Monthly Archives: January 2013

Chair’s Letter

Oh, how quickly Summer Institute approaches!

Welcome to you if you are perusing our program brochure for the first time, and Welcome Back if you have been eagerly waiting since last summer to hear information about this year’s gathering! Your Planning Committee has been hard at work since early last August as we build another fantastic week of Summer Institute (SI) magic for 2013.

We are so thrilled to have Rev. Art McDonald returning to the Ohio Meadville District to join us as our Theme Speaker for the week. We will explore Social Justice as a Spiritual Practice: “A Central UU Path” with him during his morning theme talks, and will carry the theme through the week in many different pieces of our programs.…

Theme Speaker

Social Justice as a Spiritual Practice: A Central UU Path

Rev. Art McDonald will share thoughts on the theme including personal, congregational, and larger community perspectives on social justice. Ideas and questions to be considered will include:

  • A Story of Conversion: Confessions of a Slow Learner.
  • Social Justice and the Congregation. Will social justice grow or divide the congregation?
  • Religion, Politics and Democracy. Do we mix religion and politics? If yes, how? Are we democrats and/or republicans? We’ll use the concept of the common good to critique our individualism. What does it mean to say the congregation has a public ministry?


Community life at Summer Institute revolves around twice-daily inter-generational services: Morning Worship and Vespers.  In each, worship leaders create innovative ways to deliver inspirational messages including storytelling, vocal and instrumental music, multimedia presentations and more.  Announcements at worship services – always informative, occasionally entertaining – are the primary source for updates and information throughout the week. For SI community members, worship services serve as daily touchstones.…

Morning Seminars

  • 1.  Awaken to the Heartbeat

    Rebekah Benner

    Make a joyful noise!! Connect to the heart of the Mother Drum! Learn the  basics of hand-drumming and drum circle facilitation. Rhythms from many cultures will be shared. Shamanic drum journey, trance drumming, drum chant & song will also be explored. For the new drummer, and the experienced.

    Participants must bring their own tall pedestal type drum: i.e. djembe, ashiko, doumbek, that can be held between the knees and played with both hands.  Limit: 25

  • 2. Belly Dance — Dance of the Goddess

    Pamela Midyett and Laura Howe

    Through movement, video, and music, we will explore belly dance as a dance for all ages and body types.

Youth Program

The SI Youth Program is a week-long place to explore and learn about UU ethics and values without some of the constraints of today’s society, while still in a safe environment.

A core part of SI, the Youth Program offers age-appropriate programming for about 125 youth split between the junior high group (*7th – 9th grade) and the senior high group (10th – 12th grade). Each group has its own theme speaker for an hour in the morning, after which both groups come together to participate in a variety of morning workshops, such as music jam sessions, cooking for coffee house, crafts, games, dancing, and planning for that evening’s youth worship.  …

Young Adult Program

Welcome all! Young adulthood is a time of transition, self-discovery, and finding one’s roots. Whether you are freshly bridged from the Youth Program, a new SI attendee, or an old-timer, the Young Adult program has something for you. Our worships meet at night, after evening programming, and will be led by a professional worship coordinator aimed at providing new and innovative worships for Young Adults.

Young adults are also welcome to stay together in Gund dorm, where our evening worships will be located. We will have means to refrigerate, percolate, and microwave, so feel free to bring snacks, coffee, and remember to bring a reusable water bottle!…


Unlike adult morning seminars, children’s RE, and youth programming where you commit for the week, afternoons at SI are more “come and go as you please.”  You don’t sign up for these workshops but enjoy the offerings, or exercise, (or nap!) as the spirit moves you.  Early afternoon workshops are from 1:30 to 3 each afternoon.  They are intergenerational and designed to be experienced by families together.  Please remember to be responsible for your children during that time.  Late afternoon workshops are from 3:15 to 4:45 and are age specific.

Children’s Choir12:45 to 1:25

Joe Schafer

SI Children’s Choir is back for the seventh year.…


There are many opportunities to perform music and share your musical talents with others at SI. All are fun activities. Choices vary from the intergenerational choir singing hymns and fun songs for services, through the hymn sing, to folk orchestra that welcomes most any instrument that can play a tune or keep time, to small group ensembles which perform a variety of music by groups of 2 to 6 people, all the way to the Talent Show on Friday night, exhibiting the wonderful and VERY diverse talents of SI attendees. So get involved, have fun sharing your musical talents, and join one of the groups on this page:

Mass Harmonica Lesson / Harmonica Flash Mob: On Monday night, in preparation for a TBA flash mob harmonica event,  the SI community will gather for a Mass Harmonica Lesson – Hal Walker style.…


Each evening’s events are planned to engage, entertain and provide relaxation for campers of all ages:

  • PEEK
  • Concerts
  • Hymn sing
  • Monte Carlo night
  • Night-time Ultimate Frisbee
  • Dance
  • Coffeehouse(s)
  • The Children/Family Talent Show
  • Movie night
The Pub

What would SI be without the Pub? From 9:30 PM onward, adults gather there to socialize, share a pub beverage, make music, play games and make new friends while reconnecting with old ones. It’s a great place to relax and hang out when the day’s events are over. This is a great time for families to utilize the Childcare Co-op.  In compliance with state laws, no alcohol is permitted to be brought into the Pub or removed from the space.…


2013 Brochure…