This year's meeting of the Annual Conference Hungary was held in an abbreviated and hybrid manner due to Corona. There was a session of clergy members on Friday, April 23, 2021, and an abbreviated one-day session on Saturday, April 24, 2021.
The 2021 Annual Conference was marked by two highlights: Several local churches are celebrating their 100th founding anniversary this year. Among them are also the local church and the diaconal institution in Budakeszi, which, however, had to be abandoned during communist times. After the fall of communism, the state had offered the church either the return of the run-down buildings or a larger compensation sum. At that time, the conference unanimously decided to resume the work in Budakeszi. What had begun in 1921 as an orphanage and rest home and for starving children, became after the fall of communism a home for the elderly and nursing. On the 100th anniversary, a commemorative plaque was unveiled as a historical site ("UMC Heritage Site").
The second highlight was the ordination of Tamás Szuhánszki Jr. The ordination had actually been planned a year earlier, but had to be postponed due to the Corona pandemic until Bishop Patrick Streiff could travel to Hungary again. All the greater was the joy that this year it worked out - quite at short notice, but still with all the necessary travel formalities. For the bishop it was his first flight abroad after more than six months.
At the same time, a young woman and a young man were recommended to study at the Lutheran Faculty in Budapest after a year of internship. Thus, five students are currently undergoing theological training, two of whom are already working part-time in a congregation. It is extremely gratifying to see how encouragingly the fellowship between older and younger pastors is lived out.
On Sunday, April 25, 2021, Bishop Patrick Streiff additionally visited the local church in Miskolc, where the new church building is already well advanced. The congregation is already looking forward to the inauguration. A hope longed for over decades for the replacement of the old, dilapidated residential building with church room will thus soon come true.
The next meeting of Hungary Annual Conference is expected to be held from April 7 to 10, 2022 – hopefully in a usual setting and with the physical presence of all members.
Source: Bishop Dr. Patrick Streiff, Zurich
Photo: Tamás Szuhánszki, his parents (church musicians) and his sister (teacher at the Methodist Forrai School in Budapest)