The Synodal Council of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB) and the Praesidium of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELKU) met together in Brno on February 27th and 28th. In the opening devotions, on a text from the prophet Zechariah, Pavel Pokorný reminded those gathered that they met in Passiontide, the time of the Kingdom. The prophet speaks of idolatry, lies and deception as things to be dismissed, as unclean. The presiding bishop of the ELKU, Tamás Fabiny, spoke in his reflection of freedom and captivity: ‚even in the longed-for 'free world', everything can turn into its opposite,’ he said.
The Brno minister and president of the ECCB synod, Jiří Gruber, gave a presentation on the evangelical life of Brno and he led the guests on a visit to the Red Church which, after the war, the ECCB had inherited from the German Lutheran Church. The participants of the meeting also met the rector of the Brno Masaryk University Mikuláš Bek.
The proximity of the two churches results from a number of historical similarities, from the times of the monarchy to their experiences of Communist times in both countries. The church leaders talked mainly about current topics in church life. Important among these were questions about the role that national identity plays today, as well as the role our churches play in national life.
Discussions also focussed on finance and education, and on the existence of good and productive links and cooperation between the two churches. All the participants agreed that these inspirational meetings should continue, and the representatives of the ELCU invited the Synodal Council of the ECCB to a follow-up meeting in Hungary. It will take place at the headquarters of the Western District of the Hungarian Lutheran Church in Györ in early 2019.