Boise, Idaho and Mészkő, Transylvania

The sixth principle of the Unitarian Universalist principles is “the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.” Being a partner with the congregation in Mészkő, Transylvania, has helped our fellowship realize this goal. It has been the bridge that connects our congregation to the world. Our partnership with Mészkő has helped our congregation to grow in understanding of the impact of social action over the last two decades.

Entrance to our partner church, photo courtesy of Tom von Alten, 2011

One of the major current goals of the congregation in Mészkő is to help preserve the legacy of Ferenc Balazs, the young minister who served the congregation in the 1930s. Balazs’ vision of community building is as relevant today as it was 75 years ago. His legacy includes his teachings and the historic church and parsonage which the congregation hopes can be used for youth camps for Unitarian youth from Transylvania. Our relationship and our financial assistance can help the Mészkő congregation realize their goals.

Members of the Boise Fellowship have made several pilgrimages to Mészkő and Idaho has had visitors from Transylvania. In the summer of 2010, the BUUF Women’s Quilt Project delivered a gift of love and connection. The word had spread through the village that there was a surprise gift from the women of BUUF. No one saw the quilt until the formal presentation at the close of their church service on Sunday morning.

Former BUUF member Irene Rush read a message in English from the head of our QUUilters group, Harriet Shaklee. Mészkő’s minister, Róbert Bálint, prepared his translation carefully, “Harriet’s words are poetic. I want to be sure to translate them in their poetic style.”

Irene Rush explaining the quilt blocks to our partner church members in Mészkő.

In a return gift, the women of our partner church collaborated with us in making unique embroidered stoles for our BUUF choir. In 2011, Tom von Alten and Jeanette Ross visited Mészkő as part of UU Partner Church Committee choir tour with singers from around the USA and Translyvania, and were able to receive the gifted stoles in person and bring them back to our Boise congregation. Our choir members wear them joyfully for our performances in Boise.

Contributions from members in Boise helped fund the construction of the new Ferenc Balázs Community House in Mészkő, which was completed in the fall of 2012.