Okland (Our Partner Church) Updates

Our dear friend and Okland church partner, Eva Keleman, wrote with an update on the lives of their family.  She describes their life “like a rollercoaster” with “a lot of uncertainty.”  Since Levente’s death, the family will need to move out of the parish house in Okland, the family’s home for over 25 years. The “family” includes their beloved horses, and they are working to move them to the barn at the home of Levente’s parents.  This barn hasn’t been in use since the 1970s, so a great deal of work is needed to make it habitable again. Eva writes, “Everything needed to be done, starting from the roof, electricity, plumbing, and plastering. Change is hard,” she says.  This is a whole lot of “hard” for one family to go through.

Elod, the Keleman’s oldest son, will move to the guest house in Ujfalu since he is still studying forestry at the university.  The youngest son, Tas, is still in high school and will move with Eva to Udvarhely, but they hope to buy a plot in Okland. 

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens has been providing scholarships to students from Okland for many years.  This year, the names will be familiar.  Kinsco, the daughter of Eva and Levente, will be finishing her master’s degree in economics. As mentioned previously, Elod will continue his studies in forestry.  Bartha Anita is training to be a nurse.  Mathe Szerenke is studying at a master’s level of chemistry studies, and Bartha Joco is in his first year of mechanical engineering.  A very talented violinist, Frunzea David, studies at the National University of Music in Bucharest. (Click here to listen to a snip of David performing.). Szabo Zsolt is finishing his seminary studies this year.  According to previous correspondences, Zsolt has been helping the Okland congregation during Levente’s illness.

Last Sunday through this Fellowship’s Share the Plate program, we started to raise funds to support these students, and we thank you for your support. The UUFA’s Partner Church program will be the recipient of the Cause of the Month on the fifth Sunday of each month for the rest of the year. Stay tuned for further updates on other ways that the Partner Church continues to keep connections to our Transylvanian Unitarian roots. Your generosity supports these individuals and the community of Okland, showing them that even though there are distance and language barriers and despite all the other upheaval throughout the world, our partnership is strong and true.  

You can continue to contribute to the Partner Church program and support these efforts any time by clicking here to give in your Realm account and choosing “Partner Church,” or you can text UUFA to 73256 and choose “Partner Church” as the “fund.”,