Hungarian Reformed Churches

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Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Does anyone have any experience with or verifiable information regarding the Hungarian Reformed Churches that exist throughout North America? I'm especially wondering about one particular group. On their website, they list the Second Helvetic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism as their doctrinal standards, and specifically say that "The spirit of these two classic confessional books shapes our preaching and teaching ministry, Christian education and confirmation instruction, church life and personal piety," implying that they are not mere historical documents with no binding authority (think PCUSA). That confessional statement, as well as their statement on Scripture at the same page above, seem to suggest positive things about their nature as a truly confessional Reformed church.

There are also several things, however, that raise a red flag in my mind, and make for some confusion as well. For one thing, it is vague (at least to me) from that website just exactly what ecclesiastical structure they are held together by, if any. The site lists four classes in North America, which would suggest a presbyterial ecclesiology. Yet some of the congregations, for instance, are listed as United Church of Christ. Is that merely the meeting place of those congregations? If not, what exactly is the relationship between their respective classes and the UCC?

Furthermore, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (PCUSA, EPC, RCA, CRCNA, UCC, Cumberland, etc.) lists the "Hungarian Reformed Church in America" as one of their U.S. member churches. Likewise, the site at CalvinSynod.org lists WARC in one of their pages of links. Because of the vague nature of the ecclesiastical and confessional relationship between the various congregations, however, I'm not even sure what that necessarily means, and whether it is the exact same group, or two different groups with some some type of overlap. For one thing, the church on the WARC site has no listed website, which would be odd if it were in fact the exact same group (with no distinctions) as the one at CalvinSynod.org. Likewise, the central mailing address listed for the HRCA at WARC is in Ontario, and there are no congregations listed in Ontario on the CalvinSynod.org site.

Ultimately, I may end up sending an e-mail to the address given on the WARC site to simply ask for clarification as to whether their church is identical to or overlaps with the one at CalvinSynod.org. I figured I would see if anyone here already had some knowledge or experience with the churches. If they are the same, that will certainly call into question the truth of their actual confession and enforcement of the HC and the Second Helvetic. (But they very well may be different - after all, the Korean-American Presbyterian Church is a member of NAPARC, while the Korean Presbyterian Church in America has close ties with the PCUSA. As that illustrates, there are distinct groups out there with almost identical names, especially with foreign-named groups like Korean and Hungarian churches.) Even if they are different, however, I still wonder about the ecclesiastical nature of the HRC's at CalvinSynod.org, especially in light of the UCC-listed congregations.
 
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