Our Partner Church
History of Unitarian Universalist Partner Churches
In sixteenth-century Transylvania (now Romania), Unitarian congregations were established for the first time in history. These churches continue to preach the Unitarian message. The UU Partner Church Council was formed because of concern about Transylvanian Unitarian churches in Romania needing assistance after the fall of communism. Since the Council’s establishment, more than 190 relationships have been formed between U.S. and Canadian congregations and churches in other countries, largely in Romania, India, and the Philippines.
Our Partner Church
To support our ties with Trransylvanian Unitarians, UUSD became a partner with a church in Tordatur, Romania in 2010, after UUSD members, Ceil and Tom Toth, made a visit to the Tordatur church. In 2012, the Tordatur minister, Rev. Piroska Bodor, and her husband, Marton Csette, visited UUSD for five weeks, funded by generous donations from the UUSD congregation. Eight UUSD members made a pilgrimage to Hungary and Romania in 2014, staying with members of the Tordatur church.
The Toths returned to Tordatur in 2015 and 2017. A beautiful carving of our church was presented to the Toths on Sunday, May 21, 2017 by Rev. Bodor and the Tordatur congregation. The talented carver, Istvan Lazar from the village of Aranyosrakos, also made two other wooden plaques that were given to UUSD as gifts from our partner church.
Our Partner Church Committee
- Corresponds with the Tordatur minister
- Shares information about our services and life of our congregations
- Develops programs for possible visits
- Creates a dialogue to analyze the differences and similarities between us
- Plans joint activities that can be held simultaneously in both congregations
2017 Steward of Partnership Award
Each year the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council, the coordinating body for all the partner church activity underway between UU congregations in the U.S. and Unitarian or Universalist churches in other parts of the world, presents a “Steward of Partnership Award” to leaders in a UU congregation for outstanding performance in managing their specific partnership. In 2017, Tom and Ceil Toth (from UUSD) were recipients of the 2017 Steward of Partnership award for their leadership role in managing UUSD’s partnership with the Tordatur Unitarian church in Transylvania, Romania.
The official award reads: “To Tom & Ceil Toth – For tireless efforts on behalf of the partnership between the Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware and Tordatur, Transylvania. Celebrating your remarkable dedication to building and nurturing the continuing connection with your partner church, and acknowledging that partnerships do not sustain themselves, but require time, attention, and loving care to maintain. We thank you for the gift of your commitment, to your church, to your partnership, and to the Partner Church movement.” It is signed by Rev. Roger Bertschausen, Executive Director.