European Unitarian Universalists
Affirming the inherent worth and dignity of every person
Spring 2018 Retreat
Fall 2017 Retreat
Fall 2016 Retreat
Fall 2015 Retreat
Autumn 2014 Retreat
Retreat Theme Talks
UU Spirituality - Rev Abhi Janamanchi
Past Retreats
Previous Announcements
Previous Announcements

Spring 2014 Dammarie-lès-Lys—Buice
Fall 2013 Oberwesel - McNatt
Spring 2013 Mittelwhir - Morrison-Reed

Fall 2012 Cologne - Janamanchi

Spring 2012 Rolduc - Sinkford

Fall 2011 Oberwesel - McCullough

Spring 2011 Spa - Wieder

Fall 2010 Mittelwihr - Morales
Spring 2010 Oberwesel - Rousseau
Fall 2009 Maastricht - Braestrup
Spring 2009 Spa - Kiely
Fall 2008 Traben-Trarbach - McAllister
Spring 2008 Spa - Clements
Fall 2007 Muenster - Schultz
Spring 2007 Berlin - Belletini

Fall 2006 Oberwesel - Oliver

Gather the Spirit, Come to Melun!

EUU SPRING RETREAT 2014 was held April 11–13 in Dammarie-lès-Lys, France

Special pre-retreat event April 8–10: Walking tour and seminar: Transcendentalists in Paris


Our guest minister will be the Reverend Chris Buice of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Chris will be speaking on that indefinable quality, Spirit: un certain je-ne-sais-quoi (a certain I-don’t-know-what!)

“This will be an invitation to talk about spirit in a way that goes deeper than religion and broader than theology and includes common experiences of team spirit, school spirit and those moments when we feel a certain, I don’t know what,” says Chris, promising to lead us into exploring the theme with his trademark humor and insatiable curiosity. He suggests his presentation will also include reflections on “Spirituality as a Second Language” and “Cross-Cultural Experiences that Can Lead to Spiritual Growth.”

Chris Buice has traveled to Europe several times. In 1987, he was an exchange student at the University of Manchester, England, which gave him ample opportunity to explore many European countries. While in seminary he was a program leader for an international gathering of Unitarian Universalists at Great Hucklow in Derbyshire, England. Chris spent a sabbatical month in Paris in 2012 with his daughter, Sally. In addition to preaching and leading a workshop for the Paris Fellowship, he spent quality time with us, hanging out in Paris cafés. And now, Chris is studying French. “One should continue to do at least one thing in your life that you are bad at without quitting – and one thing your kids can do better than you – in order to stay humble,” he quips. He is interested in exploring how learning a new language affects one’s thoughts about religion.

Chris says, “I am now looking forward to learning more from you about the beauty and challenges of being a UU in Europe.”

While he professes to have no greater ambition than to be “the funny minister,” Chris has led his current congregation through difficult times. The Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church became the target of a violent hate crime due to its history of activism. This violent act was instrumental in launching the Standing on the Side of Love Campaign, a spiritual response of overcoming hatred with love.


Melun is the large town closest to the retreat site and will be your final destination if you are coming by public transportation. Because of its prime location on the banks of the Seine,  Melun has been a commercial center since the Middle Ages. It was also a favorite country residence for the kings of France during that era. Today the château is gone but Melun is the Préfecture of the Seine-et-Marne département, and for gourmets, it is the home of a particular variety of Brie, le Brie de Melun.  Melun offers scenic boat cruises to see amazing villas built along the Seine by the wealthy bourgeoisie around 1900.

Not far from Melun is Fontainebleau, with its vast forest of 280 square kilometers (110 square miles). This former hunting ground of the kings of France now has walking and hiking trails to satisfy any outdoor enthusiast. The Château de Fontainebleau is one of the most fascinating in France. It was transformed through the years by all the French kings from the Renaissance on. Napoleon, who did not like Versailles, chose Fontainebleau as his palace. His famous farewell to his army as he left for Elba took place in the courtyard in front of the horseshoe-shaped staircase. We will not be organizing a visit to Fontainebleau during the retreat, but if you come by car we recommend that you visit it before or after the retreat. Be sure to allow enough time to visit both the château and its gardens.

Closer to the retreat site is the exquisite Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, a jewel of 17th century French architecture with beautiful gardens à la française created by André Le Nôtre. Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV’s superintendent of finance, built Vaux-le-Vicomte. Learn more about the fateful evening in August, 1661, when Fouquet invited the young king for an evening of sumptuous food and entertainment, and how that soirée led to Fouquet’s downfall. A visit to Vaux-le-Vicomte and its exceptional gardens will be organized on Saturday afternoon during the workshop sessions.

Other sites worth visiting in the area include the medieval village of Provins, a UNESCO world heritage site, and the charming town of Barbizon, home of the 19th school of landscape painters. Disneyland Paris is only one hour by RER from the Melun station.

