Let me tell you something about me.
My life started in a small village with 500 gate numbers (houses) where our house number has the 444 number. My parents still live there.
This is a small village in Transylvania with most of the people being unitarian. It was something natural, as traditional to go every Sunday in the church and also to attend the religious education.
For example: on new years evet he whole village went to the church on midnight, exactly 12 o' clock to say good by to the past year and to welcome the New Year, when the minister held the service. After that everybody continued the new years eve party.
When I was in highschool, all my classmates were talking about where will continue their studies and decided about the university or collage, except me.
The real decision was made by my father, who one day gave me a Bible, a songbook and all the information I need to study to apply for the ministry. And he asked me: how about to be a minister? Well, I remained speachless.
But I went to the local minister and I asked his addvice. He and his wife started to prepare me. After one year we all felt that I am ready for the Theology.
I was attached to the idea of working with people, specially in terms of relating people with God, with the spirit.
In hungarian the minister is called lelkipásztor, which if I retranslate into english, it means: the shepard of the soul, spirit.
Some people work with the body, others with the mind, and the minister with the spirit.
So I went to the seminary in Cluj-Kolozsvar where I studied 5 years, and graduated in 1989.
An other interesting part of my life if how I met my wife!
We, as student attended every Sunday the main church in Cluj-Kolozsvar. And we had a special place in the church, right in front of the congregation. So everybody could see us and we could see who is in the church. And of course, as students we were interested in young girls and searching with our eyes to discover them. In this way I saw Erika, many times in the church, but I could not get to her because the members left first the church and we last, at the end. And while we finally left the church she disapeared. This happened all the time, remaining in front of the church only the old ladies to talk.
Finally, in the winter the church organized a congregational meeting, not in the sanctuary but at the parish house, and I was there with a student friend. And she was there with her girlfriend. So we went immediate near them, and in this way started our life jurney.
We married in 1990 and lived in Petrosani until 2001, when the Bela Bartok Church invited me. In 1994/95 I was a schoolar at SKSM, and Erika joined me for the last three months. Our girls were born in 1997 the oldest, and the twins in 1999.
It is hard to compare the work and ministry between the two churches I served, because they are compeletly different ones.
The former was in a small town, around 300 members, most of the call miners and old members. I knew all of them. We visited every year in their homes. I could reach them just by walking to their houses. It was not necessary to call them before visit. It was so naturally for them too: the minister can visit us all the time. If I had something to ask, or tell, I just walked to their door.
In Budapest it is not that easy. There are large distances. People are very busy. To keep the connection is mainly by phone, or letter or just meeting on Sundays.
In both places we organized besides the Sunday Services, church evenings. In Petrosani on Sunday afternoons, where the members were together having fun, maybe some children or the youth performing something: poetry or singing.
In Budapest on Saturday evenings, we are able to invite famous people, like actors, singers, artists who deliver programs for the members, which is follow by a common dinner.
Now I am also busy on updating the church home page. I consider important to be on the web, to spread the information about us.
I am one of the church magazin editor. This year I am attending a one year jurnalist course.
My wife, Erika is studying too, she is in a 4 year college on business and finances.
The girls are in the kindergarten. The oldest starts the school this fall at a private church school, which offers a very good education.
We are all very attached to each other. We spend a lot of time together. We don't have television, so we have time to talk, and play together and read for the children.
This is the first time when the girls are on their own, without us, at their grandparents, and we are curious about how they support or spend this time, and also it is a test for the grandparents too. Not to mention that we are fine for now without them, but I don't know for how long.
Rev. Sandor Leta (Bela Bartok Unitarian Church, Budapest)