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
As the FUS Minister most directly connected to the implementation of Quest 2, I can attest personally to the transformational possibilities of this curriculum. The group of 34 participants and six leaders who have been on this journey together for the past year bring together a rich diversity of ages, life experience and spiritual practice history. What we share is a passion and a mutual commitment to fully engage individually and with each other to move out of our comfort zones to engage our full spiritual potential.
The Quest curriculum offers a rich variety of experiences such that in any given activity some Questers are fully at ease and others are finding themselves on a whole new path. Notable as well is that, though there are designated staff who are responsible for the presentation of content and facilitation of the program, all of us in those roles are undergoing our own spiritual expansion as a result of our association with each other and the intentional community that is central to Quest.
Reverend Karen Gustafson
Associate Minister, First Unitarian Society of Madison