Serving with Spirit: nUUrturing UU Leaders is a weekend retreat that aims to answer this question. The successor to the well-received CUUL School program, the retreat (which has both an Eastern and a Western setting) will provide spiritual and experiential learning as well as more practical skills-based tools. Participants will walk away from the retreat with a greater sense of the connection between themselves as Unitarians and themselves as congregational leaders, and what congregational activities can feed them spiritually.
Retreat activities will include group work, personal reflection time, journalling, and an invitation to participate in spiritual practices that may be new or familiar, such as meditative walks, other forms of meditation, chanting, and more.
The retreat is open to everyone, but may be especially meaningful for emerging and longtime congregational leaders. For this reason, organizers suggest identifying congregants who would benefit from the retreat and consider providing them financial support to attend. Doing so will make the retreat more accessible and confirm for people interested in attending that their congregation values them as leaders and wants to ensure they are nurtured and sustained. Susan Ruttan from Edmonton speaks to the reasons why congregations might consider this support.
“The board of Unitarian Church of Edmonton has decided to pay to send four emerging leaders to the CUC leaders’ retreat this summer,” she says. “It’s a fair cost — $1,600 for the four…. We are doing it as an investment in our future; we have picked people who are already stepping forward in various ways, and giving them this chance to grow. All four that we’ve picked are thrilled to be going.”
To ensure the greatest possible participation, the registration deadline for the retreats has been extended to June 30. The fee is $400, which includes meals, accommodation, and programming. More info on the Western and Eastern events is available on the CUC website.