Newsletter of the RCH (Reformed Church in Hungary) - 15 September 2014
Annual Report, 2013 — CRISIS IN UKRAINE—Nobody Knows What's Coming
Tiny Moldova exists between East and West, between past and future
Under strong EU pressure, in May 2013 Moldova's parliament deputies passed a law on equal opportunity for women and men. Much to the dismay of evangelicals, this law includes passages supporting the rights of sexual minorities….Scrunched in between Romania in the West and the Ukrainian-Russian monolith in the East, Moldova is profoundly in-between. The country and its churches are also squeezed in between an East European past and a likely West European future.
The Europe Area, as defined here, reaches from Iceland to Siberia. In the last seven years, the nations of the Europe Area have been drawn together by a common need to build a new regional and national identity to replace the one they lost when the old division of East and West, as defined by the Iron Curtain, ceased to exist.
The new European identity has its own new divisions, to be sure; there are the rich nations of the north and west and the poor ones in the south and east. There are the nations of the (mostly nominally) Christian West and the nations that identify themselves in one way or another as Muslim. Inside the nominally Christian part of Europe, there are the nations that use the Latin alphabet and those that use a Cyrillic script, a division that coincides roughly with ancient boundaries between the old Russian Empire and its Slavic allies on the Cyrillic side and the old Hohenzollern and Hapsburg empires on the Latin side. Finally there are the nations that are members of NATO, the nations that want to join and probably will, the nations that want to join but won't be allowed and Russia and Belarus, which are quite unhappy about the likelihood that NATO will expand in their direction.
The churches in each part of Europe also face their own special challenges: In central and eastern Europe, the church is re-establishing congregations, seminaries and diaconal ministries of all kinds as it recovers from decades of oppression. In southern Europe the church is offering a faithful evangelical witness at the same time it is seeking to demonstrate to its Muslim neighbors that it approaches them as a respectful friend and not as an enemy. In northern and western Europe the church is trying to model for their entire societies how it is possible to integrate immigrants and refugees from the poorer nations to Europe's south and east. All over the region the churches and individual Christians are working to embody Christ's imperative for peacemaking.
All countries in this area are listed below. Countries with Web pages giving Presbyterian-specific information are highlighted. For other countries, there is currently no PC(USA) involvement in this country or the Web pages have not yet been prepared. The PC(USA) also participates in or relates to work in other countries through ecumenical relationships. See an interactive map of Europe and find countries in which the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) serves.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Scotland — See United Kingdom
Regional liaisons (mission co-workers):
Doug Baker, regional liaison for Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Burkhard Paetzold, regional liaison for Central and Eastern Europe
Ellen Smith, regional liaison for Eastern Europe
See the 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 276
Central Asia, p. 324, November 10
I am the Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Carlisle, cental PA. Eric and Becky Hinderliter, now serving in Lithuania, are members of the Pine Street Church in our Presbytery. We are planning a trip next year to continue conversation we have had with the Reformed Church of Lithuania. I am seeking other American Presbyterians who have been working with the Lithuanian Church or the Hinderliters. I do not believe there is now Lithuanian mission network. I also would like to invite the area coordinator or regional liasion or Hunter Farrell to also join us on our trip.