Torda450 Small Group Ministry Module 1

Our first module of the Torda450 year of theological reflection introduces the Edict of Torda and examines its history, context, and current relevance. You can also view this module as a pdf.

January 2018 Module 1: Edict of Torda: Grounding and Context

Note: This module is designed for a small-group setting. However, it can be adapted for individual use or for a larger group. For example, an individual could substitute journaling for small-group discussion. For assistance with adaptation, please contact international [at] uua [dot] org.


Leader Preparation

  • Find some quiet time before beginning to ground yourself.
  • Set out the chalice and prepare the projector and paper.

Opening (15 minutes)

  • Welcome participants and light the chalice using these or similar words by Rev. Sara Ascher

May the light from this flame be a beacon of our faith, in the days that grow dark and dreary. May the light from this flame be warmth to our spirits, during nights of restless searching. May the light from this flame be a celebration of the truth, meaning and joy​ we find within these walls and in our dreams.

  • Invite participants to introduce themselves by sharing their names and what inspired them to participate in Torda450.

Webinar (60 minutes)

  • If you intend to watch the webinar as a group, plan to do so now. Alternatively, invite participants to watch the video before the small group gathers.

Focused Check-In (2 minutes per person)

  • Invite participants to take a deep breath together and sit in silence, taking in the information shared during the webinar. Then, begin the focused check-in using the question, “How did the experience in the webinar interact with your spiritual journey?”

Reflection (45 minutes)

  • Post/Distribute the Torda450 Historical Chronology and invite people to share their thoughts about the context in which the Edict of Torda emerged, and the history that followed.
    • What stands out for them?
    • What would they like to know more about?
    • What is missing from the story?
  • Post/Distribute the text of the Edict of Torda and invite people to share their responses to the text.
    • Is there anything in the text that they found surprising?
    • Do they have questions about anything in the text?
    • What in the text is inspiring for them today?
    • What religious freedom struggles are currently taking place, and how does our history call us to be engaged?

Looking Ahead

  • Distribute or project the schedule for the Torda450 Theological Dialogue.
  • Reach agreement about any research or other exploration that participants will do before the next meeting.
  • Remind the group of its next meeting date.

Closing Reading (5 minutes)

Share these words by Mark Mosher DeWolfe

With what benediction shall I leave you?
This: In your life, may you know the holy meaning, the mystery that breaks into it every moment.
May you live at peace with your world and at peace with yourself.
And may the love of truth guide you in your every day. Amen.

Extinguish the chalice.

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