Budapest – On Wednesday, September 12th, the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) Central Europe volunteers completed their orientation with the Sending Service Event at Fasor Lutheran Church. The YAGM volunteers began their journey in Chicago, USA, with YAGM who would serve with communities all over the world.
An exchange of ideas, talents, knowledge and spirituality: Members of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELCH) travelled to Yola, east Nigeria, through the LWF program Mutual Learning through Exchange of Leaders, to meet members of The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN). In the coming months, the visit will be reciprocated when the Hungarian church welcomes representatives of the Nigerian church.
Please close your eyes a little, imagine your average day. Only in big lines, with all the habits, with the swirling. And now imagine this with a seven-hour time shift, on another continent, more than eight thousand kilometers from the country, only among unknown people, for nearly a month. Awesome and scary at one time, right? But something, something seemed to have removed distances, continents, and differences. This was each other’s and God's love. I have experienced this between June 15 and July 9 in America. But let me be a bit more concrete to try and pass on all that I was doing there as delegate of the Lutheran Church in Hungary.
The Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELCH) held its meeting on 25 May.
The Southern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary held its Mission Day in Budapest-Pestszentimre on 21 May, 2018. The programme included a worship service, a panel discussion, group discussions and concerts but it was also an occasion to say farewell to Bishop Péter Gáncs, who has been pastoring the diocese for 15 years. His successor, Bishop-Elect Péter Kondor will be inaugurated at the end of June in Szarvas.
Bishop Tamás Fabiny, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELCH) and Gergely Prőhle, Lay Leader of the ELCH visited the Bashiqua region in Iraq over the Pentecost weekend. The aim of their visit was to meet local families supported by the “Hungary Helps Programme” of Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA) and the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Luther cartoon directed by Zsolt Richly and produced by Bishop Tamás Fabiny was featured on May 2nd at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences as part of a film club. Four episodes of the ten-episode series were shown. The film was also followed by a discussion with the director and Zoltán Csepregi, Professor of Church History at the Lutheran Theological University.
The annual Mission Day of the Northern Diocese was held on 12 May in the Lutheran Secondary School of Aszód. It gathered more than 800 participants from over 70 congregations.
The Szélrózsa (Windrose) Festival of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary has been published on the official website of the Festival. It includes worship, Bible studies, forum discussions, film clubs, concerts, sports, interactive programmes, crafts, a marketplace and many other offerings. The organisers are also planning English and German-language programmes for international visitors.
On 14 April a new place of worship was inaugurated in the Pestszentimre district of Budapest by Bishop Péter Gáncs. The local Lutheran community first started thinking about building a church in 1930, but their plans were thwarted by war and the ensuing political situation.
The Synodal Council of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB) and the Praesidium of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELKU) met together in Brno on February 27th and 28th.
Each year seminary students put on a play to act out the events of the Holy Week. They script and stage the play themselves to create their unique interpretation of the story. The passion play is first performed at the Seminary and then students embark on a tour to bring the experience into several congregations in one of the deaneries.
On 25 March, Palm Sunday, a new Lutheran facility was inaugurated in Mátraszentistván, a small village situated in the Mátra Mountains. The area is a popular skiing and hiking resort.
According to the official announcement of the election results, Pr. Péter Kondor has been elected bishop of the Southern Diocese. He is replacing Bishop Péter Gáncs, who is retiring at the beginning of summer 2018.
According to a recent survey, the Lutheran Museum in Budapest is quite popular among its visitors. The museum was re-opened in 2016 following a major reconstruction of the building and the permanent exhibit. Its most treasured artefact is the original Last Will and Testament of Martin Luther.
In the unusually cold weather at the end of February, a number of congregations and diaconal institutions around the country organized food giveaways to those in need.
In its plenary session on February 20, 2018, the Hungarian Parliament adopted a bill to announce that January 13th each year would be remembered as the Day of Religious Freedom in Hungary.
The Bishops Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELCH) initiated a fundraising campaign to support internally displaced Iraqi refugees in returning to their homes.
Nearly 500 Roma and non-Roma Christians gathered in the Deák tér Lutheran Church in Budapest for the 3rd Protestant Roma Mission Conference. Reformed, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist and Pentecostal participants came to together to praise the Lord in prayer and with traditionally lively Roma music.
Bishop Tamás Fabiny and Rabbi István Darvas were the panellists in the most recent event in a series of conversations named “Table Talks”. They discussed the works of novelist Imre Kertész and the topic of holocaust and remembrance. Bishop Fabiny stressed Kertész’s ability to express the truth about past and present in a gentle yet relentless manner; whereas Rabbi Darvas pointed out the commitment of Kertész to the tradition of paradox in Jewish literature.
Experts in the fields of education, theology, and diaconia met on 2 February 2018 for the first meeting of a working group commissioned with the task of developing innovative and practice-oriented training programmes in the field of social work and the helping professions. The project is a joint venture of the University of Szeged, the Gál Ferenc College, and the Lutheran Theological University. It is funded by the Operative Programme for the Development of Human Resources (EFOP).
The 11th Luther Symposium was held in Révfülöp from 2 to 4 January, 2018. This annual conference focuses on core topics in Lutheran theology and heritage in language accessible to both theologians and non-theologians.
The assembly of the Southern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELCH) has finalized the list of nominees for the bishop’s seat.
The annual meeting of the Christian Roma College Network was held on 20 January 2018 at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The meeting was attended by current and alumni students of Roma colleges and the leaders of the churches that are active in the network. The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Hungary was represented by Bishop Tamás Fabiny.
The 2018 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was opened on 21 January 2018 in the St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest with sermons by Cardinal Péter Erdő and Reformed Bishop József Steinbach, Chairman of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Hungary. Prayers were offered especially for the victims of Christian persecution around the globe.
The issue of migration has been escalating in Europe for months. Over the past few days the situation in Hungary has become especially dramatic. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELCH) has been participating in the activities providing help to migrants to the best of its abilities and resources.
"It is another variation of spreading fear of the 23 million Rumanians [possibly entering the Hungarian labour market after a bilateral agreement in 2002]", says Lutheran Bishop Tamás Fabiny to the Mandiner portal about the government consultation on immigration and terrorism which distressed him just as much as the "eye-wash" of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán elaborating on capital punishment. As the Bishop says, "believers mustn't stick to a status ten years ago and take in everything what a given party feeds them". Fabiny was taken aback by government politics lacking true consultation – or as he puts it, the steam-roller. Read our interview here.