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Beloved Conversations

"If I could ask you to make a stretch and commit to one major program at UUCF this spring, I would urge you to sign-up for Beloved Conversations." - Rev. Carl

At UUCF, our mission statement reminds us that we gather to:

  • encourage spiritual growth,
  • build beloved community, and
  • act for peace and justice.

One of the most transformational ways we can live into our mission this spring is through participating in Beloved Conversations.

This is a big--but important--ask. We strongly encourage you to sign-up if at all possible for this important program. But if you do sign-up, we ask that you commit to being present for the full curriculum, both the initial retreat and the 8 two-hour follow-up sessions.


  • Beloved Conversations is an experiential curriculum that provides a space to re-form the brokenness of racism into new patterns of thought and behavior ushering in social and spiritual healing. New ways of being are learned through the actions of conversation and probing dialogue. 
  • Designed by UUs for UUs. The curriculum was created by Dr. Mark Hicks, a professor of Religious Education at Meadville Lombard Theological School, our UU seminary in Chicago. He holds a doctorate degree in philosophy and education and a Master's degree in higher and adult education from Columbia University in New York City.
  • Since 2010, more than 100 UU congregations have been participated in the Beloved Conversations curriculum, which is now in its third iteration as part of an ongoing process of revision.


  • The program will begin at UUCF with a 1.5 day retreat, Friday, February 23 (6-9pm) - Saturday, February 24 (8:30am-5pm), led by The Rev. Ashley Horan, a national Beloved Conversations facilitator and lifelong UU who grew up at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul, Minnesota.
    • The retreat will start with a potluck dinner at 6pm on Friday evening, followed by the first part of the program from 7-9pm.
    • Saturday will start with a light breakfast at 8:30 a.m. (coffee/tea, bagels, fruit, etc.), we will break for lunch (which will be provided) around Noon, then wrap up by 5pm.
  • The retreat will be followed by 8 two-hour sessions (held every other week following the retreat) of guided dialogue/experiential exercises (with small groups of 10-12 participants), which will be facilitated by members of UUCF, including Rev. Carl. The dates/times of the 8 follow-up sessions will be selected in order to accommodate, as much as possible, the schedules of all who register for the opening retreat. Depending on the schedules of participants, we hope to at least offer the follow-up sessions (every other week) on:
    • Sundays at 1:00 p.m.
    • Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.
    • Fridays at 10:00 a.m.


Each session poses questions that connect with both the sources of inspiration as well as the challenges of race/ethnicity that slow our human journey toward building a society of peace, liberty, and justice for all. As such, the curriculum differs from many approaches to anti-racism/multicultural work in that it frames the discussion not only in terms of demographic urgency or cultural critiques (both of which are useful to understand!), but how developing skills and the habits of an anti-racist mind helps everyone heal from the wounds of racism--both those in dominant groups as well as those who are targets of oppression. 

Topics include:

  • The Footprint of Racial & Ethnic History in Your Community
  • Exploring the Dynamic of Racism and Privilege
  • Racism Today:  Micro-Aggressions 
  • Interrupting Racism
  • Community Audit:  The Experience of Race & Ethnicity in your Community
  • The Legacy of Racism
  • Toward a New Identity: How Can We Be-in-the-World?
  • Collecting our Wisdom: A Celebration of Learning and Commitment


As we have explored in the recent UU White Supremacy Teach-ins, there is a major need both in the culture generally and in Unitarian Universalism specifically to dismantle white supremacy as a part of living into a multicultural future of Collective Liberation with economic, racial, and gender justice for all. This curriculum will equip members and friends of UUCF a shared experience and language for moving forward with our commitment to encourage spiritual growth, build beloved community, and act for peace and justice.


