Calvin Synod Conference of the United Church of Christ joins the Hungarian Reformed Church

2019. június 04., kedd

On the tenth anniversary of the unity of the HRC, the Calvin Synod Conference of the UCC officially joined the HRC. In honor of this event, the Bishop of the Calvin Synod Conference, Rt. Rev. Dr. Csaba Krasznai, shared a letter of thanksgiving.

It was a long time ago that the child left his mother. However, one day the child, who in the meantime had become an adult, found his way home again. His mother received him with open arms and loving heart, since the mothers are like that. They cannot deny themselves and the love they have toward their child.

Since the very beginning of the Hungarian Reformed church’s life in America the Reformed Church in Hungary has always provided pastors to our congregations, helped in the establishment of our churches, and financially supported our pastors and congregations until the end of the World War I.

However, on October 7, 1921, with the implementation of the Tiffin Agreement, in Tiffin, Ohio, the Hungarian Reformed pastors and leaders who served God’s Hungarian Reformed people in America decided to leave the Mother Church and joined the Reformed Church in the United States and the Presbyterian Church in the United States. Some Hungarian congregations stayed independent. Therefore, the support stopped by leaving the Reformed Church in Hungary. Why was this break from the Reformed Church in Hungary necessary? According to my observation, there is no proper and adequate answer to this question. However, we cannot change the past, anyway.

The Calvin Synod now and always felt that even though we are part of the United Church of Christ, our past and religious history always was and is closely associated with the Reformed Church in Hungary and with the other Hungarian Reformed Church Districts in the Carpathian Basin. We always expressed this unity with the Mother Church by using the official emblem (Coat of Arms) of the Reformed Church in Hungary together with our adopted denomination the United Church of Christ.

In May of 2009, there was an important event in the Hungarian Reformed Church’s history when the leadership of the Reformed Church in Hungary reached out beyond the borders and requested re-joining of the Hungarian Reformed churches in the Carpathian Basin. The desire was expressed to join the Hungarian Reformed Church in order to re-establishing spiritual ties. 

The Conference Council at its February 2019 meeting held at Ligonier, PA, had a discussion with Dr. Lajos Veres, Legal Advisor of the Synod Office of the Reformed Church in Hungary and representative of the Hungarian Reformed Church. After the presentation, the Conference Council unanimously accepted and recommended to join the Hungarian Reformed Church and asked our churches’ Consistories to approve this move.

In an official letter sent to the congregations of the Calvin Synod, the Conference Council asked each church Consistory to authorize the Pastor, who holds official status in the Calvin Synod, and the Chief Elder of each local church to vote on this issue. The majority, more than two-thirds of our Synod representatives and delegates, voted in favor to approve the recommendation of the Conference Council and to join the Hungarian Reformed Church.

Dr. John C. Dorhauer General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ wrote this about our Synod joining the Hungarian Reformed Church: “It is with great joy I receive word of the Calvin Synod voting to join in communion with Hungarian Church partners. As the body of Christ, I believe Jesus rejoices with us any time we take steps toward building unity. As Paul wrote to the Church in Ephesus: ‘Live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,...bearing with one another in love, and maintaining the unity of the body in the spirit of peace.’”

On May 17, 2019 the Calvin Synod found its way “home”. The Declaration was ratified and signed by our Synod representatives at the 10th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hungarian Reformed Church. We are delighted that our Synod partners with the Hungarian Reformed Church in our Protestant Reformed faith, heritage, calling, and ministry, and with this joining our Synod expresses the unity with the Hungarian Reformed churches in the Carpathian Basin and all over the world. We express our joy and gratitude for receiving this of your “child” back. May God continue to bless our joint efforts, our churches and ministries. Soli Deo Gloria! To God alone be glory!


Rt. Rev. Dr. Csaba Krasznai


Calvin Synod Conference,

United Church of Christ


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