Providing a suitable building for the growing outreach ministries of the mission oriented church.
Describe the need affecting community
An almost 100-year-old UMC congregation in Miskolc has been living and doing its ministries in an outdated church building for several decades. The present building is not suitable for the essential needs of the church: community programs, children and youth work, even the sanctuary is very small. It was built in the communist times when no permission was given to build real churches, only a family house was allowed to be built. The congregation has used this building for more than 60 years where sometimes 80-100 young people participated at youth conferences. The congregation has a wide range of mission activities. The first Methodist Roma mission was started by this congregation in the region in Alsozsolca in 1952. Since then that Roma congregation has the biggest membership in the UMC Hungary and is still supported by the Miskolc congregation. There is also a highly qualified choir in the congregation led by a couple who have given concerts not only in the local church but also at country-wide and international Methodist and ecumenical events and conferences. This is a tool to reach out to many people as well. The circuit includes a village congregation in Kistokaj as well with open mission-spirited active members. The Annual Conference has been planning to solve the need of the congregation for a suitable facility for 20 years. After many obstacles, financial and other difficulties the UMC in Hungary decided to have this project a priority in the church.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
The new church building will house the UMC congregation in Miskolc, will provide space and facilities for the various ministries (children, youth, community events, etc) and will have a pastor’s apartment as well. It will help the congregation to reach out to the people in the neighborhood and in the city, it will provide enough space to have events for all the circuit (3 settlements), ecumenical events, concerts, etc.
Describe the primary goal of the project
The primary goal is to provide a suitable building for the congregation and for the pastor’s family in the circuit of Miskolc. On the long term we hope to achieve the strengthening of the mission of the congregation. We expect the doubling of the membership of the congregation in the next 10 years. We also expect the increase of the number of children and youth. The choir will have an opportunity to extend its ministry of high quality music in the big city. The congregation will have more opportunities to reach out and help people in need in the city.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
We envision an enthusiastic and motivated congregation coming to church on Sundays with great joy, youth spending time in the building together for different activities and sharing, after the worship services the children running around are not willing to go home. The people in the neighborhood and by-passers enter the church seeing the loving and welcoming church members. Families come with joy to celebrate their special events in the church (baptism, wedding, anniversaries, confirmation…). Our dream is to have the Annual Conference of the UMC in Hungary in this new building in 2019 or 2020, and we are looking forward to house international (Central Conference) church events as well.