theme: SPIRIT - un certain je-ne-sais-quoi*
*a certain I-don’t-know-what
our guest minister: the Rev. Chris Buice, minister of the Tennesse Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee
He is author of the books A Bucketful of Dreams: Contemporary Parables for All Ages and Roller-Skating as a Spiritual Discipline and Other Meditations.
Chris worked in the field of mental health and as a director of religious education before attending theology school at the Earlham School of Religion, a seminary associated with the Society of Friends (Quakers).
He has served Unitarian Universalist congregations in Oxford, Ohio, Spartanburg, South Carolina and Knoxville.
Where - The Retreat Site
Bois du Lys conference center (www.boisdulys.fr) in Dammarie-lès-Lys, is southeast of Paris, near the town of Melun, on the edge of the Fontainebleau forest.
Easy access from Paris by commuter train or RER D.
What Happens at a Retreat?
EUU retreats are not weekends of silent contemplation, though there is time for that.
Friday: We gather on Friday afternoon, eat together and get to know each other. Informal socializing goes on into the night, and if you like to sing or play a guitar, you will find lots of good company.
Saturday: On Saturday morning we listen to our invited speaker. Saturday afternoon is the time for workshops, maybe a walk in the woods or the town, and choir practice (all voices welcome). Saturday night is our Open Stage, featuring all kinds of talent shared by people of all ages. In the past, we have seen young and older performers share karate demonstrations, classical music played on a garden hose, serious and more informal music, comedy routines, poems, and dances. You are assured of a good audience, so bring your talent!
Children and teenagers have their own program, but they join the adults for some activities. See the Youth RE page for more information about the RE (religious education) theme for this retreat.
Sunday: Sunday morning is our worship service, followed by the retreat closing, an invitation to the next retreat and lunch - followed by a lot of hugs and goodbyes.
Every Day: Conversation and music continue each night until the early morning for those who are interested and don’t mind missing some sleep! The entire weekend is filled with activities but they are all optional, and there are many opportunities to relax, meet old friends and make new ones, and generally have a good time. EUU retreats are like family reunions where newcomers feel like members of the family right from the beginning.
Please join us for a weekend of learning, discussion, worship, contemplation, singing, socializing, and friendship for all ages. We invite you to offer your talents to make the weekend special. Can you lead a workshop, help with the children’s program, entertain us on the Open Stage, sing in the choir, play or sing along in the evening? Or ….?
Saturday afternoon's workshops offer a perfect opportunity for you to share with and learn from other retreat participants. Can you offer a 1 to 1.5 hour workshop? Is there some topic related to the theme talk that you would like to discuss or explore with others? Workshop topics and formats are always diverse; past workshops have involved activities like dancing, art, writing, yoga, wine and beer tasting, walks in the woods as well as discussion of a myriad of topics. Send us your proposal when you register or send a message to the Retreat Committee, and we’ll contact you in advance to confirm.
EUU retreats offer a variety of musical opportunities, for both performance and listening, over the course of the weekend. Bring your instrument and/or your voice and join in the EUU Choir, instrumental music for the Sunday Service, the Saturday Open Stage, or the late-night singing and playing sessions. Music Director Marcie McGaughey leads our Sunday service choir and co-ordinates formal music for the weekend. If you want to join either to play an instrument or sing, write Marcie.
More information coming
Getting There - Transportation