Seabeck 2023: A Success!

May 31, 2023 | Beacon, News, Top News

Seabeck 2023, our annual Memorial Day weekend retreat, was an amazing success with 165 folks in attendance from East Shore UC, University UC and beyond. I served as Dean, the nominal leader of a team of a dozen or so leaders who organized a weekend full of activities and community building. I wanted to share with everyone a small glimpse of our retreat.

The weather this year was unusually cooperative. We had cool cloudy mornings and sunny afternoons. Each afternoon the lagoon was full of boaters. Each evening we delighted in the lovely social hour spread laid out by Margaret Hall’s team extending out onto the warm Juniper patio. The clear late night skies made for excellent stargazing opportunities through high-powered telescopes each night inspiring exclamations of awe from young and old and ministers alike.

Saturday afternoon Bill Austin led three dozen hikers down to beautiful Guillemot Cove and they all made it back! And Tim Fitzgerald led a trip at low tide to see all the aquatic life at the beach and in the tide pools. Saturday night we basked in the sun-drenched amphitheater singing along to the tunes provided by the Craig Nelsen trio. Warm sunny weather on Sunday meant a spirited game of Ultimate Frisbee led by Nicolo Gelb, a dry and festive UU Olympics, a bird identification walk through the woods led by Barabara Retelle, a contemplative service at the cathedral in the woods, a fantastic salmon bake on the beach, and a cracking fire with s’mores and sing-a-long on the way back.

And Seabeck indoors was just as lively! Saturday and Sunday mornings, Guy Nelson led a creative play workshop which encouraged a gathering of more than 60 to play, be vulnerable and share our beautiful creativity with one another. Sunday morning, Rev. Justin Almeida and Rev. María Cristina led a beautiful worship service with singing, meditation, a life-centric retelling of the biblical creation story, and a sermon on the importance of creating and sharing joy in community. Afternoons were filled with dozens of workshops running the gamut from fun to educational to reflective to justice work. Every night one could find dozens of folks and especially our young adults playing card games, poker and board games into the wee hours. Friday and Saturday evenings, Cafe Seabeck led by John Chmaj was rocking with individual open mic numbers and extended improvisational jams. Saturday night there was a lively Swing Dance party. Sunday night was capped off by an eclectic talent show featuring our wonderful youth followed by our young-at-heart. There were skits, and songs, comedy routines all cheered on by a fun-loving supportive crowd.

This was but a brief recap of some of the bigger moments over the weekend. I have no doubt there were thousands of small but just as meaningful interactions among old friends and new as we practice however imperfectly being a beloved community. To all the leaders that spent so much of their time and energy making this happen, I am deeply grateful. I am also grateful to the 75+ folks who volunteered either by leading a workshop or signing up to take a shift driving the golf cart or running the boat dock. I also want to thank Nicole Duff, Rebecca Chatfield and Amanda Alice Uluhan who facilitated registration, accounting, insurance, and youth safety for Seabeck 2023. To all of those who were able to come, we were all blessed by your beautiful presence and the spirit you brought, and for this too, I am grateful. We hope you had a great time and that you will come back. For those that didn’t attend this year, we hope you will consider coming next year as we still have plenty of room and we need you to make Seabeck 2024 even better.

Humbly and Gratefully yours,
David Langrock
Seabeck Dean 2023/2024