CEDAR LANE VOICES ON MULTICULTURAL, PLURALISTIC SPIRITUALITY
The Unitarian religion is practiced by ethnic Hungarians in approximately 120 churches in Romania. Almost every church has a partner church in the U.S. There are many shared elements of religious perspectives between UUs in the United States and churches in Transylvania, but there are also significant differences. The Unitarians at our partner church are Christians. Below are excerpts of an essay shared by UUPCC written by Transylvanian Unitarians to explain their beliefs: “God is One and indivisible. The man Jesus is an example . The Holy Spirit is the power for good within.” The Unitarian “ethic is to emphasize the possibility of repentance, free will and freedom of choice, the innerness of religion as opposed to other forms and ceremonies. It requires reason among humans and progressive change in the principles of one’s faith and a continuing endeavor to bring into harmony the findings of science and religion.”
“The love of God and other people are the essence of Jesus’ message. God is Spirit and God is Love. The Holy Spirit is the cause of life in us and is also a teaching power, guiding people towards good.” “Jesus is human. He is our master in teaching and our guide…the greatest representative of faith, reason and freedom.” “The Bible is a collection of man-created writings which were inspired by God… and reflect a certain historical time and place. The most important part of the Bible is the four gospels where one can learn about Jesus’ life and teachings.” “Humans can be recognized if they love each other, if they are merciful, humble, peaceful and generous…humanness and love must be visible in all our actions.”
“Conscience is free. Everyone follows their own best understanding. Thus, to be Unitarian means the acceptance and complete freedom in matters of religion. Unitarian and individual freedom belong together.”
Unitarians in Transylvania celebrate the sacraments of baptism, marriage, confirmation and funerals. Communion is observed four times a year and is meant to commemorate Jesus’ teachings and affirm one’s intention to be part of the community of his followers. Communion dates are Christmas, Easter (which confirms one’s belief in the immortal soul), Pentecost (which celebrates Jesus’ teachings as shared by the witness of the disciples) and Autumn Thanksgiving during the last Sunday in September to give thanks for the harvest.
A common phrase is “Egy az Istan” or “God is One.”
On April 14-15, Cedar Lane will host Rev. Roger Bertschausen, Executive Director of the UU Partner Church Council will be at Cedar Lane to facilitate a Partner “Refresh” weekend to explore strengthening our congregational ties with Dicsőszentmárton. In addition, Cedar Lane will be commemorating Torda450 on Sunday. All members and friends are invited. The goals of partner church work are to promote peace, justice and liberty; to share pilgrimage, hospitality and service; to challenge ourselves theologically and to create global friendships. Like any relationship, our 21-year-old partner church relationship needs nourishing! More general information can be found at www.uupcc.org.