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Sister City: Velence, Hungary
In February of 1998, four residents of the Hungarian town of Velence paid a visit to Round Hill through an affiliation between the Velence and Round Hill Baptist Churches. As one of their many stops in the Round Hill area, they asked to meet with the Mayor and members of the Town Council.
Hungary has only recently shed communist political and economic systems. The transition from a centrally-controlled national government to local autonomy has not been an easy one. While the Town of Velence has more control over what happens in their local area, they also have the responsibility to provide the services that were once provided by the Budapest government.
With the lifting of communism, organized religion has flourished. While always a very important element of Hungarian heritage, local churches have seen significant growth in membership now that the people are able to openly worship without the threat of government sanction. In August of 1998, the Velence Baptist Church completed and dedicated their new church building.
The pastor of this church, the Reverend Sandor Szenczy, extended an invitation to the Town of Round Hill to become Velence's American Sister City.
Subsequent resolutions, adopted by each town's governing body, have formalized this relationship. As a first step, local residents Kim and Dennis Sandretzky and their children spent the summer in Velence on a mission from the Baptist Church.
The Town is interested in any ideas or suggestions the local community may have with respect to establishing an on-going relationship with the people of Velence. Please feel free to complete the feedback form and let us know what ideas you may have.