Meetings with Representatives of the Reformed Christian Church

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Leaders of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB) and the Reformed Christian Church of Slovakia (RCCS) met for their eighth joint meeting on 24-25 January 2019.

The leaders of the two churches have been meeting regularly since 2011. The current situation, past events, and plans and challenges for the future are discussed. On this occasion, the Synodal Council was invited to Slovakia, to Rimavská Sobota, where, in 2017, a new church building called Csillagház (House of the Star) was begun. While the Bishop's office is in Komarno, Rimavská Sobota is the seat of the Synod Office, and Csillaghaz now has a very convenient place for a synod meeting: a high-class conference room, meeting rooms for group meetings, a spacious dining room, and rooms to accommodate committees. During the year, the centre has no problem hosting a number of other events - the Gemer region is one of the poorest regions in Slovakia, and there has been no such conference centre for a long time.

Colleagues in Slovakia gave a presentation on their newly created ecclesiastical buildings. The RCCS is involved in the Hungarian Government's programme for the support of Hungarian national minorities abroad, and in 2017 it renewed a total of 175 buildings. Four new churches are being built, a home for the elderly in Komárno, a youth house in Košice and the above-mentioned Csillagház in Rimavská Sobota. Four nurseries, 21 kindergartens, 5 primary and 2 secondary schools were created. Life in schools is seen as a great missionary opportunity. The presentation generated a number of questions from the Czech side, as the Hungarian aid is not intended for Slovak congregations, but rather is available only for Hungarian national minorities.

Another topic was the situation of the clergy. In both churches. The church leadership must cope with a continuing deterioration in the number of parish ministers. The situation is worst in the two Slovak presbyteries in the East, where each parish minister has to cope with about 200 services a year. Both delegations then talked about practical aspects concerned with worship - the use of set orders of worship, songwriting, and musical accompaniment were all discussed. Finally, the role of the Church in the 21st century and its chances of survival were debated. The program concluded with a trip to the Imre Madácha Museum in Dolní Strehová, and a dinner at Halič Castle.

The next meeting will take place in the Czech Republic. For our Reformed brothers and sisters from Slovakia it is very important to stay in close contact and to meet at this level. The discussions are very beneficial for both sides. We have a common past, and it is good to see where and how the future paths of both our churches will take us.

7. 2. 2019, 14:54