Fall 2013 EUU Retreat
1-3 November 2013

in Oberwesel, Germany

On the beautiful Rhine

Beyond Terminal Uniqueness - Liberal Faith in the Family of Things

What is it that makes religious liberals so hungry to distinguish ourselves by what we are not? What encourages us to set ourselves apart from other religious people, and why do so many of us revel in it? We know we are a small group in the larger religious universe, and yet even amid our quest for growth we cling to our limited numbers with a certain pride. Even so, there continues to develop a growing counter-narrative about Unitarian Universalism: rooted in covenant, open to many faces and expressions of the Holy, making demands of its people, demands that our members embrace. Rev. McNatt will talk about the developing recognition of liberal faith as both liberal and faith-filled, and address the shifts we face as our communities move between these negative and positive poles.

Our Speaker

The Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt is Senior Minister of The Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York, a 174-year old Unitarian Universalist congregation in Manhattan.  Born and raised in Chicago, she is a graduate of Yale University and Drew Theological Seminary. An editor and widely anthologized writer for more than 20 years before answering the call to ordained ministry, Rosemary is a former editor at the New York Times Book Review; author of three books, including her memoir, "Unafraid of the Dark;" a former contributing columnist for; a contributing editor to UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and a prolific blogger on matters ranging from post-election violence in Kenya to presidential politics.

 She has served the UUA for many years in a variety of ways, including as chair of the Board of Trustees of Starr King School for the Ministry and as a member of the UUA Board of Trustees. Rosemary also was a faculty member of the 2008 ICUU Leadership Training Conference in Nairobi, Kenya—the first ever such gathering on the African Continent.  Currently, she serves as the convener of OccupyFaithNYC, a multi-faith economic justice organization founded in the spirit of Occupy Wall Street.  She also is an adjunct instructor at Union Theological Seminary; a founder and active member of the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry, created to provide culturally sensitive liberal religious responses to mass disaster and other significant trauma; and Chair of Disaster Chaplaincy Services of New York, the multi-faith disaster spiritual care service for the metropolitan New York area.  She lives in New York City with her husband, Robert and their two sons, Allen and Daniel.


 The Spring 2013 EUU Retreat was held on 
12-14/15 April 2013

in Mittelwihr, France

In the heart of Alsacien vineyards



"How did we get here? Where are we going?"

The EUU: Celebrating What Has Been, Loving What Is, Dreaming of What this Beloved Community Might Become.

Building on the theme of the Fall EUU Retreat “UU Spirituality: Nurture Your Spirit, Help Heal our World” this Spring, with our speaker, Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed, we will explore how the EUU can best help nurture the spiritual lives of its members. The answer to the questions “What is it you cherish about the EUU?” and “What has the EUU done well?” will guide us as we ask, “Where are we going?” 


Our Speaker, Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed

Well-known to many in the EUU already, the Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed is a favorite, regular visiting minister with several EUU fellowships.  Author of several books, active in UU Community service, Mark has served on many committees, commissions and boards, most recently as President of the Canadian Unitarian Council.   He has a special relationship with and interest in Unitarian Universalism in Europe, and looks forward to joining us in Mittelwihr.    

What’s new at this retreat? 

Stay from Friday until Sunday or Monday!  That’s right, add a day to your retreat with the option to stay Sunday night and leave after breakfast on Monday.  If you don’t have to rush home after lunch on Sunday, this will give you more time to visit, relax, attend another workshop, wander through the vineyards, visit the Albert Schweitzer museum or Riquewihr, socialize over dinner and then enjoy a Sunday evening worship service led by UUA Minister Rev. Charlotte Cowtan, enjoy some more music, dancing, fellowship, quiet time, the possibilities are endless!  This also offers a special opportunity for workshop planners to give a double-session or follow-up session the next day.   Even if you can’t stay for the evening, participants can enjoy the extra workshop slot after lunch on Sunday or a group tour.  Check the box on your registration form to add this extra night stay, which includes dinner, your room, and then breakfast. 

The Location

We are returning to the French Alsace region for the Spring 2013 retreat, staying again at the well-equipped  Le Centrede Mittelwihr (near Colmar) on the eastern side of the Vosges Mountains, a region of vineyards flourishing in a microclimate. All rooms are double-occupancy, handicapped-accessible and en-suite. We will be the only guests at the conference center, providing an intimate atmosphere, but space is somewhat limited, so please register early.  The weekend will offer a complete program of activities for all ages, and we can promise a stimulating exchange of ideas, time for walks in the hills, the vineyards or the lovely towns, the chance to make and renew friendships, opportunities to create and enjoy good music, and a great deal of good fellowship, oh, and GOOD FOOD!!! 


