In Unity With God, In Community With Each Other

2017. június 20., kedd

With the Starpoint reformed youth festival coming up soon, organizers of the event gathered recently to hold a press conference. In this venue, staff discussed the events theme of Reformation, how Starpoint will be organized, and some of the musical artists who will be performing.

“We are going to speak about the changes that Jesus brought into the world, our relationship with the Lord of Life, and how we can become active participants in our own lives and with our families, friends, and workplace community that we spend our lives with,” said Szontágh Szabolcs, Head of the RCH Youth Office, about the upcoming Starpoint youth festival at a press conference at Dürer-kert on June 8.

The Starpoint youth festival will open its gates in Debrecen on July 25, in just fifty days. The preparations, prospective programs, and the theme of the event were presented at a press conference by the organizers and performers of Starpoint, including Zsuzsa Zsadon, coordinator of the festival; Szabolcs Szontágh, Head of the RCH Youth Office; Viki Lábas, singer of Margaret Island; and also Misi Mező, singer of NAZA.

About the program

Zsuzsa Zsadon, the Starpoint coordinator, reported that 5,000 young people are expected from sixteen countries for this year’s festival and almost 3,000 people have applied to attend so far.

Zsuzsa told the press that every day of Starpoint will be organized similarly: the central topic, reformation, is going to be processed in morning devotions, at the morning keynote speech, and in small group discussions. In the afternoon, optional cultural, sports and communal programs will take place at the same time. In the evening, concerts will be held on three different stages.

Many well-known bands will be at Starpoint this year, such as Margaret Island on July 25, Kelemen Kabátban on July 26, the Dutch Hanne de Vries and its group on July 27, and NAZA on July 28, Zsuzsa Zsadon told the group. The festival will then be closed with a worship and communion on the morning of July 29.

The coordinator emphasized that Starpoint – in a unique way – is organized by volunteers, with as many as 800 young people working on the preparations for the meeting. Applications from additional volunteers continue to pour in.

To be present

Starpoint offers more than a common festival – besides just cultural and musical programs, it is a spiritual event too where young people have an opportunity to recharge themselves. Szabolcs Szontágh, Head of the RCH Youth Office and organizer of the meeting, reiterated this point in his speech at the press conference. He pointed out that Starpoint is the highlighted youth event for this year of Jubilee as the Hungarian Reformed community celebrates 450 years, with the theme of “Re:form!”

“Reformation is an often used and difficult to define concept, therefore when we began thinking about bringing it up we had to think about whether the real importance of it is translatable or not,” said the Youth Officer. He then added that reformation does not mean the renovation of everything, because good things should be sheltered and protected, however, poorly functioning things should be changed indeed.

In order to make clear the message of reformation, the office manager quoted Gergely Horváth, a radioman, saying that, “The question isn’t what kind of world we live in, the question is how we live in it.” In his eyes, the theme of the festival is to translate the meaning of reformation into our everyday lives.

Together in unity

The Youth Officer also introduced some of the performers for the festival: Pastor Violetta Bella from Győrszemere (Transdanubian) is going to lead the opening and closing services, and pastor Pál Mike from Magyarkéc (Királyhágómellék) will give the keynote addresses in the morning. The evening devotions are going to be led by pastors from the Carpathian Basin.

“At Starpoint we want to not just speak about unity and community in theory, we want to show its reality in a colorful way,” pointed out Szabolcs Szontágh. “We believe that the life of a person is deeply shaped by her or his unity with God, when a person knows where they have come from and where they are going, as well as the way one is in community with others. We hope that we will help them to devote their lives to God. This is what we would like to portray by processing the topic of reformation together. We are going to speak about the change Jesus brought into the world, how we relate to the Lord of Life, and about how can we become active members in our own life with our family, friends, and our workplace community – the people we spend our lives with.”

Szabolcs Szontágh also emphasized that the meeting is not profit-oriented and that a lack of money should not be a barrier to attending the event. Financial support is available as part of the application and the organizers are trying to find ways of giving everyone the opportunity to take part in Starpoint. “We consider it our task to give a taste of protestant communities to those who come to Starpoint,” finished the Youth Officer. “The aim is to show that we would not like to live outside of the world, but in the world – while retaining the power of Christ.”

Music with joy

 After the press conference, the three members of Margaret Island, Viki Lábas, Kristóf Törőcsik and Bálint Füstös, played music on the stage of Dürer kert. “We hope that at Starpoint we can inspire the audience with even more positive messages,” said Viki Lábas. The singer thinks that their songs speak for them and reach those people that they want to sing to  – this is why the opportunity of playing music at the protestant youth meeting is important for them.

Misi Mező also announced new information that although he took part in the event as a representative of NAZA, he is still going to remain the singer of Magna Cum Laude. He said that he was talking a lot about God with the other founder of the band, and they would like to show that God is accessible, even if many think the opposite.

“Many people think that reformation, too, is in the past, but its message is absolutely relevant today. It’s not just theologically important, but its social effect is also serious because we need renewal today too in our relationships, at our workplace, and in our environment as well,” emphasized Misi Mező.

Written by Zsuzsanna Farkas

Translated by Zsuzsanna Csáky


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