STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY with the Reformed Church in the Ukraine
The believers of the Reformed Church in Romania, Királyhágómellék District, stand in prayers by our sisters and brothers of the Reformed Church in the Ukraine. We feel deep solidarity with our Hungarian minority brethren in the Carpatho-Ukrainian region, and we pray for the coexisting peoples who aspire for peace.
We are all concerned about the tension and turmoil in the neighboring Ukraine. During the recent Ecumenical Week of Prayer, our hearts were touched by the command for Christian Unity by our Lord (John 17:21). In this spirit of unity, we reaffirm: “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12:26).
We therefore pray for our brethren whose faith and hope is again challenged amidst new torments. In this transition period, we pray for those humiliated, persecuted and discriminated against. In the bondage of peace, we are ready to inform the European and global forums about the sorrows of our brethren, and ask for protection and support on their behalf.
The above statement was issued on 1 March 2014 by Bishop István Csűry and First Elder Attila Varga.
Contemplating Radical Love
Francis Rivers Meza is a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He works as a Supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, and as a member of Faith Health NC. Since 2006, Francis has served as the Executive Director of the American Waldensian Society.
In recent weeks, many migrants have lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Francis Rivers, Executive Director of the American Waldensian Society, invites us to contemplate radical love as radical inclusion. He has written a powerful prayer that is posted on www.ecclesio.com. Read “Contemplating Radical Love – Francis Rivers Meza” by clicking this link: http://www.ecclesio.com/2013/10/contemplating-radical-love-francis-rivers-meza/
Revs. Szilard & Ingrid Szatmari visit Lehigh Presbytery.
As part of our covenant with the Hungarian Reformed Church in Romania, we were excited to have two pastors with us from July 10 – 25, 2012. On Sunday, July 15, 2012 they worshipped with The Barn and on Sunday, July 22, 2012 the Rev. Szilard Szatmari preached at the Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church in Brodheadsville, PA and the Rev. Ingrid Szatmari at the First Presbyterian Church in Lehighton, PA.
Ingrid was raised by her grandparents in Kolozsvar. After finishing her schooling she had a call from God to serve in the church and attended the Protestant Theology in Kolozsvar between 1993-1998.
In 1998, Ingrid Breirer (Szatmari) was invited to the United States by Worldwide Ministries of Lehigh Presbytery as the first global intern and was hosted by Jack Ferlino. She had the opportunity to visit several churches and made relationships that are still going today.
In 1999 she was ordained and served as chaplain in a big church. She then married Szilard and they have two children. In 2007 they all moved to Csikszereda. The Bishop placed her as youth pastor at the University. She is now serving as pastor of a local congregation.
Szilard Szatmari attended school in his home-town. He then attended the Protestant Theological Seminary in Kolozsvar (Cluj) from 1995-2000. He was ordained in 2001 as priest to serve in the Reformed Church District in Transylvania. His first congregation was in a little village, Magyarozd. It was a 400-member traditional church. He married Ingrid Breier in 2000. In 2007 he was elected to his hometown, Csikszereda (Miercurea-Ciuc) to be pastor in a 2300-member church.
They have two children, Erzsebet (2002) and Albert-Gyorgy (2005).
Earthquake in Emilia, Northern Italy
After the second earthquake hit the provinces of Emilia, Northern Italy in May, the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI) expressed its solidarity and closeness to the people affected. “FCEI opens a subscription to support specific projects mainly aimed to follow most needy people in cooperation with local churches, associateion, organization and public authorities. Our hope is in the God of Jesus Christ, solid rock and safe refuge in adversity, souce of every hope and relief,” said Pastor Massimo Aquilante, FCEI’s president.
Seventeen people lost their lives in the quake with a magnitude of 5.8. There are approximately 14,000 people left homeless and approximately 350 people are injured. There have been many aftershocks and buildings (including the homes and churches in the area) continue to collapse.
The Worldwide Ministries Care Team of Lehigh Presbytery asks that you keep the people of this province in your prayers. The Care Team will also be accepting any donations to help in the recovery efforts in Italy. Donations may be sent to the Lehigh Presbytery marked for Emilia, Italy. We will then wire them directly to the Federation of Protestant Churches for relief efforts for the Earthquake victims.