“Carry one another’s loads, bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the teaching of Jesus.” Gal. 6:2
My dear brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen and children:
It was a little bit difficult for me to begin my speech to you today because I am feeling so very thankful; I am thankful for this very special trip, this visit with you, so, first I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Because I am a man who believes in God, I want to say thank you to God, first of all.
Second, I bring thanks to you from my congregation in Transylvania: thank you to the ministers in the Westport congregation, to their families, and to the leaders of this congregation; thank you to Jo Shute and all the other people who know us now because they have visited in village of Alsoboldogfalva—because we are together and helping one another.
In the verse I read from the Bible we hear the apostle Paul asking the people of Galacia to carry one another’s load, to bear one another’s burdens, ‘to help one another.’
We know that the apostle Paul was right, because we all carry a burden through all the days of our lives, until the day we die. We don’t know what will happen to us from one day to the next, but we must find a way to deal with everything.
Every parent takes care of a child from birth until the child reaches maturity. Parents help children with everything, taking care of their child’s needs for bread, for clothes and all the things a child needs.
But we know that a child must learn to do things for themselves, otherwise the child will grow up needing someone else to take care of their needs.
A parent has to teach a child to become responsible, and to help other people. That’s why the apostle Paul says that we need to “Carry one another’s loads, bear one another’s burdens…” This is the lesson Jesus taught. It’s about learning how to love.
When we work together in the best ways we know how, if we love, we carry one another’s load, because love builds relationship where we make one another happy, and that’s how we truly become brothers and sisters.
In the verse from the Bible, Paul talks about a ‘load,’ but it’s not a load we carry with our hands or in our arms. It is the load we carry for one another in our hearts, in our soul; sometimes it is easy, and sometimes it is hard, and we carry it with tears—we cry.
Let’s remember those who carry a difficult load in life: like the orphans, who live without parents to love them; like those who are sick; and those who live under political oppression.
After 1989 we’ve been trying to build a stronger and stronger partnership between the Unitarians in America and the Unitarians in Transylvania.
This partnership is about carrying one another’s burdens, both spiritual and intellectual, and financial. We, from the Transylvanian churches can give our partners spiritual help by giving our love. But this congregation has helped us not just spiritually, but financially. Your financial help has helped us in so many ways, making our church better and better.
Now let me tell you exactly how you have helped in these day-to-day things: First, in 2000 we renovated the church, inside and outside; we repaired the roof, the stucco siding on the outside, and we repaired the interior walls, plastering and painting, we installed new glass where needed—we repaired the stairs leading into the church; we bought two new stoves to heat the church in the winter, and we made repairs to the house for the pigs and chickens.
In 2001 we repaired the church organ; we built a fence around the church and the parsonage; we made new pavement in the driveway of the parsonage.
In 2002 we made a sixty-meter long fence near the field that belongs to the church.
In 2003 we made 24 meters of pavement in the road leading to the church and parsonage and we installed good insulation in the ceilings of the parsonage.
In 2004 we made a new fence from wood near the parsonage; we painted the fence and installed new gates for our fences.
Our plan for the future is to install central heating in the parsonage.
You should know that all of the work we’ve told you about could not have happened without your generous financial help, because in my congregation people earn very little money—only enough for food, clothes and medicine. The only way we get money is for people to make donations, and we have almost 200 people.
Finally, in my name, and in my wife’s name, and of course in the name of my congregation I would like to say thank you very much to the Westport congregation, for everyone here and especially to my dear friend and colleague, minister Frank Hall for his help. We know that all of this help has come to us in the name of Love.
God bless the partnership between the two congregations—it is a partnership in the name love; God bless this congregation, its ministers and all the generous volunteers who make our partnership work better and better. We wish you peace and happiness, from our heart. Thank you. Amen