Radical Faith

2018. szeptember 27., csütörtök

In continued partnership with the United Evangelical Mission, the Reformed Church in Hungary was represented at the General Assembly in Parapat, Indonesia.

Following their visit to Budapest and Debrecen, Hungary in November 2017, the secretary general, Rev. Volker Dally and the deputy secretary general, Jochen Motte invited the Reformed Church in Hungary (RCH) to the General Assembly of the United Evangelical Mission (UEM) held every other year. Representing the RCH for the first time, to strengthen and continue the growing partnership between UEM and RCH ecumenical officer, Rev. Balázs Ódor, attended the General Assembly on 24-28 September in Parapat, Indonesia.

Participants of the UEM General Assemly

The general assembly included the work reports of the Council by moderator, Rev. Willem Simarmata, the general secretary, Rev. Volker Dally, as well as from other departments of UEM and the three regions of Africa, Asia, and Europe (Germany). Other issues regarding the amendment of the UEM constitution and the decision on membership applications also took place. In addition, the Assembly paid special attention to the official awarding of the partnership prize, an award being presented for the second time.

In 2016, the regional board of UEM, elected after the last general assembly, defined four specific issues that needed attention to be discussed at the current general assembly: to encourage cooperation within Europe, internalize the core areas of the work of the church, increase possibilities for active participation in the UEM communion, and make regional governance structures and processes more fluid and flexible.

In his opening sermon, Rev. Simarmata, spoke of the positive and negative connotations of the radicality of faith, “When we speak of radicalism, we immediately think of terrorism, extremism and violence in the name of a religion. But Jesus taught us that our faith in Him as our healer, liberator, reformer and savior becomes radicalized. Our radical faith in Jesus Christ thus manifests itself in our existence working and fighting for justice and peace on the basis of biblical truth. We are called to heal and preach the blind, the lame, the lepers and the deaf. This is our faith as Christians.”

Opening Worship Service

On behalf of RCH, Rev. Balázs also shared greetings, highlighting the importance of the community of UEM, the spiritual fellowship of churches for justice, and the commitment to move forward the values and reality of God’s Kingdom on Earth. He said, “Europe is struggling with itself today. The values, and even the hopes, of the founding fathers of the European peace project, which today we know as the European Union, are being challenged. European Christians tend to forget how dear the values are, and take it for granted that we have human rights, rule of law, rights of minorities, equal citizenship, and freedom and peace, all protected by constitutions and agreements. Some Europeans, politicians and citizens alike, have started to challenge these ‘worldly concepts’ of God’s Kingdom in the name of another kind of Christianity which relies on power, protection and hostility.” He concluded by inviting those in attendance to, “Join in prayer, in hope and in action to make the Gospel visible in our midst. Let us respond to the call of Apostle Peter together, and be prepared to give account of the hope that is in us. Let us be together, the Apology of hope that God gave us through His Son, Jesus Christ, for His world.”

United Evangelical Mission member churches invited 68 delegates of 36 UEM members from Africa, Asia, and Europe (Germany), as well as numerous guests.

Written by Priscilla Yang

Via vemission.org

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