Spring Retreat News

Dear Friends:

Your retreat team has been working to make this year’s “Playful Spirits” retreat as amazing, wonderful, playful, spiritual and joyful as possible.  We will begin sign-ups on Sunday, March 3rd.  We will also offer an introductory session for first-timers.  We regret that this will overlap with so much else that’s going on at our church…but you know what?  That’s an awfully good problem to have, don’cha think?

Here are some basics:

  1. WHEN:  Our retreat will be the first weekend in May, beginning with dinner on Friday, May 3rd, 2019.  Check-in begins at 4:00 p.m.  Plan ahead, because driving in the spring-summer starts to get very congested on Fridays around 3:00 p.m.  You do not have to attend the entire weekend, or even spend the night.  Except for during rush hour exodus, the drive is a leisurely one hour from Federal Way.  If you drive a bit faster, not even that.  Ferries are even faster, but you’re on their schedule.  We leave after lunch and room check out on Sunday, May 5th, 2019.
  2. WHERE:  The retreat is held at the Seabeck Conference Center, 13395 Lagoon Drive NW, Seabeck, WA  98380 – check out their website at:  seabeck.org
  3. RATES:  The overall rates haven’t been decided by your team yet.  However, your choice of housing will affect your rate and whether you stay full-time or part time will affect it because meals also factor into the cost.  We can offer some scholarships, but we really request that folks trade us some volunteer time in exchange for reduced rates.  Fair enough?  Also, even if you can pay full freight, it would be most excellent and generous of you to help us out anyway!  If you’d consider offering a workshop, helping watch children, help bring supplies, help drive folks who can’t, etc. – we would be extremely grateful.
  4. CHALLENGES:  For many of us, the “no pets” policy is a huge challenge.  Nobody to watch your fur babies?  You can call “Janice’s Critter Care” (Janice and her husband belong to Bet Chaverim) or a similar pet service to watch your animal(s).  Service animals are allowed, but require certification.  They have been updating their rooms, and may be a bit stricter about really requiring documentation for this.  NO FIRE:  Candles are not allowed in any buildings, so if your worship practices require a living chalice flame, be aware this is prohibited.  If possible, bring an electric candle.  We do plan for a CUUPS service at either the fire ring or the chapel in the woods.  STRICT MEAL TIMES:  Folks with small ones, or folks who need to routinely eat smaller amounts more often, should bring their own snacks.  Meals are Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast / lunch / dinner, and Sunday breakfast/lunch.  MEAL CHOICES:  This actually isn’t a challenge.  With advance notice, Seabeck provides vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free or combinations.
  5. PROGRAMS:  Mayda Taney has arranged the main program presentation for Saturday morning.  You’re going to love this, and the Inter-Play presenter is a professional who has already met some of us.  The afternoon programs are by the rest of us.
  6. REQUIREMENTS:  If you have a talent, the talent show on Saturday night is almost mandatory.  If your talent is admiring other folks’ talents, then it is completely mandatory.
  7. WHY:  Because we need this in these stressful times.  Because the folks who play together stay together.  Because our kids need to see us set this good example.
  8. WHAT ELSE?  Your free time is also fun at Seabeck.  First of all, except for supporting others at the talent show, every single activity is optional.  How often do you get that?  You’re on the bay, and beach-combing, eagles, sea life, and a nearby State park are available.  Rocking chairs on the front porches are available.  There are tennis courts, a volleyball court, ping pong tables, open grassy areas, woodland walks, a quiet chapel, historic buildings, a bouncing bridge, and a midnight cemetery hike for the youth.  Across the big wooden entrance bridge are a few small shops, a general store, and a pizzeria.  Bring your knitting!  Bring your violin!  Bring your best friend!!
  9. WHAT’S NEW?  This year the youth will have a place to hang out for them if they want.  Adults will be sleeping there at night.
  10. WHO ELSE IS COMING?  We will invite other congregations, and we will try hard to encourage them to continue to join us.  Most of us really like the mixing with other UU’s.

If you have questions, please email or just come to the “RETREAT FOR BEGINNERS” class.  The date for that will be announced soon.


Saphronia Young
Mayda Taney
Thomas Burt
Anjali Lopez-Stuitt
Cuba Jimenez

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