Come to Burgundy in the spring!

EUU Spring Retreat
April 13-15 2018

Identity & Spirituality:
Living Love Beyond Belief

Rev. Barbara Prose


The UU Fellowship of Paris will host the EUU’s Spring Retreat 2018 on April 13-15 in Dijon in Burgundy, eastern France. An important time to connect with other Unitarian Universalists living in Europe, biannual EUU retreats offer a unique combination of spirituality and fun. With everything from worship to city strolls to late-night jam sessions, attendees can participate in the activities they prefer.

As with other EUU retreats, this one will take place over a weekend (Friday dinner through Sunday lunch), when Unitarian Universalists will come from all over Europe to converge on Dijon’s Centre de Rencontres Internationales, staying together, and sharing meals and spiritual and cultural activities over two action-packed days.

Theme — Identity & Spirituality:  Living Love Beyond Belief

We are all looking forward to meeting and hearing from our invited theme speaker, Reverend Barbara Prose, Executive Minister at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She’ll be developing the theme “Identity & Spirituality: Living Love Beyond Belief”. Our faith proclaims that we are one human family. At the same time, each one of us embodies a plurality of identities. In our tradition, we encourage each other to bring all of who we are into community. Then we rely on our liberal faith to help us navigate the complexities born of our personal and collective contradictions and conflicts, without denying or minimizing the pain or the paradoxes of our challenges and choices.

What if our faith can lead us beyond coexistence to meaningful engagement with each other despite our many differences? Using the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) we will explore the competing cultures, world views and belief systems we carry internally and navigate externally. What differences do we deny? When do we fear our differences? Why do we minimize them? What helps us accept and adapt to the differences among us? We’ll use our experiences of Love Beyond Belief to give us courage and confidence as we ask the question – is living together as one human family an impossible dream or a reality to which we can contribute?

Our Speaker

Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Barbara moved to Tulsa in 2010, for a 10-month residency with All Souls, at the end of which she was offered a full-time position as Assistant Minister and then became the congregation’s Executive Minister. Ministry is Barbara’s second career. For 25 years she lived in Maine with her husband and two daughters, and managed a homebirth midwifery practice. A citizen of France and the United States, with a B.A. in Russian Studies from Brown University, Barbara brings a unique perspective to the conversation about the future of our faith and its potential to respond to the spiritual call of our times. You’ll find videos of Barbara’s sermons on the All Souls YouTube channel:


Following the Saturday morning theme talk, a number of workshops will be offered for which ideas are eagerly invited. The workshops will be what retreat-goers make them and can range from history to culture to music and any combination thereof. Of course, the evening cabaret and socializing are always highlights! The weekend culminates in Sunday morning’s service and concludes over lunch.

Families welcome! We will have a full retreat program of learning and fun for children and teens.

All groups will explore thematic topics while enjoying an interactive, creative and dynamic weekend with other young people. There will be a full program all day long on Saturday, culminating in a presentation to the full retreat on Saturday evening. Younger children will also have a Sunday morning time together during the Sunday service.

Teens will explore how we respond to the challenge of differences in beliefs, in people both close and not so close to us. They will also help to develop the plan for the retreat weekend, making choices from a variety of options presented to the teen group.

The Site

We will be meeting for the first time at the Centre de Rencontres Internationales in Dijon. The CRI-Dijon is part of the same Ethic Etapes network as previous EUU retreats in Mittelwihr and Melun. Members of this network are all eco-friendly, committed to sustainable development, local products, and accessibility. Here is a virtual visit of the site:


We are especially excited about holding a retreat for the first time in Dijon, which is one of France’s most appealing cities. It served as the capital of the powerful dukes of Burgundy from the 11th to the 15th centuries and today is the capital of the Bourgogne Franche-Comte regions. Dijon is also a culinary capital renowned for its fine mustard, crème de cassis, and wine.

A walking tour of the old town will be offered for a small fee as part of our retreat program. You can sign up on the first evening of the retreat, as places are limited. To visit on your own, you can easily come early or stay after the retreat at our site by booking additional nights on its website.

Among the must-sees which retreaters can visit is the Palace of the Dukes and States of Burgundy (Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne). Once home to the region’s rulers, this is an elaborate complex in the heart of old Dijon, which received its neoclassical façade in the 17th and 18th centuries when it was the seat of Burgundy’s parliament.

Dijon has a rich, well-preserved religious heritage in both historical and architectural terms, notably the Notre Dame church, built between 1220 and 1240. The façade’s three tiers are decorated by leering gargoyles, separated by two rows of columns and the 14th century Jacquemart Clock (Horloge a Jacquemart). Also to visit are the crypt of Saint Benigne cathedral, in which many of Burgundy’s great figures are buried, and the Renaissance façade of Saint Michel.

Those among you who have the courage to climb the 316 steps of the 46 meter-high Tower of Philip the Good (Tour Philippe le Bon), located in the Medieval Palace, will be rewarded with an exceptional panorama of the city of Dijon and its surroundings.

And you can stroll around Dijon’s stunning noble residences and medieval streets lined with antique shops and designer boutiques. Learn more here:

Travel Information

To help you plan your travel: Retreat check-in opens at 15h00 on Friday, and the retreat closes at 13h30 after lunch on Sunday.

Dijon is easily accessible via many transportation options around Europe. Here is a list of links to help you plan your travel to Dijon.


By rail there are direct trains from Paris, Strasbourg and Basel. Dijon is only about an hour and a half train ride from Paris or Basel. It is about 2 hours from Strasbourg.
Book your train tickets early to get the best deal.


Several bus companies also service the city.


The nearest airports are in Paris with train and bus connections to Dijon. Basel airport is also close. If you arrive at Charles de Gaulle airport, there is a train to Dijon, and a bus from Orly airport.


By car, the retreat site is located just inside the ring road, so there’s no need to drive through the city center.

Registration has closed.

In the meantime…Questions? CONTACT:

We look forward to seeing you in Dijon!