One of these was: "What is going to happen in the future? I believe the Lord started to prepare the future of this Congregation and for us, too, with this letter. We never know what the future holds. We do not see clearly what the next hour will bring into our life. But if we hear and listen to the Scriptures and are open to follow in the direction that God leads us, then we truly see the miracles and mysterious ways in which He works in our lives.

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One of these was: "What is going to happen in the future? I believe the Lord started to prepare the future of this Congregation and for us, too, with this letter. We never know what the future holds. We do not see clearly what the next hour will bring into our life. But if we hear and listen to the Scriptures and are open to follow in the direction that God leads us, then we truly see the miracles and mysterious ways in which He works in our lives.

Then we realize that there is nothing to fear in our future. We seriously considered the contents of the above mentioned letter. In March, I had the opportunity to meet with the Pulpit Committee, and we got to know each other and to discuss the future that God may have prepared for both parties. Those two hours with the Committee will always stay in my memory because of their openness, kindness, and Christian love. They showed me their responsible concern for the best interests of the Congregation.

I was very tired that day after my long trip by plane and bus from Ohio, but once here, I was revitalized by these nice people. That was the turning point, when I decided: if they like me, I will give them a positive answer to their call. I have many memories of those first weeks, and we will never forget the love and fellowship with which the Congregation welcomed us.

The opening question has at least one answer: the new Pastor is here. But what are the next steps? How can I bring new elements into its community life? Looking back on the past five months, we have had a number of successes.

The Hungarian Heritage Group adds a new dimension to our Church activities. I have some more ideas for the coming year, but these will remain only plans without your support and participation. During the year, it was necessary to renovate and upgrade the parsonage and the other buildings. We are grateful to the Church Council for providing us with comfortable living accommodations and for the generous gift to help us furnish our home.

In addition, we also express our heartfelt thanks to all the members of the Congregation and friends who surprised us with various gifts. The Church Council acted in an outstanding manner during the time of transition in the last year.

While having no resident or installed Pastor, it competently led the Congregation and managed to resolve all of the problems that arose. Thanks to all of the Council members, especially the Officers, and last, but not least, to our Chief Elder, Mr.

Kim Latkovich. I was pleased to take part in all the activities of the different organizations of the Congregation. I tried to give advice where I could.

Thank you for your input, which helps me to better serve the congregation. Without this assistance, my ministry would be poorer and weaker. Please read the Vital Statistics carefully. I am sorry to report, we had no weddings, only one confirmant, and 17 funerals.

I not only want to report these facts, but I would like to discuss and develop a plan to try to increase or, at least, stabilize our membership. I was introduced to and greeted the General Assembly of the Synod when it met in Carteret. It was an honor for our Congregation to welcome the newly installed Bishop, Rt. Andor Demeter, and that he conducted his first service among us. Since my arrival, I have made several visits to members in hospitals and in their homes, but not as many as I would like to.

If I could not go somewhere, I called our members or sent cards. I promise you, I will make visitations a priority this year. Finally, I would like to thank all those who helped us come here, to settle down here, and to become familiar with all our new circumstances: - Rev. Imre Bertalan, Dean, who oversaw my election and forthcoming service in this Congregation; - Rev. Francis Vitez and Rev. Albert Kovacs, who served the Congregation during the transition period; - Rev. Kim Latkovich, who gave me all the information I needed to know to be your good Pastor; - Miss Priscilla Hunyady, who is our advisor, assistant in all areas that are unfamiliar to us, language consultant, friend, and sister in Christ; and - Aniko Kocsis, my wife, and my children, who are always by my side and encourage me to be prepared for all circumstances in order to better serve the Lord.

There are many others whom I should mention. Please forgive me if I have omitted your names, but I will try to thank each of you personally. I ask you to accept my report. Let us pray to our God for His blessings in the forthcoming year.