Regional Activities

There will be tours offered of nearby Riquewihr.  The village is a member of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France ("The most beautiful villages of France") association.  A popular tourist attraction for its historical architecture, Riquewihr is also known for the Riesling and other great wines produced in the village, as well as for a remarkable Christmas decoration store. Riquewihr looks today more or less as it did in the 16th century. Riquewihr was one of the few towns in the area not to be badly damaged during World War II. The town is surrounded by its medieval fortifications and is overlooked by a castle from the same period that is today a museum.  Also nearby, if you didn’t go last time we were here in 2010, you may like to visit the Albert Schweitzer home and museum in nearby Gunsbach, or his birthplace and museum in Kayserberg.

The Fall 2012 EUU Retreat will be held on 

26 - 28 October 2012

at Köln-Riehl Jugendherberge 
Cologne, Germany

We had a great Retreat.  Hope to see you at our Spring Retreat.
The Theme Was 
Nurture Your Spirit, Help Heal Our World: 
Exploring UU Spirituality

Join us as we reflect on UU spiritual challenges facing us as liberal religious people today.

 Where do we find a faith-based community in which dogmatism – whether theistic or atheistic – does not prevail?  

Where can a person go to explore viable alternatives to the seductive but ultimately unsatisfying message of today’s consumer culture? 

Where can we find support in living with intellectual integrity, moral responsibility, and mature spirituality?  For Rev, Janamanchi, the answer is self-evident: Unitarian Universalism. 

The Saturday theme talk will offer some guideposts to develop the spiritual muscles for nurturing our spirits, healing ourselves, and healing our world. 




Featuring as guest minister and speaker 

The Reverend Abhi Janamanchi

Minister to the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater, Clearwater, Florida, USA



   Spring 2012 EUU Retreat will be held on 
20-22 April 2012

at Rolduc Abbey Hotel and Conference Centre
Kerkrade, Netherlands

The Challenge of a Liberal Faith  

Unitarian Universalism has been described as a “Religion of our Time.”  It is a challenging identity for us to claim.  Do we have enough faith in our faith to move in from the religious margins?  Are we really “religion-lite,” a convenient home for those fleeing the certainties and the dogmas of other faith? Is our Good News deep enough and life transforming enough for us to offer it up to our hurting world?

Join us as we reflect on whether we might, in fact, have a critical role to play in these divisive times and what spiritual challenges face us as liberal religious people today.



Featuring as guest minister and speaker 

The Reverend William G. Sinkford

Senior minister, First Unitarian Church, Portland, Oregon, USA

The Fall 2011 EUU Retreat will be held on 
4 – 6 November 2011

at Oberwesel Youth Hostel 
over looking the Rhein in Germany.
A Sense of Place  


What gives you a sense of place? Location? Culture? Food? Family?

Many of us have faced this question while we have made our homes in places quite different from those where we grew up.   

The Members-at-Large of EUU invite you to join us and Unitarians, Universalists and UUs from all over Europe (and even farther away) to share your sense of place with us. Gather with us for a wonderful weekend with activities for all age groups – a theme talk, workshops, worship, contemplation, singing, socializing, and a full program for children and teenagers.


There’s something for every age at a retreat, so please come and bring your family or friends.  

Our speaker will be coming from a place as far away from Europe as you can get – New Zealand. We are very pleased that 
the Rev. Derek McCullough was willing to make the long journey from New Zealand to talk with us about how our sense of place affects our spirituality.


Derek is the minister of Unitarian Universalists of Christchurch, a group about as big as an EUU fellowship. He is past president of ANZUUA, the

Australia and New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association. In addition to his church ministry, Derek has been unning an eco-friendly B&B   {Ka Whare Rehua}. He is also an international barbecue judge. You can learn more about about UUs in New Zealand, as well as about Derek’s beliefs and how he came to become a UU and a minister – and even how he became captain of the New Zealand BBQ Team – in this streaming video, My God made by a New Zealand TV station. Derek has lived in the US as well as New Zealand, so he can relate to our experiences of living in rather different places. His own place in Christchurch was badly damaged by the earthquake earlier this year.


We will gather at the popular Jugendgästehaus Oberwesel, in its spectacular setting directly next to the Schönburg castle, high on a cliff with breathtaking views of the romantic Rhine and the surrounding vineyard-covered mountainsides.


Oberwesel is a charming town between Koblenz and Mainz, in the valley of the Lorelei. This part of the Rhine has mountains, castle ruins, marvelous walking trails and a variety of sightseeing possibilities. It is not far from Bingen, so you may want to combine the retreat with a visit to the abbey associated with the versatile and venerated Hildegard of Bingen.





Derek’s Place:

Derek’s own place in Christchurch was badly damaged by the recent earthquake.



