Thursday, October 3, 2013

Last December, I received a phone call from the principal of a high school in my area. For financial reasons, the school decided to ask the United Methodist Church in Hungary to take over its management.

I phoned the principal back in January, and then I visited the school.

Its four-member leadership team received me once I arrived, and I was prepared to tell them about the difficulties of their decision. I wanted to convince them why it would not work.

But when I asked them why they chose our church, I was surprised by their responses.

They talked about how they appreciated the global character of the United Methodist Church, its emphasis on strengthening the spirit and their agreement with the Church’s social principles, as well as how their interactions with Methodists had positively impacted them.

And because the United Methodist Church is a global church, they hoped that its connections around the world could help them develop English language classes or English camps for their students.

But I was most surprised by how well they knew the Hungarian edition of The Upper Room. Even its name, Csendes Percek, which translates as “Quiet Moments,” struck them.

Its meditations gave them insight into the spirituality of our church, as well as its ministry in helping and nurturing people.

Together, we talked about different ways the church could be present within the school’s programs.

One educator suggested organizing “Quiet Moment” lessons “because both students and teachers need such moments.”

There are still a lot of questions and decisions to make regarding this potential partnership, and we are currently in the process of developing this relationship.

But regardless of what happens, it was the message of The Upper Room that served as a source of encouragement and strength for these educators.


István Csernák

Superintendent of UMC in Hungary

Editor and Publisher of Csendes Percek