Just like the first time I went to a UUFP service, this first EUU retreat felt like arriving in a very familiar, warm place. The workshop on Saturday about reading during harrowing times was a great discussion: Lara’s words were food for thought, Snail and Cricket’s music lovely and the Q&A about membership a good idea, as I ended up being a member! No time for the lobby, or just cold feet? Which I know I shouldn’t have in such a welcoming group. I’ll get to know you better in a next retreat. Who knows, maybe in October? I’d like to re-express my gratefulness to all the people who made this retreat such a success.
Ida van Haren
Allegiance – Dave Frey
What a pleasure it was to reconnect and discuss with fellow EUUers!
Here are some highlights of our time together.
Allegiance, perceived as loyalty—to country, family, friends, community, personal values, and humanity in general—were all mentioned. What we choose to be loyal to versus what is imposed on us brought up the connection between allegiance and identity.
As children many of us learned to pledge allegiance to the flag of the USA, a symbol. In feudal times people pledged allegiance to a local lord for the sake of survival. Many of us in the workshop feel a strong international identity and a global allegiance to all of humanity rather than a tribal or even a national one.
Dave pointed out how allegiance is supposed to bring people together and yet it can often cause conflict and suffering. Allegiance can be a powerful force for something we aspire to. We can look inside ourselves and uncover our inner allegiances.
He introduced us to a poem “Allegiance” by Kim Stafford and an excerpt from the collection of essays “My Bright Abyss” by Christian Wiman, and both of them invite us to look into our sorrows at the impermanence of life, to find the courage to persist in living fully, to find the deepest part of our souls and to be moved to praise life.
Thank you Dave for this thought provoking workshop!
EUU Retreat Workshop on the ICUU – John Eichrodt