Before the online Fall Retreat in 2020, Karen Kyker and Shulamit Levine-Helleman created videos to teach people how to use Zoom. They are a good way to get started or to review what you once learned. 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?

Aaron GrossProf. 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 ChanninThe 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:


After you register for the retreat, you will be able to sign up for workshops. There will be two workshop sessions, one on Friday evening and one on Saturday afternoon. The link for signing up will be in the registration confirmation email that you receive. If you registered very promptly, before the workshops were finalized, you will have received a special “EUU Retreat Registration update” email containing the workshop signup link.

Click Here for descriptions of all the workshops.


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 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

Farm Forward

Food ethics in practice

What shall we eat? An ethical framework for food choices

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 Closed

Questions?  write to

We look forward to seeing you online in April!