  • “One of the most beautiful aspects of Beloved Conversations was seeing its transformative potential come to bear.... I was moved to my core witnessing Unitarian Universalism come alive to members of my congregation.”  Rev. Manish Mizra-Marzetti, Senior Minister, UU Congregation at Cherry Hill 
  • "Many [participants] said that this was the first time, or the first time in a long time, when they had been part of a conversation about race that left them hopeful. Out of these conversations, we are beginning to shape a way forward to address and 'interrupt' racism is all its forms: institutional, cultural, and individual."  Rev. Kate Lore, Minister for Social Justice, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR
  • “I watched as people struggled with concepts of privilege, institutional racism and stereotyping in ways they hadn’t until that point. More importantly, I witnessed most staying fully engaged despite that struggle. Jennifer Kelleher, Intern Minister, UU Congregation at Cherry Hill


$50 (or pay what you can) - the registration fee will help us to pay for the curriculum, expert facilitator for the opening retreat, and other related expenses of hosting this event, but we do not want finances to prevent anyone from attending. When you register (see instructions below), please enter either $50 or whatever amount you are able to pay.


There is a two-part process:

Part 1: Payment - please visit frederickuu.org/give to pay:

  1. Click on the button that says "To donate click here."
  2. Enter $50--or whatever amount you are able to pay--in the line labeled "Adult Spiritual Enrichment." (It is also fine to pay for more than one person at the time.)
  3. In the blank to the right of where you entered in the amount of money, type "Beloved Conversations."
  4. Change "Donation Frequency" to "One Time"
  5. Click "Continue" .

At the end of the process, you should receive an email from our automated payment system with the subject “Thank You For Your Online Donation.” To fully reserve your spot, please forward that email receipt (or photo or screen shot of your payment confirmation) to . (Please do not send the web address of your receipt. As a “third-party” we will be unable to open that link.) If you are paying for more than one person, please include the first and last name of everyone for whom you are registering. You will then receive a reply back from Carl confirming your spot. (The reason for this extra step is the delay in payments populating through our system, and even then the records are only accessible by our Treasurer and Bookkeeper. Thank you for helping us keep the paperwork straight.)

Part 2: Survey - please complete a brief two-question survey about dietary restrictions and best day(s)/time(s) for the 8 small group sessions following the retreat.

More Information

  • In case of a weather-related cancellation, this retreat will be rescheduled to the next available date.

Registered: Current Total ~36

We have space for at least 40 participants. If it seems likely that we will have more than 40 participants, we will request a second retreat facilitator. (The earlier people register, the sooner we will know if we will need an additional facilitator, and the more likely that a second trained facilitator will be available.)

Tuesdays at 7pm (~every other week)

  1. Betsy Bainbridge
  2. Steve Berté
  3. Carol Gosnell
  4. Carl Gregg
  5. Jane Hufstedler
  6. Geary Hufstedler
  7. Jerry Hutton
  8. Ed McDonald
  9. Pam McDonald - Tuesdays at 7pm (or Sundays at 1pm)
  10. John Menke
  11. Meg Menke
  12. Steve Ramberg
  13. Roger Sobkowiak - Tuesdays at 7pm (or Fridays at 10am)
  14. Thia Wood

Fridays at 10am (~every other week)

  1. Rick Anderson (confirm payment???)
  2. Ann Andrex
  3. Marleen Brooks
  4. Patricia Cronin (no weekends)
  5. Anne Garnett (or Mondays or Thursdays at 10am)
  6. Irene Glasse - Fridays at 10am (or Mondays at 7pm)
  7. Samantha Purvis (also David???)
  8. Kate Moss
  9. Lora Powell-Haney
  10. Lynn Wagner (or any daylight time, but Thursday)
  11. Karen Reilly
  12. Mike Morse - Fridays at 10am (or Tuesdays at 7pm)
  13. Sea Raven Morse - Fridays at 10am (or Tuesdays at 7pm)

Sundays at 1pm (~every other week)

  1. Carol Antoniewicz - Sunday at 1pm (or Tuesdays at 7pm)
  2. Monica Greene - Sunday at 1pm
  3. San Rogers - Sundays at 1pm
  4. Tina Whims - Sundays at 1pm

Other??? (~every other week)

  1. Sue Berté - availability for follow-up sessions???
  2. Holly Nelson Hollenberg - can they do Sun/Tues/Fri??? (prefer Wednesday or Friday evenings)
  3. Scott Nelson Hollenberg - can they do Sun/Tues/Fri??? (prefer Wednesday or Friday evenings)
  4. Sally Snodgrass - can they do Sun/Tues/Fri??? (prefer Thursdays at 7pm)
  5. Di Creedon - waiting for survey results???

(The short link to this page is frederickuu.org/beloved.)