Flow Like Living Water

2017. szeptember 12., kedd

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Korean Presbyterian community in Budapest, a joint congregation of the RCH and Presbyterian Church in Korea. The congregation celebrated this joyous occasion on September 10, 2017 with a special church service with RCH Presiding Bishop István Szabó. 

The Korean Presbyterian community, organized by a pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Korea (PCK), was recognized as a congregation of the RCH through a Synod resolution in 2012, though the congregation was founded in 2007. The General Synod of the RCH even amended its Fundamental Law on the constitution and governance of the church adding that “the Synod is entitled to establish and recognize new congregations based on other considerations” than mentioned in the original legal document. The community is led by Rev. Jeong Chae Hwa, senior pastor of the Korean-speaking Reformed Congregation in Budapest, who is supervised by the RCH’s partner-church, the PCK.

Rev. Jeong Chae Hwa and his family came to Hungary in January, 2003 to serve as a mission coworker of the Reformed Church in Hungary. He and his wife, Jung Hye Yung, have two daughters and one son. He teaches Bible studies in Greater Grace International School, is involved in Roma ministry, and serves as a pastor in the Korean congregation.

When the Korean-speaking Reformed Congregation in Budapest was established as a congregation of the RCH through the Synod resolution, it became embedded into the existing structure of RCH presbyteries and districts. The congregation acknowledges the confessions and teachings of the church and the constitutional order of the church. The community is a unique ministry which does not have territorial character and elects its consistory out of its members – through its own rules. The working language in the community is Korean, and they draw in a dedicated congregational base in the city.

The Korean-speaking congregation of RCH celebrated its 10th Anniversary last Sunday. Bishop Dr. István Szabó preached at the thanksgiving worship, expressing his gratitude for the faithful service of the young community.

"The Hungarian reformed community is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year, so we are tempted to say that ten years is not a long time. Nevertheless, we learned a lot from the past ten years from the existence of the Korean Presbyterian community,” the Bishop said. “We shouldn’t forget about the many blessings that we as Church, and, through us, this country, got through our Korean brothers and sisters. Though ten years represent a short period time, we hardly can count all the gifts of acting love and the manifold support which the Korean Reformed tradition gave us,” he added, emphasizing that, “While according to human logic it is always the older who teaches the younger, in the realm of the new creation this can turn around”, said the Bishop as he preached about the Gospel of Jesus, “as rivers of living water will flow from within us” (John 7,37-38). Jesus compares the Gospel to the living water. This recalls another image, the vision of the Prophet Ezekiel about the water coming out from under the threshold of the temple (Ezekiel 47,1). This reminds us of our calling to let the Gospel flow like river into the world. Whoever believes in Jesus, rivers of living water will flow from within them like living water, healing the wounds of the suffering world.

Bishop Szabó, ministerial President of the Synod of RCH, also gave thanks for the longstanding fraternal relationship between Hungarian and Korean Presbyterians and encouraged the congregation to tirelessly pray for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula and the persecuted Christians around the globe. He expressed his gratitude for the faithful ministry which the community has proved in many ways. Finally, the Bishop expressed his prayerful wish that Jesus Christ shall stay in the hearts of the members of the congregation, and flow like living water, so that the wound of this world are healed.

Through the presence of the Korean Presbyterian community, the RCH has close ties with the PCK. In 2016, RCH Presiding Bishop Dr. István Szabó traveled South Korea to meet with partner churches and discuss the strong ecumenical ties that exist. During his trip, Bishop Szabó attended the synod meeting for the PCK and also gave a lecture on ecumenical relationships. During his time in South Korea, Bishop Szabó was aided on the ground by two RCH Korean mission partners, including  Chae Hwa Jeong from the PCK. In January of 2017, four delegates from the PCK joined the RCH in celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Debrecen, Hungary. PCK leaders in attendance included Rev Dr Sung Hee Lee, Moderator of the PCK who was invited to participate in the Jubilee worship, and his spouse Bong Hee Kim; Park One Ho, Senior Pastor of the Lords Church in Seoul; and Rev. Jeong Chae Hwa, senior pastor of the Korean Congregation in Budapest.

 

Reporting by György Feke

Article by Kearstin Bailey

Photo by Vargosz

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We encourage you to read our GM intern Kearstin Bailey's blog about her time in Hungary.