First Parish Church in Weston has been a long supporter of the Partner Church movement, in which a UU church here in the United States is paired with a Unitarian church in another part of the world, most often in Transylvania, the Philippines, or India. We have been partners and friends with the members of the Unitarian Church in Torda, Romania since 1990. In addition to exchanging gifts of support, members of our church have visited the Torda Community and welcomed the Torda ministers in Weston.
The following is an online version of an exhibit we put together to celebrate our Partner Church program and document our collective journey. This was created by church member Larry Coburn and then converted to an online format by church member Geoff Blum. We hope you enjoy it.
The Torda – First Parish Partnership
The First 28 Years
When the “Cold War” between the United States and Russia ended in late 1989, much of Eastern Europe found itself floundering. Among the many institutions that found themselves in dire straits was the Unitarian Church of Transylvania (northeastern Romania). Five decades of repression by a hateful communist government had left the founding body of Unitarianism in a shambles – physically and financially.
Following a model first implemented after World War I, the Unitarian-Universalist Association in the Unites States resurrected a “Sister Church” program which paired American and Canadian congregations with churches in cities, towns, and villages in Transylvania. First Parish Church in Weston was honored by being partnered with the Unitarian Church in the large town of Torda, the location where the “founding document” of Unitarianism, the Edict of Torda, was promulgated in 1568.
In 2018, on the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda, First Parish celebrated the event with a display in the Mary Jo Rines Art Gallery depicting the first 28 years of the Torda-First Parish relationship. What follows is that display, in modified form.
1568: A Milestone for Toleration
Site of Diet of Torda
Painting: Diet of Torda
The Edict of Torda
Partnership Is Go
UUA Letter Designating Partner
Translation of First Letter From Torda
1992: Meeting Face to Face
1993: The First Pilgrimage
1994/2000 Rev. Fazakas Visits
2005: Weston Embraces New Minister
2007/2008: Growing the Partnership
2009: Welcoming Rev. Joza
2010: The Partnership Turns 20
2014: The Latest Pilgrimage
The Future Partnership