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GOAL $3,500 We are asking for your contribution for scholarships for UU justice leaders so they can attend SpiritRest Silent Retreat. Your donation will provide a lifeline to those leading the hard work of dismantling racism, raising the alarm of the climate crisis, and leading UUs to live into our principles. Time for retreat isn't a luxury, it's a necessity in order to replenish their spirits.
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This past year has been traumatic for so many people, in so many different ways. But it has been especially challenging for UU Justice Leaders – seminarians, clergy, and lay leaders in congregations and community. These leaders are called to be on the front lines of movements towards justice, challenging us to be agents for change, strategizing in the face of opposition, and comforting those affected by trauma.

This is an opportunity to offer a healing experience for those standing at the forefront of our UU justice efforts.  Your contributions will help provide full or reduced tuition at SpiritRest Silent Retreat.

Now in our sixth year, SpiritRest offers a 5-day silent retreat for UU’s seeking a place to restore their spirits, settle their bodies and recover from day-to day challenges.  It was established by UU minsters who felt called to offer the power of silence to other UU’s.  At SpiritRest, justice leaders will have time for healing and restoration in the company of trained spiritual directors who create an environment of high touch and high care.

For justice leaders, SpiritRest Silent Retreat cultivates the spiritual practices that sustain justice work. SpiritRest’s mission from our earliest formation has been to invite and encourage deep spiritual engagement and practice. We see spiritual practice as key to healing what is broken in our world.

This year our retreat will be grounded in the work of trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies.  He writes of the importance of a self-care routine: “Caring for your body, your psyche, and your soul is not optional. It’s crucial to your health, sanity, happiness, and healing, and it is an essential part of being human.” This is especially true for our Justice leaders.

SpiritRest will also teach the skills to ground leaders and sustain their work. Our retreat experience is designed to strengthen the skill of settling the body. As Resmaa Menakem writes, “Few skills are more essential than the ability to settle your body. When you can settle your body, you are more likely to be calm, alert, and fully present, no matter what is going on around you.” When your body is settled you are better prepared to respond with clarity and purpose to life’s challenging realities.

We welcome all UUs who seek the healing power of silence in community, but in 2021 we are giving special focus on healing from trauma and preparing for the work of dismantling white supremacy. Many of us have experienced more vividly than others the wide and painful chasm between those who have bountiful life sustaining resources needed to survive and thrive, and those who barely have enough to survive. Recognizing and living with this ugly and shameful reality, in large part created and perpetuated by white supremacy culture, has had its own traumatizing effect.   We seek to create a retreat environment where participants can rest, recover, and deepen their spiritual muscles for the work that lies ahead.

SpiritRest residential program includes all meals, daily workshops, worship services, and individual spiritual direction at a cost of $1,120. Our goal is to raise $3,500 in order to offer at least 3 full-cost or 5 partial cost scholarships with travel expense reimbursement.

On behalf of our justice leaders, we are grateful for your contribution.

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