Translated Sermon #29: The Gift of God by Mezei Csaba

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonTheGiftofGod.

Summary of sermon: The sermon was written in 2010.   The sermon interprets a verse from the Old Testament in the book of Ecclesiastes; the wisdom related to the gift of God.    Mezei Csaba is an ordained Transylvanian unitarian minister serving at the Iris telep church in Kolozsvár.  They are partnered with the First Church in Boston, Massachusetts.    Mezei Csaba was a Starr King School of Ministry Balazs scholar in 1997-1998. He was a lecturer at the 2016 Minns Lectures.

Translated Sermon #24: The Freedom of Faith and Conscience by Ferencz József

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonTheFreedomofFaithandConscience.

Summary of the sermon: The author, Ferencz József, was a Unitarian minister in the town of Kolozsvár until 1876, and Bishop of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church from 1876 through 1928. Please consult his wikipedia page to learn about his many significant contributions to the Transylvanian Unitarian Church.

This 16 page sermon was delivered in August of 1868 in Torda, during the synod to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Unitarian religion in Transylvania. According to Gellérd Imre, the unequalled expert on Transylvanian Unitarian sermonic literature, this is an “epoch-making” sermon for Unitarian ideals, and the best illustration of the thought processes of the author.  Thus, this sermon is a unique opportunity to understand the 19th century view of 300 years of Unitarian history and the outlook into the future  from a speaker who was destined to lead the Unitarian Church for 52 years.

In the introduction Ferencz József explains the year for the establishment of the Unitarian Church to the year 1568, because that same year was the year when the Transylvanian law securing freedom of faith and conscience was enacted.

In the first part he describes the historic events related to the fulfillments and the degradations of the freedom of faith and conscience. This part ends with the death of Dávid Ferencz, and the subsequent intolerance and cleansing.

In the second part he describes the effect of the French Revolution in resurrecting freedom of faith and conscience, and the changes in religious that followed. This part ends with acknowledgement of Unitarianism taking hold in England and in America, and the presence of a more tolerant attitude towards Unitarians in Transylvania.

In the third part he explains how education is a key to create a kind of humanity where enlightened thinking will forever prevent discrimination and prosecution based on religious difference.

Technical note: The author’s name and the Hungarian names in the body of the sermon and in the above summary are shown in their Hungarian form (Family name then Given name), and using the letters with diacritical marks.

Translated Sermon #22: I Believe in the Eternal Life by Dr. Szabó Árpád

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonIBelieveintheEternalLife.

Summary of sermon: The topic of this Easter sermon is the promise of eternal life, the promise of rebirth as  a person and as a community.  Dr. Szabó Árpád asks “Can we become the people of Easter?” The affirmative answer is spelled out for us.

Dr. Szabó Árpád was the 30th bishop of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church. He studied at Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1977-78;  he was an active participant in the affairs of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU); he was awarded the Louis C. Cornish “Living the Mission” award by the UU Partner Church Council in 2007. He passed away in 2010.

Translated Sermon #14: Standing firm…. by Simén Dániel

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonStandingfirm.

Summary of sermon: The sermon was written on December 3, 1956, and posthumously published in 2013.  This sermon has a very unique history, as this was one of the sermons that played a role in the 1957 arrest and interrogation of several Unitarian ministers by the Romanian Secret Police.   All of those ministers were found guilty of various “crimes against the state”, and sentenced to several years of labor camps. What was their crime?  You see, during 1956 a small group of Transylvanian Unitarian ministers put together a booklet of sermons that they were distributing throughout the Unitarian Seminary, and preached in Transylvanian villages. They were found out, and their booklet was confiscated, and the text of several sermons appeared as evidence of crimes, in the transcripts of the interrogations and the trial.  This is one of those sermons in that booklet;  the author suffered dearly just for speaking his mind.  So, who is this author?  Simén Dániel was a unitarian minister in the village of Lupeny till 1940, and after that he worked as a theologian, and a teacher in Kolozsvar.  He was imprisoned in 1959, and released in 1964.  He passed away in 1969.

Translated Sermon # 11: On The Way There by Kovács Sándor

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonOnTheWayThere.

Summary of sermon: This 2018 sermon is from Kovács Sándor, one of the theology teachers at the Protestant Theological Institute at Kolozsvár, Transylvania.   Kovács Sándor is also running the library at the headquarters of the Hungarian Unitarian Church at Kolozsvár, Transylvania.  The topic of this sermon is God’s promise to the Jewish leaders exiled to Babylon. This sermon won a shared 1st prize in the 450th Anniversary year contest organized by the Hungarian Unitarian Church at Kolozsvár.

Translated Sermon #8: Kolozsvar Blues by Koppándi Botond

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonKolozsvarBlues.

Summary of sermon: This 2008 sermon is from one of the teachers at the Unitarian Section of the Protestant Theological Institute in Kolozsvar.  The sermon was presented at a youth gathering.  Once you read this, you will look at Kolozsvar with a different eye, and when you visit there you’ll be asking your host to show you all the locations referenced in this sermon.

Translated Sermon #6: That Divine Truth by Kriza János

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Sermons page, and then click on the title: SermonThatDivineTruth.

Summary of sermon: This 1871 sermon is from one of the greatest Unitarian bishops, Kriza Janos.  Towards the second half of the 19th century he and his followers re-shaped the Transylvanian Unitarian Church.  In my opinion, this sermon is on the level of William Ellery Channing’s “Christian Unitarianism”. Long with lots of substance.

Translated Sermon #4: The Token Payment for Our Faith: Performing Miracles by Gyerő Dávid

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Sermons page, and then click on the title: TheTokenPaymentforOurFaith.

Summary of sermon: Sermon from the Deputy Bishop of Hungarian Unitarian Church, and President of ICUU urges us to maintain the traditional Unitarian ideals, including acceptance of differences.

Translated sermon #3; Let Us All Be Disciples by Bálint Benczédi Ferenc

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Sermons page, and then click on the title: LetUsAllBeDisciples.

Summary of sermon: Sermon from the Bishop of Hungarian Unitarian Church celebrating Pentecost.

Translated sermon #2; January 2018; The Joy of Religious Freedom by Dr Rezi Elek

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on “Translated Sermons”, and then click on the title: TheJoyofReligiousFreedom.

Summary of sermon: Great sermon celebrating the 425th anniversary of the Edict of Torda.

Transylvanian Unitarian college and high schools

for partner churches

for seminaries and schools of divinity

HUNGARIAN UNITARIAN CHURCH HOLIDAYS

ABOUT SZEKELY CULTURAL IDENTITY

MAGYARUL BESZÉLŐKNEK