Sol Cress Center, Spa, Belgium
A Humanist's View of Spirituality
Paths to Understanding
European Unitarian Universalist Spring Retreat
Spa, Belgium, 1 - 3 April 2011
"Not to weep, not to wax indignant, but to understand" Spinoza
The Kaiserslautern UU Fellowship Retreat team warmly invite you to join us at the Sol Cress Center on the hillside above the beautiful town of Spa, Belgium, one of our favorite retreat sites.                       
Our speaker, the Reverend Dr. Walter Wieder serves as senior minister at the UU church in Surprise, Arizona. He is a member of the UUA President's Council and is a member of the General Assembly Planning Committee. He is also is a Frater of the Wayside Inn and the host of a weekly radio show in Phoenix, A Different View on Sundays at 4 pm, on KNFX 1100 AM. There is also a podcast site,
Saturday Theme Talk: Walt will speak on ways of finding spirituality from a humanist perspective. He says, “The search for spirituality seems to be everywhere. Is there a way to take that search seriously without recourse to magical thinking and the supernatural? Well, I should smile. Of course there is. I would describe myself, theologically, as an existential humanist, a kind of double denial of the transcendent. And I'm as spiritual as they come.” 
Sunday Service: Walt will lead us in a service to celebrate our spirituality.

The retreat will take place at the Sol Cress Conference Center, Spaloumont 5, B-4900 Spa Belgium, +32(0)87 77 23 53,

Spa has been known since Roman times for its healing waters. Since the 16th century it has been world-famous as a resort town for "taking the waters." Fountains of various springs are found throughout the town and we will have bottles of Spa water on the tables at Sol Cress.
EUU has hosted many retreats at Sol Cress and we are excited about returning to this lovely site in the Ardennes forest with its views and hiking trails. Playground equipment behind the main building entertains the little ones, and a soccer field, pool table and ping pong table occupy the bigger kids. The bar, which is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. with billiard, video games, and board games, welcomes you in its dining area or its living room with open fireplace.
There are many tourist attractions and recreation areas near Sol Cress. You can arrange to stay another night at Sol Cress by contacting directly our English­-speaking liaison at Sol Cress, Nancy Vertommen (+32(0)87 77 23 53; Mention that you are participating in the EUU weekend.

The modern spa complex ("Les Thermes") is a stone's throw from Sol Cress. Their pools (Les Bains) are open to the public daily (18 Euros for a 3-hour visit, 29 Euros for full day)  and you must bring your bathing suit and two bath towels. For spa health or beauty treatments (Soins), reservations are required. All information is available at
How do we get to Spa?
Located in the French-speaking province of Liège, Spa is situated in a romantic valley, some 35 km (22 miles) southeast of the city of Liège, and 45 km (28 miles) southwest of Aachen. There is plenty of parking space at the site, which is located up the hill from the town center. (The stylized map below illustrates how to get there via Exit 8 from the A27)


Mittelwihr, France
OCTOBER 29-31, 2010
EUU continues its 30th-anniversary-year celebrations at the Fall Retreat in the beautiful Alsace region. The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris warmly invites one and all to a very special retreat with a distinguished speaker, exciting activities and a full retreat program.

Our Speake 
“The key to the future for every single congregation and for Unitarian Universalism as a movement is whether we can ‘get religion.’ If we ‘get religion’ we will thrive. We will touch lives and change the world. If we don’t, we will decline.” 
With these words, printed in the Spring 2010 UU World, Reverend Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA), threw down the gauntlet to all UUs, challenging us to look to what we love and value –and not at what we “believe” – as a way to revitalize and grow our faith community. 
We are delighted to host Rev. Morales at the Fall Retreat, where he will expand on the ideas articulated in the UU World article in his theme speech, “Building a Religion Beyond Belief.” His talk will explore religion not as a set of beliefs but as common values of compassion, community, freedom, justice and stewardship. In short: We are united not by what we think but by what we love. 

Rev. Morales brought this message to his home ministry – Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, Colorado – one the UUA’s largest and fastest growing congregations. He is now one year into a four-year term as UUA President and is at the helm as the UUA faces new challenges in growth and multiculturalism. Public witness is central to Rev. Morales’s presidency; he is especially passionate about immigration reform and environmental justice.
Beforeentering the ministry in 1999, Rev. Morales had a full career as a Fulbright lecturer in Spain, a newspaper editor and publisher in Oregon, a Knight International Press Fellow in Peruand a regional manager in California state government. From 2002 to 2004, he served as the UUA director of district services, and he was the first person to carry the anti-racism, anti-oppression, multiculturalism portfolio of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA). 

