Annual Retreats -- Women, Men, Community, and Leadership
Our church offers several retreats for our community throughout the year. The biggest is the Community Retreat for everyone, held just after Memorial Day each year. There is also a Men's Retreat and a Women's Retreat. Concurrent with the Women's Retreat is a Men's and Kids' Campout. And finally, in January, the church holds a Leadership Retreat for those currently in leadership roles and anyone else interested in participating in the workshops and discussions. There are limited scholarships available to help individuals who could not otherwise afford to come to these community-building retreats.
Annual Community Retreat
This retreat, typically held the weekend after Memorial Day, is for everyone -- singles, families, couples, youth, groups of friends, YOU! There are activities for everyone: workshops, arts and crafts, swimming and hiking, games and athletics, high and low ropes courses and a rock wall. On Saturday night we have the World's Best Talent Show followed by a campfire with s'mores for all.
Sunday's outdoor worship inspires and rejuvenates our spirits. This is a time for all of us to come together, relax, and enjoy each other's company before the end of the church year.
To sign up, watch for announcements in the church newsletter starting a few months before the next retreat.
Men's Fellowship Retreat
Early March brings the annual Men's Retreat. About 50 men from the congregation gather in the redwoods at Monte Toyon Retreat near Santa Cruz for fellowship, fun and rejuvenation. Please note there is also a men's group at First Unitarian Church of Oakland.
Please save the date for our 2013 annual men's retreat in the redwoods of the Monte Toyon retreat center in Aptos, California (just south of Santa Cruz) - Friday, March 22 (7pm) – Sunday, March 24 (1pm). You are invited to join us for fellowship, fun and rejuvenation. For more information and to register, please visit the Men's Fellowship Web site at http://www.oaklandmensfellowship.com. Contact person: Bob Crowe bobco [at] pacbell.net
The annual Women’s Retreat is typically held during the first weekend in October. The weekend starts Friday night with a welcome dinner and opening ritual. On Saturday, after a homestyle breakfast, we have a full day of workshops and hiking and more eating. Saturday is the Theme Ritual and game night. On Sunday after breakfast, we have a church service and more swimming! The weekend is magical with great food, conversations, rituals and workshops. All ages of women are welcome. The best part of the weekend is all the friends you will make!
Men's and Kid's Campout -- same weekend as Women's Retreat
The annual Men's and Kids' Campout is usually held at Tilden Park. This event grew out of a need to support the women being able to get away for their retreat and has become a joyous gathering of men and children.
Typically in early November of each year, a leadership retreat weekend is held for church leaders and other interested members to talk about our beloved community and share in leadership development workshops. Members of the Board, Executive and Coordinating Team, and all other church group leaders and members are strongly encouraged to attend this retreat. Watch for information about this retreat in September or early October of each year.
This wonderful program helps to connect the generations. Participants are matched -- a child with an adult -- and then the buddies exchange clues about themselves and small no-cost or inexpensive gifts, as they get to know one another each week for four weeks. The first Sunday of the program the buddies begin the fun of revealing a bit about themselves while they try to figure out to whom they are matched. The fun culminates at the Secret Buddy Breakfast on a Saturday when the buddies reveal themselves and find out if their partners have already figured out who their buddy was. Everyone is invited to participate. This event takes place in late winter/early spring.
Our annual auction is typically in April every year, and features entertainment, refreshments, a silent and live auction, and more. See our auction page to learn more about how you can participate, and to see the date and time of the auction.
Costumes, carnival-style games, cake walks, and entertainment highlight this intergenerational event held the Saturday before Halloween.
Each spring we celebrate the Jewish festival of Passover, a time of remembrance and recommitment to the ideals of freedom and justice. As UUs, we honor and participate in the Jewish heritage that so greatly informs and inspires our contemporary faith. It is also a meaningful way for those of us who come from a Jewish background to integrate our UUism with our family traditions.
At the Seder, we each share in telling the story of the Passover with a prepared script called a “Haggadah.” Our Haggadah blends both contemporary and tradition elements and ritual acts. Following the rituals, we share an organized potluck. Nearly 80 adults and children attended the Passover Seder this past year. Note: this is an event that the children enjoy as much as the adults.
Looking for a wonderful way to meet and get to know a small group of folks from the church? Circle suppers are the answer. Organizers typically arrange for potluck dinners in the homes of church members and friends. The host supplies a warm and inviting setting and is responsible for contacting each of the guests assigned to his/her home. Each guest then brings a dish to share. These are casual, pleasant evenings where you'll have an opportunity to meet new people and perhaps enjoy the company of some you've already met.