Community is central to the spirit and mission of the UUCR. We are fortunate that our community extends even across two oceans, through long partnership with the Unitarian Church in the village of Alsójára (Transylvania) and a young UU in the Philippines. We are enriched by these relationships.
The Partner Church Committee—currently Marla Clough, Leslie Lemerise, Anne Mark, and Ann Mottl—works with our congregation to nurture our congregation’s relationships abroad. We welcome all to help forge these connections, in many ways—from sending greetings to joining us on the committee. Look for news and photos from our partners in newsletters and on the bulletin board. Ask us questions! We’d love to talk with you.
Our Partners in Transylvania
When the call went out in 1988 for UUs to partner with the Unitarians in Transylvania, then beleaguered under Communism, the UUCR responded—and so began the many years of exchanges between the UUCR and Alsójára congregations. At first through handwritten letters, then through e-mails, and now even Skype, we’ve shared holiday greetings and news from our congregations, sympathy over each other’s losses, congratulations at milestones such as the rededication of the Alsójára organ, and many questions and answers about UU life in the US and Unitarian life in Transylvania. In 2001 and 2006, UUCR members had the joy of going to Transylvania to visit Unitarian heritage sites and meet our Alsójára partners in person. In 2016, our congregations saw each other in full for the first time, through video greetings filmed in both sanctuaries.
The pictures below (left to right) show the Alsójára church building, a banner made by UUCR quilters in 2001 as a gift, showing UUCR on the left and Alsójára on the right, and the banner being presented to Alsójára with visitors from UUCR.
Our Partner in the Philippines
Because of the many youth in our own congregation, in 2011 we decided to partner in the education of a UU student abroad. The UU Partner Church Council introduced us to a high school student in the Philippines, Gerry—a young man interested in math and science, who is now in his third year at college studying secondary math education. We’ve enjoyed e-mailing with Gerry and have Skyped with his father and “met” his family through photos.
Partner Church Activities
Through the years, the Partner Church Committee and our congregation have organized an airlift of medical supplies to Transylvania, put on a dinner with entertainment by Hungarian folk dancers, hosted a talk by a seminarian studying at Starr King School for the Ministry, raised stipends for three seminarians in Transylvania, taken part in the UUCR’s “Edict of Torda” UU heritage church services—and much more. A longstanding tradition is our twice-yearly fundraising sale of Equal Exchange coffee and chocolate. Look for a coffee-tasting at social hour in January 2017!