Your hosts, the UU Fellowship of Paris, are thrilled to have the opportunity to listen and learn from this exciting, dynamic leader and minister. For background on our theme talk, please read Rev. Morales’s article, “The ‘It’ Church,” at
After many years, we are returning to the French Alsace region for the Fall 2010 retreat. We will be staying at the well-equipped  Le Centrede Mittelwihr (near Colmar) on the eastern side of the Vosges Mountains, a region of vineyards flourishing in a microclimate. All rooms are double-occupancy, handicapped-accessible and en-suite. We will be the only guests at the conference center, providing an intimate atmosphere, but space is somewhat limited, so please register early.
Regional Activities
If you come early or stay late, the region has many attractions. Alsace is known for its wood framed houses, fantastic wine and regional specialties. Colmar is a charming, typically Alsatian city, while neighboring Riquewihr is a walled, well-preserved picturesque medieval market town. Mittelwihr is set along the Route des Vins d’Alsace (Alsace Wine Route), and a Saturday wine tasting workshop is planned! There is also a signposted walk through the vineyards. 
UUFP has organized a special guided tour of the Albert Schweitzer home and museum on Sunday afternoon. Look for early sign-up on the registration site. (Please note that meals, lodging and activities before dinner on Friday and after lunch on Sunday are pay-as-you-go and are not included in the retreat price.)
Colmar is a charming, typically Alsatian city featuring the Unterlinden Museum. The museum is housed on the site of the former Dominican convent of Unterlinden (“under the linden trees”). The galleries displaying the museum’s collections of art from the 15th to the 18th centuries are arrayed around the former convent’s well-preserved 13th-century cloister. The museum’s most celebrated work, the Isenheim Altarpiece, has pride of place in the convent chapel.
Riquewihr Riquewihr is a walled, well-preserved picturesque medieval market town.
Mittelwihr is set along the Route des Vins d’Alsace Alsatian Wine Route and a Saturday wine tasting workshop is planned! There is also a 14 km walk through the vineyards. 
In the footsteps of Albert Schweitzer: Nearby (7 km from Mittelwihr) Kayserberg is Schweitzer’s birthplace and museum. Schweitzer’s former home and African museum is in Gunsbach (19km). UUFP has organized an optional special guided tour of Gunsbach on Sunday afternoon. Look for early sign-up on the registration site. Also, the Albert Schweitzer footpath along the banks of the Flecht river is a 55-minute walk with panels retracing the life and thoughts of Schweitzer.  

Straussbourg is not only full of Alsatian charm, but headquarters of the Council of Europe and the Human Rights building. Here you can see the famous Renaissance Astronomical Clock, and the Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral


Spring 2010 Retreat

European Unitarian Universalists

invite you to join us at the

Spring Retreat

April 9 – 11, 2010

in Oberwesel, Germany


Come join us for a thought-provoking and enjoyable weekend with activities for all age groups,
including a full religious education program for children and teenagers.


Our Speaker

Our speaker will be Rev. Wymann Rousseau, a familiar EUU retreat speaker and, since last year, retired after forty years of active UU ministry in Minnesota, Massachusetts, Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. In 1958, at the time of his graduation from New Canaan High School in Connecticut, Rousseau refused to attend the Baccalaureate service, leading his English teacher to predict accurately that this thoughtful student would likely succeed as a liberal minister.

Rev. Rousseau is a graduate of the University of Connecticut. He trained for the Unitarian Universalist ministry at the Meadville/Lombard Theological School and the Divinity School at the University of Chicago.

He was the co-founder and first President of Hospice and Palliative Care in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1994, the Rev. Wyman Rousseau was honored by the Piedmont, N. C., Unitarian Universalist church in celebration of his twenty-five years of service to the denomination.

One of his passions is poetry, poetry that moves us, that makes us laugh or cry and in particular, haiku. For six years he served as secretary to the Haiku Society of America, known for his having created a "Haiku Mindfulness" workshop. He is married to Maia Williams, a real estate strategist and marketing consultant, and they have three children. He likes the accessible more than the impenetrable, and feels that while poetry is wonderful for private consumption, it can also bring us together in community. He will share some of his favorite poets, and help us find new ways to enjoy poetry.


Birthday Party

At this retreat, EUU will be celebrating its 30th birthday anniversary. A party, birthday cake, and all sorts of events and exhibitions are being planned to help us remember and honour our special organization. Donna Henson-Boyers, Gevene Hertz, Martha Hicks, Tina Huesing and Vicki Roberts-Gassler have some birthday surprises in store for everyone.


The Site – Jugendgästehaus (Youth Guest House or Youth Hostel)

This modern guest house is beautifully situated on a mountain overlooking the river, next to a restored castle. The Guest House is equipped with an indoor swimming pool. We will reserve times to use it on Friday and Saturday. People will need to bring their own swimming towels as the ones in the rooms are small.

Ping-pong tables are in the game room, so bring your paddles and balls if you don’t want to rent them. We have requested the 200-seat, wood-paneled conference room, complete with a beautiful wall hanging and grand piano. All meals are included from dinner on Friday the 9th of April through lunch on Sunday the 11th.

The Location

The picturesque Rhine Gorge, between Bingen and Koblenz, has castles on rocky crags and vineyards climbing up the steep slopes. Lovely villages dot the river banks. Not far from Oberwesel, the river twists around the high, echo-producing Lorelei Rock. Legend tells that a maiden threw herself into the Rhine in despair over a faithless lover. She was transformed into a siren (the Lorelei) whose seductive song lured fishermen to a watery grave.

