The Hungarian United Church of Montreal bids farewell to its minister

After sixteen years of pastoral service, Reverend Attila György has left his position at the helm of the Hungarian United Church of Montreal at 50 Graham Boulevard, in the Town of Mount Royal. The community bid farewell to its outgoing minister during a celebration known in Hungarian as Új Kenyér (or New Bread), which is tied to the harvest and somewhat comparable to the Scottish custom of the kirn. The community gathered for a lunch after Sunday service and Rev. György offered the following words of farewell:

“According to the Book of Ecclesiastes, ‘for everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.’ That is to say, nothing lasts forever on Earth, but rather only in Heaven. As such, there is a time for arrivals and departures. Let us therefore ask the Creator Lord to take care of everyone. Let the blessings grow a thousandfold and let there be peace in every heart.”

Rev. Attila György on the left on the August 25th celebration at the Hungarian United Church of Montreal. Photo: Enikő Orbán Nagy

On the website of the Hungarian United Church, otherwise a wealth of information, there is no mention at all of who might replace Rev. György, nor is anything announced on the congregation’s Facebook page, nor indeed in the most recent issue of their newsletter, the Református Hiradó. That said, the community does have a line-up of various events planned for this fall, including the start of a new year for the Sunday school, beginning September 15th, apple picking on September 29th and an autumn field trip on October 12-13.

Sunday lunch in the hall of the Hungarian United Church in Montreal on August 25th. Photo: Enikő Orbán Nagy.

Attila György was born in Hungary in 1966. He completed his theological studies, including as Master of Divinity, in Kolozsvár (Cluj) in 1995 and then served a Reformed congregation in the Hungarian town of Gárdony. He was elected by the assembly of the Hungarian United Church congregation, a pastoral charge of the United Church of Canada, to serve as their new minister as of March 1, 2003 and continued in that role until his departure at the end of August. In a 2012 Hungarian-language radio interview, he had the following to say about Canada:

“Canada is country where there is still, perhaps, a thin strand of hope for the creation of a truly humane society. A few hopeful societies were built on the ruins of the British Empire, notably New Zealand, Australia and Canada. Perhaps I would not list the United States here at the present moment, but of course one must not give up hope. On the foundation set by Anglo-Saxon parliamentary democracy, Common Law, the notion of individual initiative that still emphasizing a communitarian society, positive things can emerge, such as Scandinavian style social solidarity that we see in Canada. There exists a desire to help, a fundamental Canadian goodwill and benevolence which, however this may sound, was refreshing for someone coming from the Carpathian Basin. This is something we did not experience back home.”

Those who became acquainted with Rev. György in Montreal probably knew him as a man with definite views and wide-ranging interests. We wish him and his family well as he begins a new chapter in his life.

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