We live in a fast-paced world. The demands of a busy life combined with the constant connectedness of mobile technology can leave us feeling depleted and in desperate need of rest and relaxation. The First Church Spiritual Retreat provides respite from the constant noise of our lives and an opportunity to replenish our souls – to NURTURE THE SPIRIT.
Open to members, guests and friends
First Church invites all members, guests, friends, and simply anybody interested in taking time to nurture their spirits together in a beautiful, calm, quiet weekend retreat. Can you think of anyone who deserves a break from their daily grind? Regardless of their church affiliation, physical ability, spiritual beliefs, or personal identity, all are invited to join us together in this shared yet private experience. Minors under 18 require accompaniment by an adult.
This fall we will return to the Cedar Valley Retreat Center, located forty-five miles from downtown Milwaukee, in West Bend. This modern facility features 24 private rooms, each with its own bathroom and shower. All cooking and housekeeping services are provided by Cedar Valley. The facility is handicap accessible and features an elevator for easy movement between the building’s two floors. The Center includes 100 acres of winding trails, a swimming pond, an outdoor labyrinth and a chapel. Massage and other spa services are available onsite, by advance appointment.
What happens on this retreat?
Your time is mostly yours to spend as you wish! True to the spirit of Unitarian Universalism, each participant brings their own agenda and has their own personal experience. Some use the opportunity to commune with nature throughout Cedar Valley’s majestic wooded trails and grasslands. Others spend the weekend sitting comfortably in the common areas, alone in their private bedroom, or having a massage in the spa. Use the time to read, journal, doodle, craft, or simply nap. Go for a vigorous run or take a leisurely stroll. Ponder a major issue in your life, or have nothing at all on your mind. The Spiritual Retreat can serve any purpose based on your individual need. Many of us do a combination of all the above depending on our mood. The only requirement is a mind open to possibilities. Oftentimes we arrive Friday with a direction we plan to travel and soon abandon it, embracing whatever comes naturally.
Why is this a silent retreat?
In order to truly disconnect from the noise of our lives, we spend the majority of the weekend in companionable silence, not speaking to each other or the staff. After the welcome dinner, we enter into silence in a group ceremony on Friday evening. The silence is broken in a short service before breakfast on Sunday. There is optional sharing time both before and after the silence. Past participants have found a strong bond is forged between people who share this time of communal silence. You can expect to meet new people who will enhance your retreat experience and your experience at First Church in general.
All meals will be provided by Cedar Valley. We will have no responsibility for cooking or cleaning up. The cooks have expressed a willingness to accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences. Please let us know on your registration form whether you have any preferences or requirements, as we will use that information in creating the menu.
Retreatants can check in between 3:00-6:00 p.m. on Friday. (We may be able to accommodate requests for early arrival; let us know if you are interested.) We will have a group meal at 6:00 p.m., followed by a service, at the end of which we will enter into silence. We’ll break our silence with a service on late Sunday morning. You are welcome to leave after lunch or to stay as late as 3:00 p.m. (Sleeping rooms, however, will need to be vacated Sunday morning.)
Payment and Registration (Deadline June 3rd)
Participants may each opt for a single room (some couples even choose this, to limit distractions) or may double up with a roommate. We can accommodate 24 to 35 participants, depending on how many are paired with roommates. ESTIMATED prices, including all six meals, are $244 for a single room and $214 per person for a double room. The full cost of the retreat is due at the time of registration and is fully refundable if you cancel your attendance by email or phone by 5:00 p.m. before Friday, September 1. Because we incur cancellation fees for unused rooms and meals, cancellations after September 1 are only refundable if another person ultimately takes your spot.
If you are unable to commit now, be sure to let the co-chairs know that you are potentially interested and we’ll keep you posted about last-minute cancellations. In mid-September, confirmed participants will receive detailed information on how to get to the center, what to bring, the schedule, etc.
To register online fill out and submit the form below. Once you’ve submitted your registration you will be redirected to to complete your payment information.
You may also print the registration form here and drop it off in the church office or mail it via U.S. Mail along with your check.
Questions? Please contact 2018 Spiritual Retreat Committee Co-Chairs
Chris Aiken, Co-Chair
Rollie Hanson, Co-Chair
Lynda Cipov, Co-Chair