Lenten Circular of the Presidential Council of the Synod of the Reformed Church in Hungary

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

"...I am the Lord, who heals you." (Exodus 15:26)

We are in Lent, preparing for Good Friday and the Feast of the Resurrection. On Good Friday, we experience in the community that through the saving and resurrecting power of Jesus Christ, who died for us and rose again, the message of life is heard after the silence of death.

Our preparations for Lent are burdened by the consequences of the clemency case we all know. The Ministerial President of our Synod has resigned as President. Until the election of the next Synod Ministerial Vice-President, Bishop Dániel Pásztor of Cistibiscan Church District will serve as interim Ministerial President of the Synod. The office of Bishop Zoltán Balog is to be held by him alone and by the Danubian Church District, which elected him. Respecting this, we prayerfully ask God for the power to make wise decisions for the good of our Church.

Seeing and experiencing how hatred has prevailed, and love has disappeared in public life, we are reminded of Jesus' teaching, "Let it not be so among you." - Jesus expects this of his disciples. While the logic of the world is to keep on sinning, we are defined by the spirit of confession of sin, repentance, forgiveness, remission of sins, and [leaving your life of sin] (John 8:11). We thus close this matter among ourselves and in this spirit continue to serve God, our Church, and our nation.

Not only do we have compassion for victims of child abuse, but according to our Reformed faith abuse of any kind is unacceptable. We extend caring love to children who are being raised in our congregations, nurseries, and schools, recovering in our Bethesda Hospital, and encountering the joys of life and the love of God in our Ark Camps for the disadvantaged. Preserving and enriching their lives and healing their wounds is a sacred duty for all of us.

The Good News of Good Friday means that God lifts us out of our depths through the redeeming love of Jesus Christ. In the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have healing, unity, common ministry, and eternal hope. From all this, nothing and no one can separate us. (Romans 8:38-39)

"...For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

Budapest, 6 March 2024

János Molnár, Lay President of the Synod
Dr. Pál Molnár, Lay President
Dr. Pál Nemes, Lay President
Sándor Veres, Lay President
Bishop Dániel Pásztor, Ministerial Vice-President, Interim President of the Synod
Bishop Zoltán Balog
Bishop Dr. Károly Fekete
Bishop József Steinbach