Rev. Aaron C. Stevens,
- Moved to Budapest in December of 1993, planning to teach English "for a year or two.”
- Married to a Hungarian and has two children born in Budapest.
- Graduated from Union-PSCE in Richmond, Virginia with Masters degrees in Divinity and Christian Education.
- Minister of the Church of Scotland and the PCUSA.
- Currently Convener of the Business Committee for the International Presbytery
In his sermons, Aaron hopes to deliver messages that are faithful to the scriptures and relevant to our everyday lives. In his pastoral care, he considers it a privilege to listen to people’s thoughts, questions and feelings and to discern together God’s direction.
Coming from a wide variety of nationalities and religious backgrounds, our members include people who were born in Hungary, people who have chosen to come here for study or work, and people who have come fleeing persecution in their home country.
Some of us come from English-speaking countries, many do not.
Our services feel familiar to people coming from mainline Protestant churches, and there are also Roman Catholics who make our church their spiritual home while in Budapest.
No particular church background is necessary to take part in our services, and we welcome people from other religious backgrounds or with no clear religious identity to worship with us.
What connects the members of our community is a desire to connect with God and with each other in an English-speaking context.
The office of elder is one of the spiritual offices of the Church of Scotland and is concerned with the oversight and pastoral work of a congregation.
“Oversight” of the congregation means management of property, finance, communication, etc. Elders are not ministers, and quite often their professional experience means they bring practical skills to church management.
The “pastoral work” of elders means that elders care for the people of the church, not just the property. An elder might pray with someone who is ill, teach Sunday School, or have a cup of tea with someone going through a tough time. Elders sometimes inform the minister of which people might need special attention. Finally, elders pray for the people.
Together, the ministers and elders make up the “Kirk Session,” sometimes just called “the Session.”
At St. Columba’s, the Kirk Session normally meets on the first Monday of the month to discuss matters of oversight and pastoral care. These meetings are open to the public unless it is agreed that a particular matter is best discussed in private.
Our congregation belongs to the Church of Scotland and the Reformed Church in Hungary. Both of these churches are members of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and with our Presbyterian government and theology, we are at home in both churches.
Although our church was founded by Scots 175 years ago, it was only with the cooperation, support and service of Hungarians that we survived many turbulent periods, including times when Scots were not allowed to remain but the congregation continued just the same!
Within the CofS, we are part of the International Presbytery, and within the RCH it is the North Budapest Presbytery in which we lie.