For an interesting excursion, visit the Hildegard Museum in Bingen. Hildegard of Bingen was a 12th century abbess and mystic. Her writings include accounts of her visions, lives of saints; two treatises on medicine and natural history that reflect a quality of scientific observation rare at that period, and extensive correspondence that contains prophecies and allegorical treatises. She also composed music and poems, and – for amusement – contrived her own language.

Fall 2009 Retreat
Love on the Maas
European Unitarian Universalist Fall Retreat 2009
Maastricht, Netherlands, 30 Oct­­-1 Nov


The Netherlands Fellowship Retreat team warmly invite you to join us at the StayOkay Youth Hostel in Maasstricht, Netherlands, a new retreat sites.

Our speaker, the Rev. Kate Braestrup, graduated from Bangor Theological Seminary in 2004, and was ordained the same year by the First Universalist Church of Rockland, Maine. In 2007, she received the prestigious Melcher Award, which recognizes contributions to the cause of liberal religion, for her memoir entitled Here If You Need Me.

Saturday theme talk:  
The theme that Kate has selected to talk about is Love.

Spring 2009 Retreat
European Unitarian Universalist Spring Retreat 2009
Spa, Belgium, 3­­-5 April 2009
Sol Cress Center, Spa, Belgium

 Through a Glass Brightly: UU Visions of the Earth Today 

The At-Large and Friends Retreat team, led by John Keating and Elizabeth Malone and John and Gevene Hertz, warmly invite you to join us at the Sol Cress Center on the hillside above the beautiful town of Spa, Belgium, one of our favorite retreat sites.
Our speaker, the Rev. Brian Kiely, is the current President of ICUU, the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Ordained in 1988, he has served as the Minister of the Unitarian Church of Edmonton, Alberta, since 1997. Before that he was the founding minister of a congregation in Surrey, British Columbia. Brian has served on the Board of the Canadian Unitarian Council and was CUC President from 2004-2006. Formerly a journalist and photographer, he is a past Editor of "The Canadian Unitarian". Brian is happily married to Teilya and is the proud father of two little girls. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, golf and Canadian football.

Saturday theme talk: 
Brian will talk about his experiences with people around the globe who are attracted by the words and the core ideas of our faith, but who invest them with different meaning and practice, different theologies and rituals, and different expectations. What are the differences among Unitarians, and what unites us? What gifts can our liberal faith offer the world?
Saturday workshop:
Brian plans to offer a workshop on the topic "Spirit of Life" - young people are most welcome to attend this.
Sunday service: 
Brian's sermon is titled "Across the Divide: Humanism and Spirituality in UUism".


Fall 2008 Retreat
European Unitarian Universalist Fall Retreat 2008
Traben-Trarbach, Germany, 31 Oct-02 Nov

Where Is Your Spiritual Home?
The Kaiserslautern Unitarian Universalist Fellowship invites you to join UUs from all over Europe for a thought-provoking and enjoyable weekend with activities for all age groups, including a full religious education program for children and teenagers.
EUU RETREAT Oct 31-Nov 2, 2008: Finding Your Spiritual Home
Our guest speaker:
We are delighted to announce that our theme speaker will be the Rev. Jill McAllister, who will be coming from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Rev. McAllister is the minister of People's Church in Kalamazoo and is a past president of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists.
Rev. McAllister's theme talk will be "Finding Your Spiritual Home." It is based on Buddhist practices (translated into Unitarian Universalism) concerning the four central virtues: Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity (collectively referred to as the “Brahma Viharas”). She has found this to be a wonderful format for considering and practicing centering and mindfulness, and for helping UUs understand and articulate their own needs for spiritual practice.
Sunday service: Homemaking
What does it mean to be at home in the world, when so much is at stake on our fragile planet? What does it mean to be at home in the world, when so many are displaced, and even homeless? Could it be that we are called, as religious people, to be homemakers, in the deepest sense of the word? Could it be that homemaking is truly a spiritual quest? Could it be that homemaking is what we need the most?

The Traben-Trarbach Retreat Site
In order to reduce costs and make this Retreat family friendly/affordable, we will be staying at the Middle Mosel Youth Hostel. Rooms are basic but clean and all have a toilet, bath or shower in suite. Towels are NOT provided, so please bring a nice, large, fluffy one with you from home. (Small towel may be rented from the Hostel staff for 1€.) The Hostel is small but should serve our needs well. We have reserved the entire facility so we will be the only guests that weekend. There are very few single rooms available. Please do not request one unless absolutely necessary. Lodging preferences will be taken on a “first registered – first served” basis. If you have any special needs (mobility difficulties, dietary restrictions, etc.) please make them know to the Retreat Committee when registering so that we may attempt to accommodate them. Looking forward to seeing you at what promises to be a wonderful Unitarian Universalist retreat.

