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
I was very fortunate to be a participant in Quest 1; a member of the development group for Quest 2; and a facilitator for an integration group in Quest 2. It is a very rich experience for me to pursue my spiritual journey within the Unitarian Universalist community and to share it with other seekers.
Quest enables my search for meaning and helps me explore questions that I'd been pondering for many years. Its open structure encourages each of us to use our own spirit of inquiry in a way that makes sense for us. All that is required of us is a willingness to trust the process – we are on individual journeys within a community of seekers. We are alone together.
Quest helps me to trust my intuition, awaken my creativity, value my authenticity and allow my playful joyous self to blossom. Within a safe environment Quest helps me learn how to“ let go”, and deepens my sense of profound gratitude for my life. Joan Chittister has written that life is simply the responsibility of each of us to make our own contribution to the ongoing co-creation of world, and I believe that the Quest program helps me do just that.
Linda Joy Knox
Quest 1 Participant and Quest 2 Integration Group Facilitator