praying for the end of the pandemic, and keep patients, health workers and decision makers in their prayers,” closes the Communique of RCH's Presidium.
English speaking worship service
If you are staying at home, you can join St. Columba's Scottish Church, the international congregation of RCH in Budapest for worship by checking them out on their Facebook page. St. Columba's Church of Scotland in Budapest is an ecumenical, international congregation that gathers for English-speaking worship in the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition every Sunday at 11:00. You can join them virtually from about 10:45 each Sunday. The worship bulletin listing hymns, readings, prayers will also be posted in advance.