RCH attends Third Partners’ Consultation

2018. április 25., szerda

Responding to the invitation of NESSL, the RCH attended the Third Partners’ Consultation in Lebanon. At the conclusion of the Consultation, the partners issued a memorandum.

From 18-20 April 2018, Rev. Balázs Ódor, Ecumenical Officer of the RCH, was invited to attend the Third Partners’ Consultation in Lebanon hosted by the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL). Other representatives from partner churches and aid organizations from all over the world gathered in Christian community. On the last day of the Consultation, the partners shared an affirmation. After the end of the 2-day seminar, the participants paid a solidarity visit to Syria and local congregations where they were invited to speak. During the time he was in Lebanon, Rev. Ódor also participated in conversations with church leaders and representatives of NESSL, the Armenian Evangelical Community in Syria, and the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches (FMEEC) on future steps to strengthen the bilateral relationships with each of the churches.

"In the eighth year of the war in Syria, for a third time, we have gathered in Christian community as partners with the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, “Together for Reconciliation and Reconstruction.”  In the years that we have gathered, we have learned to listen deeply, to challenge ideologies that promote violence and demean the image of God in all people. We struggle with and resist the “principalities and powers” that visit violence and destruction upon our neighbors in Syria.

We desire to speak the truth in love, and to trust the unity of our relationship in God through Christ, made visible at his Table.  We acknowledge the special difficulty and importance of this gathering, occurring as it has in the wake of an attack by the United States, United Kingdom and France on the sovereignty of Syria, an attack that further threatens possibilities for peace and deepens the difficulties suffered by its people.

We affirm our relationship, our mutual love and committed partnership" -written in the Affirmations from the Third Parter Consulation, issued at the end of the meeting on the 20th April. Read the full statement here.

Just in the past few months, the RCH has strengthened the relationship with the churches in the Middle East through a variety of projects, programs, and visits. In December 2017, a delegation of the RCH made a solidarity visit to Syria to find ways to help the local congregations, as well as the local communities. The RCH continues to support the Sunday schools in Syria. Last year, they launched a communications campaign inviting Reformed congregations in Hungary to dedicate an offering to the Reformed communities in the Middle East. Also this year, the RCH joined in collaboration with HEKS/EPER to support church schools in the Middle East by joining in the scholarship program. This scholarship is helping to encourage and strengthen the inclusive environment of the schools, allowing a safe space for Christians and Muslims to learn together.

Written by Pricilla Yang

Photo by NESSL


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