🕊️ Transylvania, Week 1, Part 3 🐍 As we made our way to the southern boarder of Transylvania (our final stop for two night), we visited some fortified churches; Szekely Derzs (with 15th century frescos!), St Marton, & Nagyajta (our destination). Imagine... an impressive walled square with a watch/bell tower presiding over one corner. A low arched tunnel beckons only those who know the way to enter. Inside the green grass & flower beds blanket the lawn between the wall and the church - which stands proudly in the center. As you enter, in contrast to the two-toned/stone functionality of the exteriors, inside the churches color brings light & life to the sacred space. Somewhat unexpectedly, portions of this trip have functioned as a silent meditation for me. As the leads wrangle the youth into pews to hear the history, I am free to wander the churches & grounds at my own pace - feeling my surroundings, rather than hearing about them. The rhythm of the cobblestone, the texture of the plaster, the tone of paint pallettes, the path of light, the impact of shadows... All this and more is present in every house of worship, or buildings in general. But so often are forgotten as a means to an end. This trip has reminded me that they are so much more - they are a container, built to hold our bodies with care, so that our spirits & minds can soar beyond their walls. So, as I reflect on yesterday, I am grateful for the ancestors who build these beautiful structures not knowing - but maybe hoping - that they would still proudly hold my body and our prayers. #transylvania #transilvania #unitarius #unitarianism #uu #uufaith #church #history #architecture #seminarylife #meadvillelombard #torda450
🕊️ Transylvania, Week 1, Part 2 🐍 On Wednesday we loaded into busses & hit the road! First we stopped in Torda, home of the Edict that changed the course of religious freedom, here & in the rest of the world. We travelled back in time as the leads reenacted the debate in the local Unitarian Church. Then visited a museum that included the famous painting of the Edict and David Frances. It was humbling to be in the place where so much history unfolded while standing right next to the future of the faith. Next we headed to Torocko - a gorgeous UNESCO heritage site and a Unitarians village. We worship in the church & soaked up the natural beauty. From there we drove further south and off road to a village tucked into the mountains with a camp, home for the next two days. Between the sporadic showers, we took in the views, sang & sang & sang. I helped some small groups of the youth create nature mandalas as a spiritual practice in seeing unexpected beauty & focus on cooperation. The results were beautiful! And perhaps the best lesson/reminder of the day - sometimes the rain will come, and you will think it's time to call it a day, or you could crank up the music and dance instead! #uufaith #uu #transylvania #transilvania #meadvillelombard #unitarius #travel #history #torda450 #seminarylife #unitarianism
🕊️ Transylvania, Week 1, Part 1: 🐍 The Details - As some may or may not know, I am spending two weeks with the Unitarian Church and people in Transylvania. This first week I am accompanying a traveling confirmation camp of over 100 youth (~14yrs old) from all over Transylvania, Hungary, & Romania - all who finished confirmation in the last year. Along with 8 courageous loving clergy, they spend the week learning about Unitarian history, the history of religious freedom, and traveling to important sites around Transylvania. Our first few days were based in Kolosvar. We had a walking tour of sites around the city & a presentation on the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda and the Unitarian Church. We also did good old fashion camp things! Like play card games till it was too dark to see, sing till our voices cracked, and play catch till our arms hurt. I even lead two groups through a Zentangles meditation and reflection time - little English/Hungarian required! As you might expect at a camp, even among the adults, things got silly; selfies, games, songs,...and staying up too late chatting! The Feels - An important note, I do not speak Hungarian - I'm up to maybe four words. Yet, I continued to be amazing by the magnitude of connection that is possible simply by being present. Present to the way attention flows, how the energy changes, how reactions differ. Present to smile and shrugs, tone and tension in a way that is It is wonderful how much you can learn about each other by playing catch across a courtyard (with others running about) with not much more than your toss, catch, & a few exclamations to express yourself. Or the bonds forged over a fast paced card game full of giggles, cheers, and a little healthy competition. I've been captivated by hours of worship music of which I couldn't read a word, but could feel every ounce of enthusiasm, for being with each other and the message the songs brought. I am so grateful for the leaders who have translated for me, literally & figuratively, & welcomed me with open hearts & curious minds.♥️ #transylvania #transilvania #kolosvar #torda450 #unitarius #seminarylife #meadvillelombard #uu #uufaith
Knitting on the traveling #zorzalshawl while listening to Nicole Kirk talk about theology and lift up the ways the #Torda450 panel at Ministry Days is rich in the nondualustic truths of UUism. Some things don’t change, even after Meadville Lombard graduation.
