2015 Youth Assembly of RCH

2015. május 08., péntek

The Youth Assembly of the Reformed Church in Hungary took place on 17th and 18th April in the Synod Building of the RCH.  The theme of the 2015 Youth Assembly was Trust. Young people from across Hungary came to not only represent their Church District, but to meet and share with fellow reformed youth.  

The Youth Assembly of the RCH was founded in 2012 and its 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. Since then, the youth meet annually and in this forum they are able to come up with questions that their fellow youth ask in regards to their faith and experience and their role in church and society. It is in this forum that they are also able to meet other youth from other parts of Hungary and share what they are doing locally to involve more youth in the church. The idea was influenced by sister churches such as the Church of Scotland who had a working Youth Assembly.

Early hours of the 17th of April afternoon saw youth arrive and received by their fellow youth, who run the registration desk. Due to the mingling that took place in the reception hall, it appeared as though some if not most of them knew each other.  It was however clear that their Reformed identity was reason why they felt very free with each other.

The Youth Assembly was opened by Szabolcs Szontágh, the Head of the Youth Department of the Synod Office of the RCH. Szabolcs welcomed the youth, and then officially opened meeting with a short reflection from the bible and a prayer. His reflection was on Trust which was also the theme of the 2015 Starpoint Youth Festival was based on Matthew 14:22-33, in his reflection, Szabolcs mentioned how we find Jesus walking on water, “there is everything here, the storm, a figure walking on water, scare, screams, but there is a happy ending.” The disciples found it hard to trust in the Jesus who walked on water, but he is not angry with them he just asks them not to fear. True trust, added Szabolcs, is doing what Peter did when he was asked to walk on the water. Sometimes the environment and inner voices can influence our trust; we need to have courage not to pay attention to our fears. 

Isten = God; Őszinteség= Honesty

Margit Kiss, the Starpoint Coordinator, shared the programme of the Biannual Youth Festival of the RCH that will be taking place in July 2015. What is trust? What happens if you waver? Can you trust the environment? These are some of the questions that will be discussed. With main presentations and small group discussions in the morning, the festival has multiple programmes in the afternoon and evening. These include, worship bands, concerts, drama tents, folk music to mention but a few. Margit took this opportunity to ask the youth to sign up as well as urge them to share the programme with the local youth group.

Right after supper, the youth were able to listen to a presentation on the National Youth Assembly of the Church of Scotland, that was presented to them by the Njeri Wagana, the Associate Minister of St. Columba, the CoS congregation in Budapest. This presentation was an overview of the National Youth Assembly as well as a form of encouragement to the youth present that there are other youth who are taking part in similar activities in their home churches.

Szabolcs Szontágh then presented the youth with the report of the previous Youth Assembly and then opened the next part of the programme. The youth were divided into small groups where they were given the task to discuss Trust.  Szabolcs  introduced the discussion topic with the words from Galatians 3:23-29 mentioning that “trust, faith is almost like mountaineering, following the rules or understanding the law is not enough because sometimes fear can creep in. We need someone who has gone ahead of us, and this is Jesus. Love, knowledge, honesty and understanding are what we need to trust, this is what we have received from God through Christ so that we are able to trust.”

The 5 small groups discussed Trust in personal relationships, in the church and in the world. These discussions revolved around how trust is gained, lost, renewed and/or restored.  Based on the enthusiasm with which groups discussed, it was clear that this topic was one that was close to many of their hearts. Not only did they discuss the questions at hand in regards to trust, but they also spoke of real life examples from their local congregations – how have they seen trust being broken, and how they have worked to repair it.

At the end of the Youth Assembly the youth came up with suggestions on how relationships based on trust can be formed or strengthened in the life of the church and between different people. They felt that mutual trust is vital for any teamwork to take place. This is why there is a need to cultivate trust between the church and the youth, this they felt was because the youth are not just the future, but the present of the church. The Youth Assembly suggestions were summarised in a statement, which was signed by all those present.


Njeri Wagana Hughes

Photos by András Dimény 

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Reformed Church in Hungary

Address: H-1146 Budapest, Abonyi utca 21.   

PO Box: 1140 Budapest 70, Pf. 5

Phone/Fax: + 36 1 460 0708 

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Our church through American eyes

We encourage you to read our  former GM intern Kearstin Bailey's blog about her time, spent in Hungary.