The UUA Partner Church Program was established in early 1990 to organize a support network of North American churches to help over 150 Unitarian churches in Transylvania, Romania recover from decades of persecution by the Ceausescu regime. Resources from abroad have been essential to keep alive the Unitarian movement in the land where it originated. In the meantime, the Partnership Program has been expanded to provide support to the Unitarian movement in Hungary, the Czech Republic, India and the Philippines.
The Partner Church Task Force here at RRUUC was established in February, 1992, when we were matched with the Unitarian Church of Fiatfalva, Romania. The church, with about 300 members in a village of about 1000, all ethnic Hungarian, is led by Rev. Alpar Bartha. Over the years, in support of their efforts, we have provided enough money to bring gas heat to the church and parsonage, a scholarship fund so children from the village could attend secondary school outside the village, a salary supplement for the minister's meager salary, and enough money to help the church buy a tractor for the benefit of all the farmers of Fiatfalva. The tractor has made a significant improvement in the economic conditions there. In addition, we sent funds to supplement their own resources to renovate the church building and remodel a small house to provide space for RE classes and meetings of youth and women's groups. We sent $6,200 to assist in their renovations of the parsonage, to create a larger space for services in the winter and social events. We also support English language classes in the village. Eight delegations from RRUUC have visited Fiatfalva, with our former minister, Bill Murry, being in the first group.
On January 11, 2007 RRUUC established a second partnership with the Unitarian Church of Kyrdem in the Khasi Hills of Northeast India. There are 223 members of this church which operates a K-4 school for 78 children. A member of the Partner Church Committee visited there in February of 2007 and delivered $900 to improve conditions in the school . That money provided uniforms for the students, furniture for the school, salary supplements for the three teachers and purchased books. Production of the uniforms and furniture is stimulating the local economy because they are being fabricated locally.
Contact: Joel Schrag