The Traben-Trarbach Area
A meeting point with flair and charm! The woods and vineyards snuggle up to the double city on the left and right banks of the Mosel as if they were a mighty amphitheater bordered by grape vines. An abundance of buildings with architectural treasures of the Jugendstil and “Belle Epoque” styles will make our retreat in Traben-Trarbach a refreshing experience.
Youth Programs
Social Action and English Book Exchange

Traben-Trarbach Mittelmosel-Jugendherberge Jugendgästehaus
Hirtenpfad 6
56841 Traben-Trarbach
Telefon +49 6541 92 78

Spring 2008 Retreat

European Unitarian Universalist Spring Retreat 2008

Spa, Belgium, 18-20 April 2008

Dr. Charlie Clements, President & C.E.O. of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)


What is it about Unitarian Universalism that makes social action an essential part of our faith?


The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris invites you to join UUs from all over Europe for a thought-provoking and enjoyable weekend with activities for all age groups, including a full religious education program for children and teenagers.

EUU RETREAT APRIL 18-20, 2008: Protest that Endures: the Theology of Justice

!!!!!The deadline to register is Friday, March 28th!!!!!

Our guest speaker:

We are delighted to announce that our theme speaker will be Dr. Charlie Clements who will be coming from UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee) headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Rather than listing all of his accomplishments, we have decided to give Charlie's own description of the three decisions that have shaped the moral arc of his life. The first was as a young distinguished graduate of the Air Force Academy, when he refused to fly further missions in Vietnam in support of the invasion of Cambodia. The second decision occurred a decade later, when having become a Quaker and a physician, he volunteered to 'bear witness' in El Salvador and ended up working in rural communities that were bombed, rocketed, or strafed daily by some of the aircraft in which he had once trained. Finally, while on an emergency human rights mission to Iraq only weeks before the war started in 2003, Charlie was so outraged by the deception of his own government and by the suffering he encountered from a decade of sanctions that he decided to return to full-time human rights work. It was the last decision that would ultimately lead Charlie back to UUSC, where he serves today as CEO and President.

Though not an ordained minister, Charlie has been a guest speaker in UU congregations and fellowships across the United States and he will be leading our service on Sunday morning.

Saturday theme talk: "The Theology of Justice Making"

Charlie will trace some of the robust legacies of both our Unitarian and Universalist roots and then explore how the values of Unitarian Universalism are embedded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). He will show a 30-minute film called "For Everyone, Everywhere," about the birth of the UDHR and then demonstrate the impact of this remarkable document in every corner of the world, every day.

The second portion of the morning we will break into four groups to study materials about four human rights programs of UUSC: environmental justice (defending the human right to water); civil liberties (ending U.S. sponsored torture); economic justice (the importance of living and minimum wages); rights in humanitarian crises (ending the genocide in Darfur).

Sunday service: "Do not be Daunted by the Enormity of the World's Grief."

The sermon will be an exploration of a commentary from the Talmud: "Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Love mercy now. Walk humbly now. Do justice now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Charlie will be available throughout the weekend to help attendees understand the experiential education opportunities of UUSC from the Just Works Camps to Just Journeys to the UUA-UUSC Gulf Coast Volunteer Program. He would also like to hear from attendees about what UUSC might do to increase involvement of European UUs.

What is UUSC?

 Founded in 1939 to rescue victims of Nazi persecution, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is an independent human rights organization whose work is grounded in UU principles. UUSC partners with local grassroots organizations in the United States and around the world to focus on four areas: advancing economic justice, defending civil liberties and access to democratic processes, promoting environmental justice and protecting rights in humanitarian crises. For more information about UUSC, go to



Fall 2007 Retreat

European Unitarian Universalist Fall Retreat 2007

Münster, Germany, 26-28 October 2007


Rev. Dr. William F. Schulz, Former Head of Amnesty International USA


Registration is now available


As head of Amnesty International USA, William F. Schulz traveled all over the US and to many of the world's trouble spots with the human rights message. Following in a proud tradition of Unitarian and Universalist social activists, he served as the UUA president for eight years, and currently chairs the board of the UUSC. Those of us who know Bill Schulz realize not only that he is the highest-profile speaker we have ever had at a retreat, but also that beyond his international reputation he is a warm and approachable person. We are incredibly lucky to have him as our fall retreat speaker: you really do not want to miss this once in a lifetime special retreat.


Family friendly pricing combined with a site new to us, in the charming cathedral town of Münster, should make this fall's retreat a superb experience. The photo at the left shows the town in the splendor of its famous Christmas Market.

Spring 2007 Retreat

European Unitarian Universalist Spring Retreat 2007

Berlin, April 13-15, 2007

A search for Unitarian Universalism
in the 21st Century

Rev. Mark Belletini, senior minister First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus, Ohio

When asked whether he believed in God or not, a famous pianist answered at once, "Oh no, I believe in something greater than that." The Unitarian Universalist heritage is rich in that kind of faith, even if our beliefs are few and our numbers small. Our living tradition has always been a quest for something greater, or deeper, or more essential perhaps than received traditions. Emerson wanted immediacy, not rote. Susan B. Anthony wanted power for all, not traditional gender stratification. And the Socinians in Poland wanted a theology that made sense to them, not something plopped into their lap by authority. Whether interpreting the ancient scriptures with fresh eyes, or training skeptical questions on even the most comforting of religious assertions, ours is a tradition not of little faith, but of great faith, the faith that casts off for fresh shores.

