The General Convent session of the Hungarian Reformed Church, which took place in Temesvár (Timisoara, Romania) on June 21 and 22, had some real historical highlights. The Reformed community living in Slovakia now joined the Hungarian Reformed Church by signing the Constitution of the Hungarian Reformed Church. This was the first time the representatives of the church diaspora were also present to participate in the discussions.
This was the second time the consultative body, which includes the presidencies of the Reformed churches and reformed church districts of the Carpathian Basin had its session held beyond the borders of Hungary. The meeting was organised by the Reformed Church District of Királyhágómellék, in Temesvár.
The General Convent began with the meeting of the presidency counsel. Plans were discussed concerning a church service in memory of János Gachal, martyr bishop of the Southern region, but the final decision was not yet made, as the academic committee in charge of historical research had not completed their survey. The presidency met the representatives of the Reformed diaspora with the intention to discuss questions of cooperation and unity.
On Tuesday, the Convent's session started with Bishop István Csűry's devotion and the superintendent, Csaba Fazakas' greetings. The host district was introduced to the guests, and Bishop Gusztáv Bölcskei, minsterial president of the Synod of the Reformed Church in Hungary recalled the events of the past year.
“My heart is full of gratitude, I'm very pleased to be here ”, said Béla Poznán, bishop of the Calvin Synod of the UCC. He expressed his desire concerning the forming of a unified Hungarian Reformed Church in America. “We had to relive Trianon when the Hungarians of the South were divided into three parts, in three different countries after the Southern Slavic war”, said Lajos Csáti Szabó, newly elected bishop of the Croatian Christian Calvin Church. He also thanked the Hungarian government for its efforts in favour of Croatia's joining the EU.
Wednesday's agenda included accounts on the liturgical renewal process, the report on the collections for the educational found and the periodical of the Hungarian Reformed Church entitled Calvin Star. The General Convent concluded with a worship service in the central reformed church in Temesvár.
The budget voted at the Convent will also support the communities living in diaspora and it is meant to help the organisation of more events which promote the unity of communities.
The General Convent commemorated the foundation of the Hungarian Reformed Christian Church According to the Gospel in 1881. The Convent decided to produce a new translation of the Heidelberg Catechism for its 450th anniversary in 2013. The importance of the upcoming census in several European countries was also stressed, as it will be a great opportunity for Reformed people to confess their Reformed faith and Hungarian identity.
The Deputy Secretary of State responsible for National Policy, Ms. Zsuzsanna Répás' presentation gave a review of national politics in the last twenty years in the light of citizenship and national identity. The Deputy Secretary of State explained that the point of dual citizenship is to reach individuals, whereas autonomy is about reaching communities. Rather than the survival of communist structures, Western European thinkers considered the awakening of nationalism in the formerly communist countries a real threat. In Slovakia, dual citizenship does not affect the individual's relationship with the Slovakian State. The aim of dual citizenship was that Hungarians could not be considered non-Hungarians in the mother country.
The General Convent will hold its next session on 19-20 June, 2012, in Körmend, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Transdanubian Reformed District's formation.