Gretchen Thomas’ inspiring and informative book, Walking in Others’ Shoes, appears in the 20th anniversary year of the Unitarian Universalist partner church movement.
Its personal and highly entertaining stories capture the excitement and uncertainty of the early days (1990–1993) of grassroots partnership relationships between congregations in North America and Transylvania. These pairs of congregations began working together in the wake of the dramatic overthrow of communism in Romania.
The book explores how the lives of church members, East and West, were shaken open by the changes swiftly unfolding in both their countries. The Transylvanians were reconnected with the world outside their long-locked borders, while the North Americans woke up to their global responsibilities and possibilities. It also describes how partners have confronted the reality that national, ethnic, and religious identities can separate or unite us.
The stories document how, as they worked and dreamed together, partner churches began to connect in committed, long-lasting ways — ways that overcome differences and renew spirits, that connect partners to faiths worth fighting for and freedoms worth holding dear.
Walking in Others’ Shoes was written especially for:
* Anyone who has ever reached for committed connection across cultures and borders
* Members of partnered churches and other partner church enthusiasts
* Parents and religious educators eager to nurture globally concerned children and youth
* Westerners who have traveled or hope to travel in Transylvania, as well as Transylvanians who are curious about or planning to visit the United States or Canada
* Those concerned about international outreach, Central European revitalization, economic development, globalization, and inter-ethnic and interfaith connections
* Immigrants, exiles, refugees, and their children and grandchildren, particularly (but not only) Hungarians and Romanians
* People hungry to deepen their faith, passionate about social action, or determined to sustain healthy religious communities.