11/2019 – Sad News from our Partner Church

We often find that there are interesting parallels between UUCM  and our partner church in Szekelyszentmihaly, Transylvania, Romania.  One terribly unfortunate one this year has to do with the congregation’s president and cancer.  We learned of the recent death of Varga Denes (Denko) and Rev. Tamas recently relayed more information and explained the impact of his friend’s death.

“We have been going through a very difficult year and it’s not over yet… Unfortunately, this year every plan or activity has been overshadowed by the illness of our beloved Denko. He got ill in April and from then until September we went from one doctor to the other, from one hospital to the other. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he had no chance. His illness and his death has affected us deeply in every aspect. We have lost a very good man, friend and companion … it broke our hearts. Moreover, the man worked so much for this congregation, and now 90% of his work has fallen on my back, thus unfortunately i don’t have time for anything. I am sorry that our partnership/friendship got so neglected, I really hope we can breathe new life into it from now on. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…”

Another interesting coincidence is that their building was build in 1870.

“This  year’s most outstanding event was the celebration of our church’s 150 years of existence. This was the last congregational event in which Denko took part, even if only for a short while. It was a blessed and moving celebration.”

After our meetings and trips in 2016, Rev. Tamas asked that we change our focus  to “friendship and travel” vs scholarships and capital projects as we’d undertaken previously.  I try and respect that wish, but also often probe into any ways that we can support their community.  In the spring/summer of 2018, they’d hoped to build a playground near the school.  Since it is a public building, they need the co-operation of local government (mayor of 13 nearby villages).

“And about the playground: unfortunately our mayor did not keep his promise and he wasn’t able to make a fence around the area. So, for now we are left with our plans, because until the area is fenced in, it is impossible to make the playground, since it is near the main road. We are waiting for the mayor to do his part… but knowing him, we don’t expect too much from him. So the area is prepared, our ideas are ready in our heads, but only God knows how much time will take to accomplish them, it depends on the fence…”

“We would like to set our relationship on the old footing, moreover to add a lot more to it. I’m hoping that soon we will recover from this emotional state, since the whole congregation had been shaken by the loss of our right hand Denko. We need to reorganise the whole functioning of the congregation. We are sending our greetings to the whole congregation, wishing you all the best int he world. 

Love, Kinga and Tamas”

01/2018 – New Gate Marks 450th Anniversary

Inspired by the anniversary, our partner church in Szekelyzentmihaly completed a beautiful new gate welcoming people visiting the church.  This style of gate is seen everywhere in the Szekely region of Transylvania and is a beautiful art form.  There are dozens of gates at residences in our village, each with unique carvings.

This year marks the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda, which allowed local communities to freely elect their preachers rather than following the state church.

01/2017 – An Update from Tamás & Kinga

Our partner church, in the village of Szekelyszentmihaly, in the Transylvanian region of Romania.

Tamás & Kinga sent a long letter about events in Szekelyszentmihaly. Highlights include:

  • Tamás and Kinga will welcome a new baby in September.
  • In November, the bishop will visit; an event that only happens every 35-40 years. This is a huge event!
  • There will be a ceremonial inauguration for Tamás.
  • One-quarter of the

05/2016 – UUCM Welcomes Partner Church Minister and Family

 Reverend Tamás Tófalvi visited UUCM from our Partner Church in Szekelyszentmihaly, Transylvania. He was accompanied by his wife Kinga, who is an English teacher, and their 8-month old daughter.  Read more about Rev. Tamás Tófalvi and his family.

During their 3-week stay in Milford, NH, the Tófalvis attended numerous church and local activities and visiting Boston, New York City, and the Maine coast.  See photos from their visit.

Rev. Tófalvi participated in the regular 10:30 am church services during their visit.  Read his Reflections from  May 22 or May 29.

8/2014 – Partner Church’s New Minister

The enthusiastic new English-speaking minister, Tamás Tófalvi,  is bringing new energy into Székelyszentmihály parish.  His many diverse projects are increasing the involvement of people in church and parish activities.  Read Rev. Tófalvi’s letter.