UU Wellspring is an intensive 10-month spiritual deepening program for Unitarian Universalists offered at UUCW.
UU Wellspring guides participants through a spiritual journey dedicated to claiming, re-imagining, and practicing the ever-evolving living tradition of our Unitarian Universalist faith based on five core components:
Examples of UU Wellspring reading and discussion topics include spiritual practice, Unitarian &Universalist Roots in America, Transcendentalism, Welcoming the Soul, Humanism, Buddhism, UU Perspectives on Death, Human Nature and Forgiveness.
UU Wellspring involves a sizeable time commitment. It begins with a day-long retreat (approx. six hours) held on a Saturday in September. Monthly between September and June there are two two-hour group meetings. Participants and facilitators also will take time for a daily spiritual practice, a monthly meeting with a spiritual director, and reading the assignments and reflecting on them (approximately 4-6 hours per month).
There is no fee for UU Wellspring, but participants will need to purchase (or borrow) some books, however, and most Spiritual Directors do request a fee (around $50) for each spiritual direction session.
How is this program different from other small groups at UUCW? UU Wellspring is different from our UUnity Circles or Affinity Groups (like West of 50, the Women's Book Group, etc.) because of the time required and the commitment to a daily spiritual practice. It focuses on understanding the roots of our faith and the transformations in Unitarian Universalist thought, as well as our own beliefs. We are asked to think about how our faith sustains us and what it calls us to do in the world.
UU Wellspring's Program Coordinators are the Rev. Suzelle Lynch and UUCW member Patricia D'Auria, and the groups are facilitated by church members.
UU Wellspring has provided a safe, warm environment in which to explore my beliefs and spirit while coming to a greater understanding of the UU faith.
- Louise Ver Wert
The long-term, even-keeled presence of UU Wellspring makes living on auto-pilot very difficult. Don't waste time like I did learning to trust the process. The challenge to clarify my beliefs has comforted me where I was disturbed, and has disturbed me where I had grown too comfortable.
- Bradley Anderson
Simply said, I soooooo love it! I wish the commitment to UU Wellspring was… a requirement of my UUCW membership. My experience has guided me to nourish my own soul with truly authentic spiritual practices. UU Wellspring provides a curriculum with a rich pool of resources to spark discussions … of the world's big mysteries and religions. The model allowed our … committed community of 11 to create a safe, sacred space and time to explore, deepen, and refine my personal theology. I will forever hold this time in my heart.
- Sadie Sveum
Being a Unitarian Universalist for over 20 years, I thought I was pretty familiar with UU theology. But UU Wellspring has … given me a new appreciation for the depth and richness of this faith which challenges me to become more fully myself while working for an inclusive, just, and compassionate society for all. I've gained insight from the readings and discussions that has been moved out of my head and into my heart and soul by … developing a spiritual practice and regular spiritual direction. UU Wellspring is not easy but has proven immensely valuable for my spiritual growth.
- Ann Heidkamp
UU Wellspring has been an intense immersion experience into an "intentional" group that has agreed to be in covenant with each other on a faith journey. This group has the highest purposes of providing a place that is safe … so that each may listen for the voice of their inner teacher. It is hard work and an extended time commitment that could not be otherwise. I have learned the value of adopting a daily spiritual practice. My daily practice is centering prayer. It is in this stillness and receptiveness, in this subconscious processing of the course materials that I am forming my own theology.
- Julie Raaum
For me, UU Wellspring has been an amazing journey into the beauty of spiritual discovery, the peace of quiet reflection and the joy of active listening.
- Marianne Canter