Revd Norman Hutchenson and members of Dalbeattie Parish Church travelled to Hajdunanas in Hungary to promote the Eco-Congregation movement and forge frienships with a Hungarian Eco-Congregation this summer.
Photos from left to right: Woman in local dress; Award cermony for climate time competition; Visitors from Dalbeattie Rev Norman Hutchenson, Ian McMickan, Lilly Stevenson and Janet Henry, along with translator Rev Aron Kocsis of Hajdunanans at school presentation
Here is his story:
An invitation from Hajdunanas to Eco-Congregations Scotland was an invitation too good to refuse, so accompanied by three elders I went to Eastern Hungary to celebrate Climate Time with an eco winning congregation – Hajdunanas Reformed Church.
What a welcome we received. It is doubtful if anyone from Scotland has ever gone further than Debrecen or Budapest to visit congregations in Hungary. The assistant Minister Aron Kocsis made sure this was to be a visit that all would remember.
Photos from left to right: Sharing the WM booklet featuring relationships with Hungarian Minister; Ian McMickan tastes local food grown on environmental farm
The School, a Reformed Church establishment, invited us to share in their School Assembly, and share their exhibition of creation Time art work. Even the Kindergarten had made little animals out of dough for the season. The school ran a Fete from which they raised over 100000 HUF for the work of the bird hospital in Hortobagy, a national park where they are trying to recover some of the traditional strains of animals and create a traditional agricultural area. The bird hospital to which the children raised the money deals mainly with storks, falcons and eagles that have been hit by vehicles or have themselves hit power lines.
Photos of Climate School Fete
Sunday worship to a packed church of over 400 of all ages was an inspiring experience. We shared a PowerPoint presentation in the church on Scotland, the Eco-Congregation movement here, and congratulated the congregation of Hajdunanas on its award from the Hungarian Eco-Congregation movement.
Photos from left to right: Hungarian dance lesson; Elders at the Church; Session with visitors after they decided to share twinning on an Eco-Congregation basis
Part of our group represented the local Initiative Company, and the Mayor was keen to share some of his new work for those on state benefit. A large parcel of land had been rented by the town, and made available on a semi commercial basis for residents. Tomatoes, peppers, courgettes and a variety of crops and vegetables were grown and managed by local people. These were taken to market and sold, and the profits divided among those who had worked the small farm. Their income was improved, together with the dignity of work and the sense of self satisfaction.
There was a lot of local interest generated by the visit. The Television company broadcast an 14 minute news report on the activities of the school, and the local radio channel had an interview on Eco-Congregations too. The Television programme is available on http://nanastv.hu/nanastv/a-teremtes-unnepe-video_9c723da99.html. One of the side issues that interested me was reported to me. While in Budapest in the summer of 2011, Hungarian Television had interviewed me as part of the religious broadcast output on Eco-Congregations, and what we as churches could do to improve the environment. During this visit I met up with Tamas Kodacsy who informed that the Science dept of the Television Company had been intrigued by this development in the Churches, and wanted to know more. This apparently gave rise to a series on the “Green God” with a focus on the Church and the environment.
Photos left to right: School presentation; Hajdunanas Reformed Church
You can access the report to the Kirk session by clicking on the link: Visit to Hajdunanas 2012