January Service

January Service

Torda450: What they Dreamed be Ours to Do

Led by the Rev. Eric Cherry, Director of the International Office, UUA

This weekend one of the world’s first statements of religious tolerance will have its 450th anniversary. On January 13, 1568, in the city of Torda, in what is now Romania, a religious gathering presided over by Unitarian King John Sigismund proclaimed:

“In every place the preachers shall preach and explain the Gospel each according to his understanding of it, and if the congregation like it, well. If not, no one shall compel them for their souls would not be satisfied, but they shall be permitted to keep a preacher whose teaching they approve…no one shall be reviled for his religion by anyone… and it is not permitted that anyone should threaten anyone else by imprisonment… For faith is the gift of God…”

Unitarianism was officially recognized for the first time in the history of the world in the Edict of Torda. And, that proclamation is the beginning of our legacy to be a spiritual tradition that resists hatred, oppression, and the narrow view that there is only one way to be faithful, to be religious, to be free.

Our service will celebrate the foundational commitments of global U/Uism established in this proclamation 450 years ago, and the responsibilities it imparts to us today.  Among those responsibilities is to be a faithful witness against Authoritarianism and Empire, justice struggles which Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, jr., whose Birthday we will also celebrate during this morning’s service, profoundly led.