Since 2003, UUSS and the Unitarian Church of Marosvásárhely, Transylvania have been growing closer together in a rewarding partnership. As our story together keeps growing and our relationship deepening, we'll include some of the records of our sharing together in these pages.
A FUSS (now UUSS) Partner Church Committee was formed in 2003, led by FUSS member Don Kerr. Through correspondence with the senior minister in Marosvásárhely, Rev. Nagy Laszlo, our minister at that time, Rev. Russ Savage, learned that the congregation was well along in the process of building a second church building. They had been crowding a 1930 church building with far more people than it could accommodate. They had begun working on a new church building in a different part of the city in 1999, planning to divide the large congregation into two parts. Bishop Arpad Szabo laid the foundation cornerstone of the new church on Stony Hill on November 21, 1999. Construction proceeded in stages, as funds became available. The dedication service of the new church took place on Sunday, December 2, 2006.
Learn here about the geography of Marosvásárhely and Transylvania, as well as more about the first Marosvásárhely Unitarian church and about Unitarianism in Transylvania.
The collaboration between the Marosvásárhely Unitarians and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady has gathered strength over the years since 2003. The first extensive contact took place on a 2003 Visit of FUSS partner church committee to Marosvásárhely, Transylvania. in late October 2003. During this period, we began to become acquainted with several of the leaders of the Marosvásárhely Unitarian community. In addition to Rev. Nagy Laszlo and his wife Gizi, we met Rev. Kecskes Csaba, the Assistant Minister, and his wife Noemi. We visited the construction site of the Stony Hill church, but the building was still 3 years away from being usable. We were hosted very graciously by the community and enjoyed 2003 Sunday service in the Marosvásárhely Unitarian Partner Church and other community events at the older (1930) Marosvásárhely church.
Beginning in 2003, FUSS undertook a fundraising effort within our congregation to help with the construction of the Stony Hill building. Over the next several years, we succeeded in making several significant contributions to the funding of the new building. Our friends in Marosvásárhely kept us posted on the progress of the construction (2004-2005, 2006, 2007, 2008-2009). Finally, in December 2006, the new building was dedicated (link to Hungarian language announcement) and became the home of the second Marosvásárhely Unitarian congregation. A delegation from FUSS (now UUSS), including Dan and Katy Leonard and Nancy Peterson, attended the dedication service, along with Rev. Russ Savage, who had retired from his ministry at FUSS (now UUSS) the year before. Rev. Kecskes Csaba was elected senior minister of the Stony Hill church.
It is our privilege to get to know and love the people of the Stony Hill Unitarian Church of Marosvásárhely. We have been able to continue providing financial support occasionally for the continued improvements needed in the building. Our alliance enjoyed a heartwarming leap forward in the fall of 2011, with the visit to Schenectady of Rev. Kecskes Csaba, his wife Noemi, and their son Peter. Since then, Rev. Kecskes and Rev. Richter, Minister of FUSS, have regularly exchanged prayers to be shared between the two congregations. Rev. Kecskes brought us some Photos of Recent Activities and progress at the Stony Hill Church. Their visit to Schenectady is recorded in more photos. And we learned while Rev. Kecskes and his family visited us of the fascinating and moving history of his family in the Unitarian Ministry in Transylvania.