The RCH’s Youth Assembly recently met on April 28-29 and discussed the building and formation of congregations. Calvinist youth from across Hungary came together for two days of fellowship, community, discussions, and spiritual growth.
The Youth Assembly formulates the position of young people in order to help the Synod of the Reformed Church in Hungary. In their statement this year, the YA recounted their history talking about how the RCH Youth Assembly was established in 2012 as a forum that gathers youth of the reformed faith to discuss questions relating to the church and the younger generation that is involved in church life. In 2012 and 2013, the Youth Assembly declared that confessions define our Reformed identity and this is why its translation into the vernacular of the youth must be prioritized in the church’s mission. The Youth Assembly declared that different spiritualties based on the Bible enrich our Church and do not weaken it. They also gave recommendations on prejudices against the church, on the issue of credibility, taboo themes, and its answers to current ethical questions. In 2014, the Youth Assembly also formulated recommendations on the work of the Church Revision Committee in the light of the youth mission. In 2015, the Youth Assembly discussed the theme of trust and asked the leadership of the church to let the youth take on more responsibility in every field of church life. In 2016, youth turned to the Synod with trust and asked questions to clarify what we did not understand.
In 2017, the main topic of the Youth Assembly was the building and formation of congregations. During their discussions, the youth came to the conclusion that they need to take an active role in church life and to express their opinions more – they realized that you must be a change to make change. As young Calvinists, RCH youth are responsible for the Church. Therefore, they asked the Synod to ask the leadership of the church to involve young people in the process of creating the mission plan.
Change and responsibility
The concept of this year's RCH Youth Assembly was heavily influenced by the jubilee of the Reformation. Sándor Bányai, a teacher, had the youth play community-building games when they arrived. The purpose of the games was to encourage young people to take responsibility - for others and for themselves. "We wanted young people to share their own gifts and talents in their communities,” said Anna Balázsfalvi-Ábrám, a youth advisor. The first night was closed with an evening sightseeing trip around Budapest.
One body, more members
The second day of the meeting began with the story of the feeding of the multitude. Through this story the youth can recognize their own common responsibility. The youth pointed out that God wanted to involve us (as imperfect people) in his work because we are his church, a congregation.
After devotion, the delegates took part in a project design/planning training. They received useful practical information so they could learn from the principles and questions of project design, SWOT, analysis and project organization phases. The theory was immediately used in practice because they had to make teams to organize programs and they needed to present it.
Gift for home
At the meeting, the young people realized that they should remedy their passive attitude: they learned that they should be the change if they want to see a change.
In 2011, a decision was made to engage young people more in church life and church leadership based on the National Youth Assembly model that the Church of Scotland uses. The RCH Youth Assembly aims to make young people speak up. The declaration and report, which are made by the youth at the end of the Assembly, are then presented to the Synod.
The purpose of the RCH Youth Assembly is to keep in touch with dioceses, ecclesiastical institutions, and youth organizations from which young people are delegated. The long term aim is to develop long-lasting work with young people, so that they feel that their opinions are really important for the Church and the Church is open to the communication.
Many of the young people who came to the RCH’s Youth Assembly will also attend the Starpoint Reformed Youth Festival this summer. Starpoint is a gathering designed for youth by youth. Around 600 volunteers work to create an exciting festival for over 3,000 young believers to come together and discuss different issues that they face in today’s society. Starpoint has daily activities geared toward young adults including music concerts, seminars, small-group discussions and informal time for fellowship with new friends.
Translated and Compliled by Viktória Fülöp
Edited by Kearstin Bailey