This year's meeting of the Hungary Provisional Annual Conference was held in an abbreviated and hybrid manner due to the coronavirus. There was a session of clergy members held on April 23 and an abbreviated, one-day session on April 24 at Budakeszi United Methodist Church near Budapest, Hungary’s capital.
The conference was marked by two highlights.
The first was the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of several local churches. Among them are the local church and diaconal institution in Budakeszi, which 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 for starving children became a home for the elderly. On the 100th anniversary, a commemorative plaque was unveiled marking the building as a historical 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 COVID-19 pandemic until Bishop Patrick Streiff could travel to Hungary. For the bishop, it was his first flight abroad after more than six months.
At the same time, a young woman and 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.
On April 25, Bishop Streiff visited the local church in Miskolc, where a new church building is being built. The congregation is looking forward to the inauguration. A long-hoped replacement of the old, dilapidated residential building will soon come true.
The next meeting of the Hungary Provisional Annual Conference is planned for April 7-10, 2022, with the hopes of having an in-person gathering with all members present.
– Bishop Patrick Streiff, Central and Southern Europe Episcopal Area.
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