Faithfully in His Service, Rev. The present generation of the Magyar Reformed Church of Perth Amboy is blessed and privileged because: - you knew the former generations of the Congregation which kept this fellowship alive; - you inherited a great gift, which gives you the possibility to establish your present congregational work and mission; - you are the members who had the joy of celebrating the th Anniversary of our Congregation; - you and your children are the ones who will make the marks on the first pages of the second one hundred years of our Congregation.

I, as the sixth installed Pastor of our Congregation, feel that I am privileged, too. I am at the end of a line which started with the Rev. Joseph Kozma and was followed by other highly respected Ministers throughout the century. Let me make just a footnote comment that all the Pastors of our Church came from Hungary or the former territories of the Country.

I came here from a congregation, which was established in , just three years after the Reformation. It does not matter how old we are, or how long our history is.

These are the major themes upon which I will try to summarize the year , which is already behind us. Praise the Lord that we had time to preach, to celebrate the various worship services and funeral services, to teach in the Sunday School, and to prepare our young friends for confirmation.

You can read the Sunday attendance in our bulletins; I hope these numbers make us more concerned about our personal mission toward family members and friends who do not come to church often. The average is 48 at the English Service and 15 at the Hungarian, which is a growing number. God gave us enough spiritual power to heal the wounded and encourage the depressed ones. There is a great number of elderly people in our Congregation; they especially needed the visits and phone calls throughout the year.

I focused on meeting with the family members of those who lost their loved ones. I was pleased when our members came to me and asked for my spiritual advice to solve their personal problems.

I made visitations to those who were in hospitals and nursing homes to bring them the Good News and to express the get-well wishes of the Congregation. It was also important to minister to those Hungarian-speaking friends who are in this country to work, but they feel lonely because they lack the English language skills. It is good to know that we are not alone; there are other Christians who feel the same as we do.

Attila Kocsis, Sr. We also welcomed the members of the Linden Church after they merged with us. That Congregation had a year history, and now we are happy to welcome and include them in the Perth Amboy church family.

We are looking forward to establishing a closer and more active relationship with their groups and organizations. The Congregation owns a school for mentally and physically disabled children, where they educate 53 children, ages These two activities give me more work, but the trust placed in me gives me enough power to fulfill these duties.

I did it before, but when we summarize the year , I would like to give thanks to everyone who helped my ministry, supported our personal and familial life. It was a great moment for our family when our oldest son and my mother visited in February. She was so happy to share her baking expertise with the women of the Church. It was a most surprising gift when my father arrived to be with us at my installation.

I will never forget this great gift of the Congregation! Without your empathy, love, help, and, above all of these, your prayers, we would not be able to do our work. God bless you for everything. It is very important to recognize who your co-workers are, those who you work with as a team.

The Church Council performed an outstanding service throughout the year of our Jubilee. The Officers and the Chairpersons of the different committees organized their work efficiently and shared their ideas with the Council in order to make the past year a success. It was a distressing phone call when I heard the news that our Chief Elder, Mr. Kim Latkovich, was in the hospital.

Thanks be to God that he is better now! We are all with him and his family, and he should know that a lot of people are praying for him and his healing. Although it was hard to understand, but because of the circumstances, we accept his resignation as Chief Elder. He was an exemplary leader of our congregation during his tenure as Chief Elder. We hope that this will only be a brief break, and that we will see him as the leader of our Congregation again some time in the near future.

Thanks to the Church Secretaries, Mrs. Arlene Sabo and Miss Priscilla Hunyady, who were always ready to prepare the Sunday Bulletins, the Newsletters, and all the official letters.

We also honor Mrs. Lillian Banyacski, our Organist, who continues to faithfully serve our congregation by leading our singing and conducting the Choir. My report and all the other reports in this Yearbook, on one hand, are summaries of the past year, but, on the other hand, they are mirrors, too. What did we do in the past and what should we learn from it for the future? May God help us to do so! Yours in Christ, Rev. Attila A.


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