We Unitarians are celebrating 450 years of religious tolerance with the signing of The Edict of Torda in 1568, so its only fitting we do so with the 1568 cocktail at the Unitarian owned 1568 Bistro in Cluj-Napoca as we end our amazing pilgrimage @midlifecruxes #BUUFpilgrims #UU #Torda450
Mengenang Edict of Torda -- dekrit kebebasan beragama pertama di dunia -- yang diterbitkan 450 tahun lalu oleh Raja Hungaria John Sigismund, kami berlima dikumpulkan oleh International Council for Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) untuk melakukan dialog teologis tentang kebebasan beragama. Kiri ke kanan: Rupaia Lamarr dari Khasi Hills, India; Norbert Racz dari Transylvania; saya mewakili Indonesia; Fulgence Ndagijimana dari Burundi; dan Stephanie Mitchem dari Amerika. . Riwayat Edict of Torda adalah kisah yang manis tapi tragis. Di tengah suasana Eropa yang penuh saling persekusi antar kelompok agama, kaum Unitarian berhasil memperoleh dukungan raja dan naik ke tampuk kekuasaan tertinggi di pemerintahan Transylvania. Mereka menggunakan pengaruh besar ini untuk mempromosikan kebebasan beragama bagi semua kelompok religius. . "Tidak seorang pun boleh disakiti karena agamanya ... sebab iman adalah pemberian TUHAN." (Edict of Torda, 1568) . Namun begitu Sigismund wafat, rezim berganti, kebijakan negara langsung diganti -- menjadi konservatif-fanatik. Tokoh-tokoh Unitarian dipaksa melarikan diri ke luar negeri, kalau tidak mau mati di penjara karena perlakuan tidak manusiawi. . Bisakah kebaikan menang melawan kejahatan ketika orang baik selalu membalas kejahatan dengan kebaikan, sementara orang jahat bebas mengumbar kejahatan? Bisakah spirit toleransi dan perdamaian berjaya apabila kita harus toleran pada yang intoleran? Adakah batas toleransi itu? Bukan hal mudah menjawabnya. Diskusi kami belum selesai dan masih akan berlanjut. . #torda450 #religiousfreedom #icuu #kathmandu #latepost
Akhirnya, nyampe juga di Kathmandu! Setelah ketinggalan pesawat Minggu malam, harus menginap dulu di Kuala Lumpur semalam, lalu paginya terbang ke Kathmandu, sudah di atas kotanya, eh ... cuaca buruk! Pesawat putar balik ke Dhaka. Isi bensin sejam, terbang lagi ke Kathmandu, masih harus muter-muter dulu sebelum akhirnya berhasil mendarat di bandara Tribhuvan. Thank G-d! #torda450 #theologicaldialogue #religiousfreedom #ICUU #latepost
Take me to church with this mighty group any day! Justine Magara shared his story & dreams for the future of UUism in Kenya. Rev. Teri Schwartz spoke beautiful truth today - lifting up the powerful woman who paved the way for the Edict of Torda, Isabella Jagiellon - "The future is certainly female, and so is the past" Thank you, First Unitarian, for opening your doors to us! #firstunitarianchicago #seminarylife #chicago #meadvillelombard #Torda450 #uuhistory #edictoftorda #religioustolerance #pastandpresent #thefutureisfemale