Hungary: The Church's One Foundation is Jesus Christ!

About 55 members and guests participated in the annual meeting of Hungary Provisional Annual Conference taking place from April 11 to 14, 2012, in Szeged/Hungary.

The past year with its many challenging questions regarding the state recognition of the UMC in Hungary offered a number of opportunities to think about the annual motto of the UMC in Hungary – and to live it: «Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.» (Romans 12:12) All these questions and the involvement with this motto were once again present in Szeged – and the Methodist leaders gave thanks to God and to other Churches and Christian organizations both in Hungary and abroad for the joyful result of the varied efforts. However, the new annual motto «The Church’s one Foundation is Jesus Christ!» emphasized very clearly that the foundation of the UMC in Hungary is not its state recognition. And to consciously focus on the true foundation of the Church should thus over and over lead to the question how the UMC in Hungary can mobilize more energy and strengthen the local churches so that they can reach out to people beyond their borders, to share God’s love with them and to help them growing as disciples of Christ.

The Annual Conference acknowledged with gratitude that local giving in the churches has slightly increased last year and that the charge conferences, which had been in debt with the church headquarters, could almost completely deleverage. In the year 2012/2013 the apportionments are expected to increase by 5%; however, since the increase of the overall budget will be even larger, the bottom line will show a reduced percentage of self-financing.

Another joyful event was the admission of Bence Vigh as probationary pastor and the presentation of a new candidate for the ordained ministry: Kristof Sztupkai. The fact that there is a new generation of young, gifted and committed men and women in the UMC in Hungary who are willing to take over responsibility is a reason for gratitude and hope.

Source: Office of Bishop Patrick Streiff, Zurich/Switzerland
Date: May 14, 2012