Simenfalva churchIn 2002 the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem formed a covenant with the UU Church in Simenfalva, (she mun fall va) Transylvania (in Romania) for mutual support, friendship and respect for our cultural and religious customs.

We agreed to share our joys and concerns, our visions and goals, and the stories of our congregations.  Through actions, we demonstrate our UU faith to each other and the world.  Visits between congregations are organized periodically, and artwork from Simenfalva is offered for sale.

Here is a brochure with more information about the Partner Church Team, and how you can get involved in this program.




Covenant of Partnership

Between the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem (Oregon, USA)


Unitarian Church of Simenfalva, Transylvania (Romania)

We, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem and Unitarian Church of Simenfalva

We promise to each other:

This relationship is based on friendship, respect and mutual support.

We will strive at all times to be honest with each other, to clarify assumptions, and to facilitate continuous communications between our congregations.

We will have respect for differences in cultural and religious customs.

We will share the responsibility for nurturing this relationship with open communication and by setting goals for our partnership.

We will communicate both joys and concerns to our partners in faith and share our visions, our goals and stories of our congregations.

We will translate our words into action according to our Principles and Purposes. We will demonstrate our Unitarian faith to each other and the world. 

We will request support as needed and give support as we are able, knowing that our connection is already a source of support.

We call upon the members of our partner churches to promote this Covenant of our Partnership.

Simenfalva Congregation 

How did we first get involved with our Partner church?

 Our partner church relationship with Simenfalva began around 1991.  According to a former board member, around 1990 or 1991  we received a notice, probably from the UUA, that Unitarian churches in Romania were interested in establishing connections with American  UU congregations. 
The board decided to go ahead with that proposal. We were matched with the Simenfalva church. A correspondence began. That was a fairly slow process, requiring translation from English to Hungarian for letters to Transylvania, and translation of their replies. The minister in Simenfalva at the time was Biro Lajos. Tom Lancefield was the chief (basically, sole) correspondent for Salem to Simenfalva for maybe 8 years. This was before personal computers and e-mail.
The first member of our Salem congregation to visit Simenfalva was Irv Jacob, circa 1995. He was in Central Europe on a business trip, and added a swing through Transylvania to meet them. Jane Fields was the second Salem UU to visit there, several years later. Rev. Rick could confirm that the Salem congregation was serenaded on the violin by a notable native of Simenfalva, Dr. Judit Gellerd, in the old church building circa 1996. (Judit’s father, a minister at the Simenfalva Unitarian church, died as a political prisoner in Romania under the Ceaucescu dictatorship.) Most all of the early UUCS correspondence with Simenfalva has been lost to us.