The new Synod of RCH was constituted on 17th February and elected its Presidents and Vice-Presidents. The General Synod as the highest legislative body of RCH is also responsible for the "sound doctrine" and the priorities of the life and ministry of the Church. Unlike the Presbyterian order, RCH’s Synod is composed of hundred standing members elected for a period of 6 years which we normally call “cycle”. The 14th cycle of the Synod began its service six years ago on 25 February 2015. Looking back on the past six years we collected highlights of the life and ministry of the Church under the guidance of the outgoing Synod. We focus, in a sense of gratitude to God and to our partners, on those moments and priorities which involved international cooperation.
The church has shown support for its neighboring countries, partnered with other churches and aid organizations, issued a declaration about the Armenian genocide, worked towards ecumenical mission partnerships, helped refugees in need, aided people with disabilities or disadvantages, and advocated for the environment. Some highlights include the growth of the Refugee Ministry, as well as the Roma Ministry, the inspiration given and taken from the young people during the Starpoint Youth Festival, the solidarity expressed by the RCH to brothers and sisters in the Middle-East and so much more.
New Synod, New Presidency
At its constituting meeting in 2015, the General Synod elected its Ministerial and Lay Presidents. Dr. István Szabó became new Presiding Bishop, and represented RCH with Dr. Pál Huszár who was re-elected as Lay President. The new General Secretary, András Gér was also elected with the mandate of heading the Synod Office with its various departments and coordinate the implementation of the decision of the “Parliament” of RCH.
Together in Unity – Support for the Hungarian Communities Outside of Borders
The Hungarian Reformed Church is composed of the Hungarian-speaking reformed churches in the Carpathian Basin who are all registered in their respective countries separately. Over the past six years RCH celebrated unity with these churches and supported them through hardships, involving ecumenical partners as well.
Ministry Among The Marginalized
Ministries serving RCH's longstanding commitment for the marginalized grew prominently with the support of the Aid Organization of the Swiss Protestant Churches, also known as HEKS/EPER. The continuation of HEKS’s support provides a steady financial background for the Refugee Ministry, and also supports the work of the Roma Ministry in the integration process. The two ministries experienced much success and development in the past term and just recently RCH signed another six years with HEKS.
Being devoted to a Calvinist heritage, it is a vital part of RCH’s identity to promote the unity of Christian churches. Be it here in Hungary in the form of visits or local congregations for example from the Church of Scotland, or across borders, RCH recognizes that co-operating and joining forces with other Christian churches or denominations is highly beneficial for any Christian community. Conferences, agreements, partnerships, and visits marked the previous six years.
Historic Partnership with Korean Churches
The historic partnership between RCH and the Korean partners strengthened during the six-year term with visits, solidarity and support. RCH also collaborates with missionaries from Korea, who are involved in different fields of ministry for example in the service among Roma and refugees.
The Middle-East and Hungary Helps Program
Through many years of mutual collaboration, the partnership of the Reformed Church in Hungary and the Reformed churches in the Middle East grew stronger. The support for persecuted Christians and renovation, rebuilding of churches and schools showed the commitment for helping the suffering Brothers and Sisters in the Middle-East. With the establishment of Hungary Helps, the partnership has been solidified even more.
Hungarian Reformed Church Aid
With their seasonal and all-year-long projects, the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid has a very active term behind them. Supporting the needy, they didn’t only help between the Hungarian borders, but overseas as well. From Christmas wish list to scholarships, HRCA had many programs for emergencies and campaigns.
The Eco-Congregation Movement of RCH strives for the Protection of Creation and promotes an ethical economy that respects the basic principles of nature. Thinking about the future, the congregation launched several projects to raise awareness and mobilize people for the sake of health and protection of nature. This includes events, pilgrimages and campaigns popularizing for example eco-friendly travelling, like cycling or conserving and planting fruit species that can adapt to regional conditions.
People with Disabilities and Disadvantages
RCH welcomes people with disabilities and disadvantages and seeks to support them. Besides the Roma and Refugee Ministry and HRCA, RCH made significant steps towards helping people with disabilities and disadvantages with releasing a statement on the acceptance of disabled brothers and sister in the church.
Youth of the Church
The establishment of the Youth Assembly’s aim was to ensure that the Youth were involved in the church, so that church leaders could receive some feedback from youth in regards to the mission of the church. Every two years, thousands of Reformed youth from across the Carpathian Basin and the world gather to worship, praise, and develop in faith together at the Starpoint reformed youth festival. The events in the past term were exceptionally successful, as many of those who attended are already looking forward to the next one.
Over the past year, we have had to face unexpected situations month after month, yet we have experienced that our Heavenly Father has not left us alone. Church events has been suspended and worship services moved online, but social distancing only strenghtened Christian solidarity within and without Hungary.