By Chris Edkins, Board President firstname.lastname@example.org
The weekend of October 11-13th marks the dates for Westside’s fall retreat at Pickettt State Park, informally called Camp Lack-a-Dogma. In my 15 years at Westside I have attended the camp quite a few times. I have fond memories of hikes to the stunning natural bridges in the area; star-gazing in the dark rural skies; making Smores by the camp fire; singing songs with fellow Westsiders; playing chicken foot dominoes (and Poker!). This year I will be staying back here in Knoxville and organizing the Sunday service for those not attending camp. It is likely that 2019 will be the last retreat at Pickett State park for Westside. Dwindling attendance has rendered the annual tradition financially unsustainable and we are contemplating cancelling next year’s booking. But if a church retreat to Pickett is what you crave, fear not, both TVUUC and the Oak Ridge UU congregations have retreats at Pickett and Westsiders are more than welcome to join with them in fellowship. No doubt, we will be spending some time and energy this year re-envisioning what an annual Westside retreat will look like in the future.
This weekend, September 27-29th I will be attending the Spirit Quest tent camping retreat at Elkmont in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. The retreat is a complement to the Earth Based Spiritually class Rev. Carol has been facilitating this year. I look forward to reporting back on my experience with that next month.
Taking some time for our spiritual health is vital important. Just as healthy food, water, sunlight and rest are all important to our wellbeing, so is time spent in quiet contemplation. So whether you enjoy yoga, meditation, being out in nature, journaling or practicing gratitude, take some time out today, this week, this month and this year to cultivate your spiritual health.