EUU Spring 2021 ONLINE Retreat – April 22–25
Registration Now Open – Click Here
Nourishing Body and Soul:
The Ethics of What We Eat and Why
The Spring EUU retreat will be Apr. 22–25
It’s going to be online again, and we are hoping to make it even better than our first, excellent virtual Fall Festival in November. As usual, this will be a time to connect with other Unitarian Universalists living in Europe and around the globe, offering a unique combination of spirituality and fun. We’ll have the usual sharing of joys and concerns, a theme talk, workshops, Sunday worship, music, talent show, serious discussions and times to just hang out and chat with others, even sharing (via computer screens) meals and refreshments. This time, most events are scheduled for the afternoon and evening in Europe, meaning that early risers in the US will be able to participate. Better still, it will again be totally affordable, based on a “give what you can” basis, with most of any realized surplus going to EUU’s social action projects.
Eating ethically will be the theme for the weekend. Given our 7th principle, “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part,” we look forward to delving into how food plays such an important role in how we interact in our biosphere. Feeding ourselves is a basic biological requirement. Yet what food we eat and how we obtain it has changed drastically in our lifetimes. Given the burgeoning population of 7.8 billion humans scratching a living off of Gaia Mother Earth, it may feel greedy to continue to enjoy eating so much. And yet — is it not a gift that we should cherish? Let’s do a deep dive into our spiritual relationship with food, each other and our world as we ‘chew the fat’ about some deeply religious themes.
Our Invited Speakers
Theme Talk: What Does It Mean to Eat Ethically?
Prof. Aaron Gross
Aaron Saul Gross, PhD, is a Professor in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at University of San Diego and founder of the food and farming advocacy group, Farm Forward. Gross’s work on food has been featured in numerous venues including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and most recently, The Guardian. Gross is a Past President of the Society for Jewish Ethics and the co-founder of the American Academy of Religion’s Animals and Religion Group. Gross is also the author of numerous publications, including The Question of the Animal and Religion: Theoretical Stakes, Practical Implications published (Columbia University Press 2014) and Feasting and Fasting: The History and Ethics of Jewish Food (New York University Press 2019).
Sunday Service: Making Compassion the New Normal
The Rev. Jennifer Channin
Jennifer is the Development Director for Farm Forward and a board member for the Better Food Foundation. She is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister who has served as national Program Coordinator for the UU Ministers Association, Assistant Minister at First Church San Diego, and Intern Minister at two Unitarian congregations in Ottawa, Canada. She has also raised funds and developed programs for more than a dozen nonprofit and social justice organizations across the US. She earned her Masters of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. Jennifer lives in San Diego with her partner, Aaron, and their dog, Buddy.
Jennifer and Aaron have provided some videos about their work:
A short video about Farm Forward and our mission:
A short video about how faith communities, including UU communities, are important for changing food culture:
A video created this year about factory farms and pandemic diseases:
We hope to be able to offer a variety of different kinds of workshops, but it would be especially attractive if there were several on food-related topics. Martha Hicks is thinking about giving one on super foods for mind and body. Shulamit Levine-Helleman is thinking about giving one on Eco-Kosher, which encourages people to consider the impact on the environment in deciding what is “kosher” to eat. We are hoping to have an outsider present a program called Default Veg, which encourages people organizing group meals to make them vegetarian. Someone might like to offer one on veganism, or the impact of agriculture on climate change and biodiversity, or reducing food waste, or fair trade issues (certification versus the impact on labor). GMOs might also be a stimulating topic for discussion. How about: how to eat “well” on a budget?
If you think you can devote just a few hours to preparing one of these topics or any other in the area of ethics, please come forward and tell us.
Music at the Retreat – a note from Marcie
I am looking for instrumentalists who would like to play in various slots during the service or for other events in the weekend.
Thanks, and i look forward to hearing from you!
Volunteers Still Needed
Fortunately, the previous retreat committee has done much of the hard work building the infrastructure to make an online retreat successful. But we still need volunteers to create it and run it. Can you help? You don’t need to have advanced technical skills — we can help you learn anything you need to know. For example, we are looking for people who can create beautiful slides in Google Slides or Powerpoint or act as a Zoom host for workshops. On the less-technical side, we need people who can offer workshops or moderate discussions. There are many other possibilities to help during the retreat. Contact the retreat committee if you can help even in a small role. It’s actually fun, as Caitlin and Shellie wrote after the fall retreat.
Some Sources for Background Reading
Religious Education for Young People
We are very pleased that Cricket and Snail from Prague (Lucie and Jim Carlson) will be reprising their roles as RE teachers. They will produce a short DIY cooking video in people’s kitchens focusing on vegetarian or vegan food. But plenty of notice would be given to parents about necessary supplies.
Registration Open – Click Here
Questions? write to email@example.com
We look forward to seeing you online in April!