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 an integration group leader for Quest 2 I am honored to be a witness to the journeys of so many thoughtful seekers. In my leadership role, I am learning patience and to trust that each participant will unfold in his or her own way and time. The chance to participate in all of the Quest retreats, classes and groups has allowed me to continue my own unfolding as well.
In a discussion at our last retreat we talked in my small group about how things like gratitude and open-heartedness cannot be forced. However, I believe that spiritual practices help us open to recognizing and receiving the many gifts of grace that are waiting to bless us. In Quest we cultivate the ground, trusting that the seeds will sprout and flourish when the time is right.
Lori Creswell, FUS Member and Quest 2 Integration Group Facilitator