Brothers and sisters from around the world will gather with the RCH at the end of January to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Approximately forty international church partners will come to Hungary to celebrate the Reformation in the city of Debrecen, which was chosen as a City of the Reformation due to its close historic ties to the movement. This year also marks the 450th anniversary of the Hungarian Reformed Church (HRC), an expression of a special church communion in the form of a Common Synod that is composed of the Hungarian-speaking reformed churches in the Carpathian Basin.
Preparing for the Jubilee of Reformation in 2017, European protestant churches have launched programs for the celebration. The city of Debrecen, often referred to as the Kalvinist Rome, will take part in two international ecumenical programs and offers various activities to learn about the history of this important city.
It is part of the City of Reformation Program, organized by the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe and has been awarded the title, “European City of the Reformation”. The RCH, through Debrecen, is also taking part in the European Roadmap program, under the organization of the German Protestant Church (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland), which captures the many voices of the Reformation through a cross-continental trip with stops across Europe that were vital to this transformational time. A waystation will be located in Debrecen and a storymobile will visit on 31 January, 2017 to take visitors on a Reformation journey.
Ecumenical guests will come from far and wide, representing a variety of churches from nations such as Canada, South Korea, Germany, Taiwan, Scotland, Greece, the Netherlands, Ireland, the United States of America, Poland, Lithuania, and more! Representatives from the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) will also be in attendance.
During their time in Hungary, international visitors will play a leading role in the Agora, a place where guests can gather to learn more details about the RCH’s ministries and listen to one another’s personal testimonies about how being reformed influences their lives, as well as during the Jubilee worship at the Great Church in Debrecen. Guests from around the world will speak at the Agora about how the spirit of the Reformation shapes their life, as well as the life of their church. During the Jubilee worship, international partners will be involved in liturgical readings and will give words of greeting to the Hungarian community. Visitors to Hungary will also have the opportunity to see many of the stops on the Reformation walking tour in Debrecen.
The RCH’s ecumenical program aims to present the rich impact that the Reformation has had on people around the world, showing those in attendance how deep and varied the reformed community is around the world.
Article by Kearstin Bailey