I hope to help us all search for ways to find the unity in our diversity, the common threads in our tapestry, the grounding of our faithfulness as Unitarian Universalists in the postmodern, 21st century world.

Rev. Dr. Mark Belletini is in his 28th year as a Unitarian Universalist parish minister. He served in San Francisco, Hayward CA, and has been senior minister in Columbus for the last 8 years.  He chaired the Hymnbook Commission that produced Singing the Living Tradition. He is vice chair of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, which is the credentialing body for Unitarian Universalist ministers. He has many godchildren, some now grown, who are significant to his heart, and a wonderful family of good friends in the Americas and Europe who ground his spirit. He paints, cooks his heritage Emilian food and writes poetry and enjoys urban walks late at night. He has presented at EUU gatherings three times in the past, and enjoys his relationship with this remarkable and vital community.


For the first time, EUU’s spring retreat will take place in Berlin. The site is in the southeastern outskirts of Berlin at the Akademie Schmöckwitz:
Wernsdorfer Straße 43, 12527 Berlin-Schmöckwitz
Tel. +49 30 675030, Fax +49 30 6758026

The site is elegant and will be able to accommodate people who want to come early or stay longer. Early registration will be a must. There are several inexpensive airlines serving airports near the site. Check Google “cheap flights Europe”  to find a carrier from your city to Berlin. Shönefeld is the closest airport, after that Tempelhof and farthest is Tegel.



Fall 2006 Retreat
European Unitarian Universalists
invite you to join us at the
Fall Retreat
Oct. 27 – 29, 2006
in Oberwesel, Germany
Becoming Whole through Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Photo from 2007 ICUU Symposium
Our Speaker
Gordon Oliver, President of ICUU, the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists and minister of the Unitarian congregation of Cape Town, is coming from South Africa to talk to us about forgiveness and reconciliation from both a social justice and a personal perspective. Gordon himself was actively involved in Cape Town local politics fighting apartheid starting at the age of 19. On the day that Nelson Mandela was released from prison, he went to the Cape Town City Hall to address the nation. Gordon was the mayor of Cape Town at that time and had the privilege of welcoming him.

Gordon Oliver has been the minister of the Cape Town Unitarian Church since 2002. After joining the church in 1989, he became a member of the church council and then their minister-in-training. He received his theological training at Unitarian Theological College, Manchester, UK and was minister-in-residence at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, in the spring of 2002. He was the Executive Director, Parliament of the World’s Religions (South Africa) 1998-99. He organized the first South African National Gathering of Unitarians in Sept. 2001. He is currently serving his second term as ICUU president. (EUU is a founding member of ICUU.) Before becoming a minister, Gordon was a Cape Town City Councilor for 15 years. He was elected Deputy Mayor of Cape Town in 1987, and in 1989 became Mayor of the City. Gordon is married and has four children and 3 grandchildren.
The Site – Jugendgästehaus (Youth Guest House or Youth Hostel)
The Location
The picturesque Rhine Gorge, between Bingen and Koblenz, has castles on rocky crags and vineyards climbing up the steep slopes. Lovely villages dot the river banks. Not far from Oberwesel, the river twists around the high, echo-producing Lorelei Rock. Legend tells that a maiden threw herself into the Rhine in despair over a faithless lover. She was transformed into a siren (the Lorelei) whose seductive song lured fishermen to a watery grave.
For an interesting excursion, visit the Hildegard Museum in Bingen. Hildegard of Bingen was a 12th century abbess and mystic. Her writings include accounts of her visions, lives of saints; two treatises on medicine and natural history that reflect a quality of scientific observation rare at that period, and extensive correspondence that contains prophecies and allegorical treatises. She also composed music and poems, and – for amusement – contrived her own language.
Saturday afternoon activities revolve around workshops led by volunteers attending the retreat.

Religious Education for Young People
Music and Dance
The prices for this retreat are lower than for recent retreats, especially for families.
  • 165 euros for adults over 25.
  • 100 euros for registrants ages 20 to 25
  • 65 euros for teens (ages 13-19)
  • 50 euros for children (ages 2-12)
  • 20 euro surcharge for single rooms (only a few available for special needs).
  • 10 euro discount per adult EUU member
Questions: Tom and Jeanette Wild-Sievers

Registration deadline is September 30.
A € 10 late fee will apply for adults who register after this date.

HomeRetreatsEUU FellowshipsUnifierSocial ActionYouth REOther UUs Officers & Contacts