EUU Fall Retreat | Cultivating Peace | Oct 28-30 2022
Europe is experiencing the greatest threat to peace on our soil since WWII. World peace seems tenuous, as long-smoldering conflicts threaten to ignite. We are called now to ask ourselves: how can WE act in this moment of history, and more importantly, how can we cultivate the heart and mindset that prevents violence in the first place? What can we do in ourselves and in our communities to bring clarity to the ideal of our Seven UU Principles, and make them our lived reality?
Alastair McIntosh, our theme speaker for the Fall EUU Retreat in Mittelwihr, has explored these questions in depth across the length and breadth of his life’s work. Nonviolence, he asserts, “is about seeing ourselves in true relation to the whole, to the rest of life with which we are interconnected.” He has been welcomed at military academies in Europe for over 25 years to remind those who prepare for war, to take on board the perspective of nonviolence.
Raised a Presbyterian and now a committed Quaker, Alastair articulates a progressive vision deeply in alignment with the values that define our EUU community. He has been a theme speaker for the British Unitarians and is a frequent contributor to BBC Scotland’s “Thought for the Day.” Mark your calendar now, Registration is scheduled to open August 19.
We welcome all for a weekend of learning, discussion, worship, contemplation, singing, socializing, and friendship for all ages! Our EUU community brings the experience of four fully-online pandemic era retreats and nearly 40 years of in-person retreats to this hybrid in-person/virtual effort. We meet in the beautiful Alsatian countryside of Mittelwihr, with some of the most beautiful landscapes France has to offer. For those who won’t be there in-person, participate in the whole experience anywhere you can log into Zoom.
Thank you to the dozens of volunteers who have stepped up; your participation promises to help make this retreat one to remember.
Covid Considerations: The Retreat Committee is cautiously optimistic about the pandemic conditions in autumn. We will continue to be prudent and respect all required covid protocols at the time of the retreat.
Accommodation and Food
The retreat will take place in a place familiar to many of us, the
Centre Le Mittel
16 Rue du Bouxhof,
- Double rooms, single rooms and family rooms with 3–4 beds
- In addition to usual Alsatian cuisine, vegetarian, fish and non-dairy meals will be available
We expect to follow the pattern of our usual in-person retreats.
EUU retreats are not weekends of silent contemplation, though there is time for that too.
We gather on Friday afternoon, eat together, make new friendships and renew old ones. Members and guests take part in our in-gathering ceremony and group icebreaker, before we break for the evening and retire or stay up late and make music or mix at the bar for coffee or just relax with new friends and old. If you are a musician, bring your instrument for the informal jam sessions; professionals and amateurs are welcome!
On Saturday morning we listen to our invited speaker, including breakout sessions for group contemplation of a specific issue. Saturday afternoon is the time for workshops, and will include a panel discussion to explore ideas such as nonviolence and just war. We’ll offer the opportunity to join others for outings such as a walk in the woods or the town, or choir practice (all voices welcome). Saturday night is our Open Stage, featuring all kinds of talent shared by people of all ages. Start working on your act now or decide spontaneously to share your talent. We jokingly say that no talent is required but are frequently amazed and always entertained!
Sunday morning we hold our worship service, followed by lunch, before saying goodbye. Coordinating Council members remain for an afternoon CC meeting.
Young people will have their own program of Religious Exploration, led by the Cricket and Snail team from the Prague fellowship.
Sharing Your Talents at the Retreat
How can the EUU offer so much at a low cost? We are powered by dedicated volunteers, and we invite you to offer your talents to make the weekend special. Can you lead a workshop, help with the children’s RE program, entertain us on the Open Stage, sing in the choir, play or sing along in the evening? Or in other ways? You will have an opportunity to tell us when you register.
By train: nearest station is Colmar (14 km); shuttle transport to the Mittelwihr Centre will be organized. From Paris, with TGV, less than 2.5 hours.
By car: Autoroute A35, exit n°21 «Riquewihr- Beblenheim»
By plane: Nearest airports Basel-Mulhouse (68 km) and Strasbourg Entzheim (65 km)
We Look Forward to Seeing You!
If you have questions, contact the Retreat Committee.