International Ecumenical Relations
The Reformed Church in Hungary recognises that co-operating and joining forces with other Christian churches or denominations, which place the Gospel of Jesus Christ as their primary focus, is highly beneficial for any Christian community.
Partnership and Co-operation
Being devoted to a Calvinist heritage, it is a vital part of our identity to promote the unity of Christian churches and to be an authentic witness of the Gospel. The idea of our unity both inside and outside the church conveys the message that through Christ we are reconciled with God by the Spirit. For the Hungarian Reformed community this ecumenical vision bears an up-to-date significance, as only a few years ago, on 22 May, 2009, the synodal unity of Hungarian Reformed churches was declared as a major ecumenical event.
The two main fields of international relations in the RCH are professional and theological co-operation with sister churches around the world and active participation in the work of international ecumenical organisations. The RCH wishes to accomplish its mission by maintaining fellowship with over 20 churches on four continents, co-operating with ecumenical organisations, and establishing partnerships with educational, diaconal, theological and professional institutions at a congregational, presbytery or national level.
The RCH's mission reaches beyond the borders of Hungary. Therefore, it wishes to accomplish its tasks in several ways: maintaining a relationship with over 20 churches on four continents, expanding contacts with more partner churches, benefitting from bilateral and multilateral cooperation, and actively participating in the work of various ecumenical organisations and programmes. National, presbytery, church district and congregation level twinning programmes (also between educational and diaconial institutions) as well as theological and professional collaborations to enrich the service of the RCH in faith, knowledge, experience and finance.
Partnerships with contracts
- Presbyterian Church in Korea (PCK)
- Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK)
- Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC)
- Evangelische Kirche im Rheinland (EKiR)
- Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT)
- Church of Scotland (CoS)
- Lippische Landeskirche
- Dutch Reformed Church (DRC)
- National Evangelical Synod in Syria and Lebanon (NESSL)
- Armenian Evangelical Community in Syria
Other active partnerships
- United Reformed Church (URC)
- United Reformed Church National Synod of Scotland (URC Scotland)
- Presbyterian Church in Ireland
The partnership system between regional and global organisations, in addition to international denominational organisations has a long history. The Reformed Church in Hungary has been a member of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches since 1909 and so became a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches after its founding in 2010. Since 1948, the RCH has been listed in the World Council of Churches roster. It is also a member of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and its commissions, the Communion of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE/GEKE) and other global or regional organisations, which have joined together to seek the practical and theological answer to the political, economic and social challenges of our age from the Christian perspective. The RCH is also a member of the Eurodiaconia and the Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME).
- World Communion of Reformed Churches
- Communion of Protestant Churches Europe
- Conference of European Churches
- Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe
- World Council of Churches
Coordination of Ecumenical Relations
The international and ecumenical relations of our church are coordinated by the International and Ecumenical Office of the Synod Office. The International and Ecumenical Relations Committee of the Synod, assisted by the Ecumenical Advisory Board, is responsible for the ecumenical strategy of the RCH.
Ecumenical Relations Committee of the Synod
The RCH's foreign affairs strategy and ecumenical strategy are determined by the International and Ecumenical Relations Committee. This Committee supervises the church's international relations as well as its participation in international theological and professional dialogues. At the regular board meetings, the Committee makes decisions regarding any current issues; it makes proposals and issues reports to the Synod. The Committee also oversees the work of the Ecumenical Office, which is responsible for the implementation of the Committee's decisions.
Members of the Committee:
- Zsuzsanna RÉPÁS, Chair – Danubian Reformed Church District
- Rev. Endre ISZLAI – Transtibiscan Reformed Church District
- Zsolt BERZSENYI – Transdanubian Reformed Church District
- Rev. Zsolt VÁRADY – Cistibiscan Reformed Church District
Ecumenical Advisory Board
The Ecumenical Advisory Board operates under the supervision of the Ecumenical Committee. It aims to assist the operation of the Ecumenical Office, and encourages RCH representation in international organisations and in the theological and professional fields of work. The board consists of church members who represent the RCH either as elected members of an international organisation's governing body, or as professional delegates representing certain teams of these international organisations. Furthermore, the Ecumenical Advisory Board aims to revise theological texts submitted for professional feedback and to make the most important topics of international church life available for church members. The board is also in charge of harmonising the work of delegates in various organisations.
Ecumenical Office of the RCH
The Ecumenical Office is responsible for all types of ecumenical relations within and outside Hungary. It is in charge of keeping the contact with the partner churches worldwide, ensuring an active presence of the church in ecumenical organisations and promoting twinning relations on each level of church life. The Ecumenical Office deals also with scholarship and aid issues, and helps other national offices, ministries and church agencies in establishing their own international relations.
Some of the tasks of the Ecumenical Office:
- Maintaining relationships with partner churches abroad
- Fulfilling any commitments resulting from memberships in international church organisations
- Technical and practical preparation for our church delegates' trips to other countries
- Management of scholarship matters and distribution of financial aid received from other churches around the world
- Preparing, planning and managing activities and programmes for visiting foreign guests
Rev. Balázs Ódor
Ms. Júlia Berecz
Ecumenical Office of the Reformed Church in Hungary
Abonyi utca 21
Phone: + 36 1 460 0708
Fax: +36 1 460 0713
The RCH believes it is important to deepen the cooperation and relationship with partner churches by inviting and welcoming mission coworkers or mission personnel. They are friends who wish to live out their call to Jesus Christ through service to the RCH. Their call to service includes a commitment to partnership and mutuality in their work. Mission coworkers serve in a variety of settings and play an important role in deepening our relations with their home churches. Our church collaborates with missionaries from America, Canada and Korea, who are involved in different fields of RCH ministry for example,in the service among Roma and refugees.
Chae Hwa Jeong – Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK)
Chae – Hwa Jeong and his family came to Hungary in January, 2003 to serve as a mission coworker of the Reformed Church in Hungary. He and his wife, Jung Hye Yung have two daughters and one son. He teaches Bible studies in Greater Grace International School, is involved in Roma ministry and serves as a pastor in the Budapest Korean Presbyterian Church. Hi plans to build the relationship between PCK and RCH, and help the twinning relationship between their congregations. He would like to learn more about Hungary and the RCH as well as serve as a part of the RCH's ministry in the field of Roma integration and homeless ministry.
Rev. Kim Seon Koo – Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK)
Rev. Seon Koo, accompanied by his wife, serves alongside the RCH at Károli Gáspár University in Budapest. There he teaches at the Institute for East Asian Languages in the areas of Korean language and Korean church history. He also supports the Korean Presbyterian community in Budapest, participates in Roma ministry through the RCH, and represents the partnership between PROK and RCH. Rev. Seon Koo and his wife are serving in Hungary for five years.