Social Action – Reaching Within, Reaching Without

EUU President Carolyn Burlingame-Goff

In 2012, my then husband ended our marriage and moved out of our family house with very little notice.  At a time of great uncertainty in my life, I did not want to miss an EUU Retreat.  I wanted that continuity for the children, and I wanted a place where I could breathe among friends for 48 hours.  But could I afford it?  I honestly didn’t know.  So I was enormously grateful when the EUU Grant fund offered to cover some of my costs.  Several years later, when I had recovered both financially and emotionally, Ray and I donated to the grant fund so that another long-term member undergoing hardship could attend, and we were enormously grateful that we could make that happen, too.

The EUU Grant Fund has existed for many years to help our members experiencing financial difficulties attend our retreats.  During the retreat registration process, members are instructed to contact the treasurer if they cannot afford the fees.  The treasurer and president then review the requests and balance them with the amount of money in the Grant Fund.  Our current policy prioritizes families with R.E. age children, members who donate time in lieu of money to EUU, long-term members, and active Fellowship members who have not yet been able to attend a retreat.

This may not be the primary way we conceive of social action, but, to my mind, EUU should support social action that reaches inward to our own small community as well as outward to the world at large.  For this reason, the CC recommended that the Sunday collection at the Cologne Retreat go towards the Grant Fund.  The Grant Fund is not a part of EUU’s yearly budget; it is dependent on direct donations, and the money collected in Cologne will help members who otherwise would not be able to attend our upcoming retreats.  The CC would like to thank everyone who supported this initiative – especially those who threw some money into the collection plate knowing that they, themselves, would not be attending our upcoming retreats.  We will miss you, but no one should miss a retreat for lack of means.