Murray Grove Summer Newsletter

Hand in Hand
Murray Grove Retreat & Renewal Center
~for the schooner of that name which brought John Murray to these shores, and for the way which we approach our efforts and presence at Murray Grove~

The Newsletter of the Murray Grove Association
In this Issue:
  • Coming of Age Feature Article
  • Highlights of Recent Murray Grove Happenings
  • Upcoming Events
  • Exciting Volunteer Initiative – Women Electricians
Summer 2019
Fourth Annual Coming of Age Enrichment Retreat a Great Success
Coming of Age is a unique gift to our UU teenagers to explore the big religious questions, articulate their beliefs and be loved and accepted by their congregations. Donor support enabled Murray Grove to pioneer an annual retreat weekend for these youth to prepare Credo statements of their religious questions and beliefs. Here is what youth and parent attendees had to say about their experiences.
Retreat Attendee Abigail Miller
I had a lot of fun. We did a lot of workshops on our personal spiritual journey. I learned a lot about things that shaped my beliefs that I hadn’t even thought about before. I thought it was really helpful.
My advice would be to be open to talking to different people. I normally don’t get to talk to anyone my age that goes to a different UU church than I do. It was interesting to see different and similar experiences they both had.
Abigail, pictured above, is from the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County in Reading, Pennsylvania. She is 15 years old. Ms. Miller came with her peers who joined the Coming of Age group at her church.
Youth Attendee Comments

Just do it. It’s cool.
It was very challenging but rewarding.
I definitely recommend it! Definitely worth doing.
It could help you with writing your credo, it asks a lot of good questions.
You should go if you want to find out more about yourself.
It’s very useful and also a lot of fun.
Go for it! It’s life changing and life affirming for everyone.
It’s an experience to bond with yourself and others, and a chance to learn about your beliefs.
It’s good if you don’t know what to do with your credo.
Do it. It’s worth it.

A Parent’s Perspective
When I heard about the retreat, I thought it sounded like an incredible stretching experience…beyond what he might experience in our town or in his school, in typical life.
Lauren Fritz, pictured with her son Jake, is a therapist who works with children, adolescents and adults. She is a mom to two boys with muscular dystrophy. Lauren attended the retreat in a parent capacity, as her son Jake’s helper. Jake attended the recent Coming of Age Retreat. He attends the same church as Abigail.
Carol Haag did icebreaker activities. She is incredible. I was struck by her philosophy and inclusion. Staff was beyond wonderful. Everyone was wonderful and accommodating and kind.
It was a really good experience for the kids to come together from different churches; a very inclusive feeling. A larger feeling of Unitarian Universalism. I sort of noticed that I forgot what church I belonged to.
The kids did not have any constraints that they have in their own school or peer environment. It was great to see them open up and explore… to see them relax into that as their days continued. The feeling of the retreat became “what you are feeling and believing is supported.”
I noticed a lot of youth finding some new space to grow… a new space to experiment and grow creatively. They had a contemplative space where they could find new thoughts forming. The program provided an uncommon and special opportunity for youth to explore this space.
Murray Grove is a really rare place. In our faith tradition, not too many places exist, by nature of it being a Unitarian Universalist gathering space. For me it was a sense of community, comfort and nourishment, even as an adult. For the kids, it was this bolstering kind of thing. This is maybe more rare than you recognize. What a great thing for them to be there.
~ Lauren Fritz
Other Highlights

The leadership team of BLUU (Black Lives Unitarian Universalist) held their annual planning meeting at Murray Grove.

There is now a wonderful campground at Murray Grove. The staff and volunteers cleared 8 spaces for tents in the woods right behind the Cone House.

Our 2nd Speakeasy offered a fun night of music, food, poker and fellowship to a group of local residents.

Deep gratitude to Bayhead by the Sea Condo Association for the elegant pool furniture they donated. Now it’s even easier to bask in the sun after a swim!
UU Congregation of the South Jersey Shore recently enjoyed the beauty of Murray Grove at their annual summer congregational retreat at Murray Grove.
SAVE THE DATE! Upcoming Events at Murray Grove
Camping in the Grove
August 4-8, 2019
Waitlist only
Universal Good: Social and Environmental Justice
September 27-29, 2019
Joyous Women’s Retreat
November 1-3, 2019
Registration for these events is currently being handled through the Murray Grove office until our new website goes live. 609-693-5558 or
Union Women Electricians to Volunteer at Murray Grove

Thirty women of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are coming to Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center for the last weekend in August to volunteer their expert skills to upgrade some of the center’s electrical and HVAC systems. Angel Savoy and her mother Opal Murray, a leader of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, are hoping to demonstrate to girls from the local high schools, community colleges, and churches that the construction trades can offer a well-paying and rewarding career. Including benefits, union electricians can make up to $65 per hour.
When Angel and Opal attended the Women’s Retreat at Murray Grove last November, they were impressed with the program and by the loving spirit of the place. However, with their trained eyes, they saw that Murray Grove could use some expert upgrading of the electrical and air conditioning systems. They then conceived of this volunteer effort and spoke to Louise Illé, Murray Grove’s Executive Director, who is thrilled with the plan.
To properly support this spectacular volunteer effort, we need to raise approximately $7,000 that isn’t in our very tight budget. For these wonderful women to complete their volunteer work, YOU can donate funds to purchase materials, supplies, and food to support their effort.

Murray Grove Retreat & Renewal Center| 609-693-5558 | |
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