First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego is honored to be a Partner Church to the Unitarian Church of Brassó in Romania.
In 1991 our Church joined a then-new program pairing American UU Congregations with Unitarian Churches in Transylvania; this began our relationship with the Unitarian congregation in Brásso, Romania. Two visits by their minister, Sándor Máthé helped put a human face on the relationship and give us insight into the spiritual depth of their branch of our shared religious tradition.
1995 Friendship Tour
Over 50 of us made this trip into Romania and Hungary, part of the time staying with families in both city and village. We learned about each other, shared meals and worship, and became no longer strangers. We also brought the gift of music, as our Choir sang in venues large and small, with the highlight being a performance at the first ever joint religious event in the historic "Black Church" of Brásso.
15 travelers from First Church undertookthis Transylvanian pilgrimage. We stayed with host families in Brassó, where we participated in the dedication of their new multi-purpose building (still under construction); the ceremony was attended by the city mayor as well as the Unitarian Bishop. We visited a number of historic sites, including the centuries-old Unitarian Church at Skékelyderzs, a UNESCO World Heritage site with medieval frescoes, the Unitarian Church in Kolosvár, where we passed around the 16th-century golden chalice which was only recently recovered after the government had seized it during the Communist era, and we attended the Sunday Service at First Unitarian Church in Budapest.
Through this relationship we have learned much about our denomination’s historical roots, and what it has meant for these, our spiritual kin, to live their faith through times of persecution as well as cultural and economic change. During the aftermath of Iron Curtain days, their Partner Church link to the outside world provided a source of strength and hope; now, in our reciprocal relationship, as we offer them economic advice and support, they continue to teach us about the depth of our faith. Together we are learning how to express and live our liberal faith in the 21st century.