The European Unitarian Universalists cordially invite you to join us at our Fall 2020 retreat, to be held November 12-15 with contributors in Europe and North America, available to participants all over planet earth.

 

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about this retreat.

 

“Nature and Wonder: Within Us and Around Us”

 

For Unitarian Universalists, Nature has been a constant source of spiritual grounding and wonder. Our Seventh Principle calls for “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence” and our Sixth Source draws upon the teachings of Earth-centered traditions and instructs us to “live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.” Nature informs our theology, spiritual practice, and worship. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Nicole C. Kirk, will explore these connections and invites us to reflect on how our connections to nature not only spiritually ground us but motivate us to work for social justice.

 

Dr. Kirk is an Associate Professor and the Schulman Chair of Unitarian Universalist History at Meadville Lombard Theological School Chicago, Illinois, where she teaches history, ministry, and leadership. Her book Wanamaker’s Temple has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Smithsonian Magazine. She grew up as a Unitarian Universalist in Tulsa, Oklahoma and served as a parish minister for congregations in Ohio and New Jersey. Learn more about Dr Kirk here

 

Our first ever Virtual Retreat Weekend

 

In person weekend retreats have been an EUU tradition for nearly four decades. This is our first such retreat offered virtually, and we are excited about our plans. Our theme talk will be integrated with a robust lineup of workshops and activities carefully designed to rival the experience of an in-person retreat.

 

In order to balance our time together, with breaks from our electronic connection, we will begin our online event a day earlier than a traditional in-person retreat.

 

  • On Thursday evening, November 12, Ingathering begins at 6pm sharp in Central Europe. After some introductions we begin by sharing Joys and Concerns, followed by an Icebreaker that will provide an opportunity to meet in smaller groups via online breakout sessions, get to know one another, and reconnect with old friends.
  • Friday night will provide us with the opportunity for more socializing and theme-related games from 7pm.
  • In our Saturday Keynote, Rev. Kirk will explore the history of the Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist relationship with nature, and how when each of us steps into a deeper relationship with the natural world we are even more connected with our work for social and environmental justice.
  • Saturday Afternoon Workshops offer us an exploration of Nature and Wonder from various workshop leaders, including a plenary workshop with Nicole Kirk.
  • Sunday Nov. 15 Mid-afternoon Service led by an EUU team of ministers
  • Group Meditation sessions on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings
  • The chance to join old and new friends in the “Zoom Lobby” throughout the weekend, with breakout rooms for private conversations.

 

We’re scheduling many of our events so that EUU members and friends in North America will be able to join in. All are welcome regardless of location.

 

 

An early peek at some workshop topics:

 

The Anthropocene Era- When we view human history on a geological time scale, we become more conscious of how we shape our future on the planet.

 

A Tame European + the Wild Frontier = An American: How concepts of what it meant to be wild or tamed changed when cultivated Europeans first encountered the American wilderness.

 

Biomimicry- We can engineer a sustainable future with the wisdom gleaned by observing Nature and millions of years of evolution of life on planet earth.

 

Science – Facts or Beliefs? Scientists accept the existence of uncertainty in their search for knowledge. But how can scientific findings be used by non-scientists as we seek to make informed decisions about critical issues affecting our existence on Earth?

 

The Sweatlodge Fire- An anthropologist offers us a non-western understanding of what it means to be in communication with nature.

 

 

Join us as we affirm, promote, and celebrate and explore how we can live up to our Seventh Principle. While we have a suggested contribution range for the retreat, registration for this retreat is based on a “contribute what you can” model.

 

While we have a suggested contribution range for the retreat in the registration form, we ask you to contribute what you can.

If the contributions go beyond the direct costs of the retreat, they will be distributed in three ways:

 

  • The EUU Social Action “Planet” program area, which supports environmental and climate justice.  In harmony with this retreat’s Nature theme and our commitment to UU Principle 7 to be good stewards of the Earth, we have chosen to donate half of the “Planet” allocation to Friends of the Earth Europe.
  • The EUU Grant Fund, for members who need support to attend future retreats. By having each retreat’s donations fund the next retreat’s activity, grant applicants get an answer more quickly, can plan earlier, and save money on travel.
  • The EUU Social Action “People” program area. In our commitment to uphold the first, second and sixth principles, we will donate half of the “People” allocation to the Moria Refugee Camp in Lesbos which was recently ravaged by fire. These refugees will benefit from our donations via the International Rescue Committee  , dedicated to providing sustainable aid in humanitarian crises and conflicts.

 

Half of the Planet and People program funds will be allocated directly after the retreat and half will go to our Social Action budget for 2021.

 

Paying your contribution at the same time you register makes the entire process simpler for our volunteers and is greatly appreciated. It will also increase the chances that you will get the workshops you have requested. Your registration is complete when your contribution is received. Banking details will be provided in your confirmation email.