Our Partner Church
Want to support a scholarship student? Gizi Nagy, our long-time friend and close contact with Marosvasarhely has asked if we would be willing to add a third scholarship student. HIs name is Hunor Torok. He wishes to become a sound technician. He’s already acted as an apprentice for some months but his employer, who wanted to hire him permanently, could not do so because Hunor lacks the necessary diploma. He can acquire that diploma by attending a one-year course of study at Sapientia University in Kolozsvar. The cost of the course is $600. Gizi and Laci Nagy plan to contribute $100; they’re hopeful that five families from Winchester will also chip in $100 apiece. Hunor’s family is in no position to be of help. If you’re interested in joining Gizi and Laci, please contact either John Russell (781-729-8128 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Karen Erikson (781-729-7249 or email@example.com). The commitment is for one year only.
As you know, we are currently supporting two scholarship students from our Partner Church in Marosvasarhely: Gyongyi Erdei is in her last year at the university majoring in Romanian and English studies; Ibolya Kedei is working toward the certifications that will allow her to teach Unitarianism in the Transylvanian public schools.
Who are these Partners? They’re members of a large Unitarian congregation in Marosvasarhely, Transylvania, a part of Romania heavily populated by ethnic Hungarians. Transylvania was the sixteenth century birthplace of Unitarianism. Ethnicity and religion have combined to place present day Transylvanian Unitarians at a disadvantage in a society that still struggles to recover from forty years under communism. Because the Romanian government offers few social services, our partner church provides financial assistance to those out of work, a support group for abused women and children, and in other ways goes far beyond what we expect from churches in the United States.
What does a Partner Do? Most important, we make reciprocal visits that foster mutual understanding and create lasting friendships. Small groups of Winchester Unitarian Society adults traveled to Marosvasarhely in 1994, 1997, 2000, and 2006. Thirteen Winchester adults and youth made the trip in 2007 and, in the summer, 2008, sixteen youth and adults from Marosvasarhely, including minister, Laci Nagy, and wife, Gizi Nagy, visited Winchester for ten days. Following this growing trend, twenty-two Winchester adults and youth returned to visit our partner church in summer 2010, touring Prague and Budapest also. We have also supported seven university-level scholarship students. Five have graduated (Emoke in pharmacology, Botond in law, Lorand in music and Orsi & Moni in nursing). We continue to support Lorand in graduate school, Timea in medical school and Zsolt in pharmacology. We have also been helping our partner church support their student minister Marton. Finally, for over a decade, the Society has sent the proceeds of its Christmas Eve collection to its partner church.
- History of Transylvanian UUs