Each member of the Synod of RCH, to be constituted on 17 February with one hundred newly elected representatives, will have a free mandate, which means that they can choose freely the presidents and vice-presidents of the highest decisions making body of RCH, emphasizes the communique the new Bishops and Lay Presidents of the four Church Districts of the Reformed Church in Hungary, themselves ex officio members of the Synod.
As Bishops and Lay Presidents of the four Church Districts of the Reformed Church in Hungary, we are preparing with mutual respect and esteem for the upcoming elections during the first session of the newly constituted Synod, which will decide on the senior officials of the national church.
With this Communique, we wish to correct erroneous statements and false press reports.
The members of the Synod, the highest legislative body of our church constituted of one hundred (newly) elected representatives, have a free mandate, and thus will be free to decide on the person of the ordained (ministerial) and lay president and vice-presidents of the Synod. In accordance with the traditions of our Church, any Bishop and Lay President (chief elder) is eligible to accept the nomination out of personal commitment for his Church District and our national Church.
Both during and after the elections we want to serve together the unity of our church, the strengthening and building up of our congregations, and the proclamation of the gospel.
We look at each other with confidence, and as leaders we have a privileged opportunity and a duty to set an example in this.
We will accept the result of the election and take it from the hands of God and will do our best to help each other serve the glory of God and build the Church of Christ each of us in our place. As the Scripture teaches us:
"Do everything in love!" (1Cor 16:14)
5th February 2021.
József Steinbach, Bishop
Dr. Pál Nemes, Lay President
Dániel Pásztor, Bishop
Dr. Pál Molnár, Lay President
Dr. Károly Fekete, Bishop
János Molnár, Lay President
Zoltán Balog, Bishop
Sándor Veres, Lay President
MEMBERS AND DUTIES OF THE GENERAL SYNOD
In addition to its legislative function, the General Synod of the Reformed Church in Hungary is the highest authority regarding the official teaching of the Church, it deliberates about official holidays, determines the order and liturgy of worship, the official Bible translation, the curriculum of the training and final, ordination exam of pastors. Among others it maintains and oversees the National Reformed Church Public Fund (also called solidarity fund) and the Reformed Pastoral Pension Institute and establishes public and higher educational institutions and institutions of other kind. It takes measures in matters of governance and administration affecting the entire Reformed Church in Hungary and decides on all matters that require resolution or decision on highest level in the church.
The General Synod has 100 (standing) members elected for a six years term (for the legislature period, also called ‘Synod Cycle’) assuring equal representation for ordained and lay members. Twenty of the delegates are Ex Officio members, including the Bishops and Lay Presidents of the four Church Districts, their deputies – ordained and lay District clerks -, the Bishop of the Protestant Military Chaplaincy (or his Reformed deputy), the General Secretary (also called Synod or Stated Clerk), the legal adviser of the Synod and the president of the National Council of Reformed Church Archives. 76 members are elected by the local church councils (Kirk Sessions), distributed among the Church Districts: 24 of them represent the Danubian (Budapest), 12 the Transdanubian (Pápa), 12 the Cistibiscan (Miskolc) and 26 the Transtibiscan (Debrecen) Church District. In addition, there is a representative from educational institutions, one for each church districts. Health Care and Social Institutions of RCH are represented by one delegate each. In addition, an equal number of proxies are also elected to replace ordinary members should they resign or be hindered to attend a session.
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