President’s Letter Feb 2024 – Summary of the EUU Coordinating Council meeting on Thursday, March 14, 2024

EUU President Karen Kyker

Fifteen people met online for our spring CC meeting, including the ever-supportive and helpful Rev. Diane Rollert from Montreal. By the way – anyone in the EUU community is welcome to attend a CC meeting, to find out how we work together to keep ourselves organized; if interested, please send a message to and let us know that you’d like to attend the next one (to take place after the April retreat).
After our usual greetings and starting activities, we shared and listened to Joys and Concerns from the various affiliated EUU groups – At Large members as well as fellowships – followed by a blessing from Diane Rollert. The primary topics discussed at the meeting included the following:

  • Discussion of some of the details about the two upcoming retreats. The Spring Retreat in Saarbrucken has nearly exactly the planned number of registrants, and as we approach the big date (April 12), it’s looking good. The Fall Retreat (Nov 1– 3) likewise is on track, with a theme speaker, the Rev. Rica Kaufel of the German Unitarier, and a (currently broad) theme of interdependence. The retreat site in Cologne wants our numbers in August (that’s early!) so registration is planned to open up equally early this summer – all of us will need to keep our eyes peeled for announcements of registration time!
  • Making EUU retreats interactively available for online participants came up in the above retreat discussions. Disappointment was expressed that the April 2024 retreat will only provide streaming of some events. Also expressed: desire to ensure that the Fall 2024 retreat will use EUU budgeted money to provide a true hybrid experience. The Fall retreat committee is aware and also desires for this to happen, but the largest challenge is not budget, but rather, human expertise.
  • Highlighted was the planned workshop at the Spring Retreat on our Preliminary Safe Community Statement and looking toward work on a Policy for EUU. Karen Kyker (President) will lead and moderate this workshop, accompanied by Tony Zamparutti, who has worked to create & revise, based on last year’s AGM feedback, the current Preliminary Statement. Clarified: this workshop is not intended to finalize the statement but rather to allow more people to contribute, and to listen to new ideas, and to ask questions regarding the statement, as well as to provide input about the eventual policy to be developed and, hopefully, voted on at the November 2024 AGM. It is hoped that everyone interested will either participate in the workshop or send in their own thoughts if they haven’t yet done so (via this link).
  • The Spring 2025 Retreat will be held in Oberwesel, Germany, April 11–13. Karen Kyker will lead the planning effort, with the Paris Fellowship as the targeted team.
  • The officers – Karen Kyker, Emily Searle-White, Jutta Hamm, and Bonnie Friedmann – met and worked together for a weekend at the beginning of March. A number of long-standing topics were able to be addressed.
  • One of the major outcomes is a suggestion about how to continue providing high quality EUU retreats given a number of pressures that make this challenging. The suggestion is to have 2 major gatherings a year, with only 1 of them an in-person gathering. The other gathering would be totally online. In addition, the online event would not attempt to replicate an in-person retreat; it would be “lighter” in its time commitment over a weekend and would focus more on contributions from the affiliated groups of EUU, i.e., the At-Large Members and local Fellowships. There was interested discussion of these ideas.
  • The Social Action Committee reports that at the upcoming retreat, there will be a slot in the Saturday evening program for a presentation from the committee. And that for the Fall Retreat, we plan to ensure that high school students from Transylvania will come join us, as they have in the past.

Karen Kyker