Unitarian Universalist congregations are often notable for the breadth and the quality of adult programming they provide.  But if these classes and practice groups can be faulted for any shortcoming it is probably this: lack of depth and little opportunity for learners to fully assimilate and build upon the insights and experiences they’ve received.  Quest, the First Unitarian Society of Madison’s two-year spiritual deepening curriculum, addresses this problem by providing a balanced curriculum of retreats, tutorials in spiritual practice, classes and small “integration groups.”

I participated in the early development of Quest and served as a mentor, spiritual practice guide and presenter for the first group of participants. Many graduates of the program subsequently moved on to assume leadership positions at First Unitarian Society, or to facilitate classes in spiritual development for other adults in our congregation. Quest provided them with inspiration, a strong motivation to serve and greater confidence in their abilities.  Since then, the curriculum has been significantly refined and become, I believe, one of the best of its kind that Unitarian Universalism has to offer.

The Rev. Dr. Michael A. Schuler
Senior Minister, First Unitarian Society of Madison

Meet the holy

To be nourished and held, to be valued and respected, and to be encouraged to explore the mysteries within oneself are the precious gifts of Quest. My participation in Quest 1 and my work as the Spiritual Program Director for Quest 2 continue to enrich my life immeasurably.  As a participant, the guidance and care provided by the program and its facilitators allowed me, in my own time, to wonder, explore and discover a deeper sense of self, a deeper sense of connection. I found a source within myself of peace and reverence that is everlasting.   Now, as I continue on my journey, it is my privilege to support and guide the Quest 2 program and its participants as they do their own deep work and make their own powerful discoveries.

And most importantly, this is what I know: Quest informs the way that I am in the world and I seek to live its Intentions each day -- to live with gratitude and an open heart, to be present to whatever life brings and to meet the holy in this moment, this day, this life.

Janet Swanson
Quest 1 Participant, Quest 2 Spiritual Program Director

  • Photo by Joyce Carey
  • Photo by Lorna Aaronson
  • Water Color by Ann Schaffer
  • Photo by Lorna Aaronson
  • Photo by Joyce Carey
  • Photo by Harry Carnes
  • Water Color by Ann Schaffer

"Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground."  –  Rumi