After nine years, we are so excited that we will be coming together from across the US and Canada to think and create together as a URI community!
- WHERE: Pearlstone Retreat Center, 40 minutes from Baltimore Washington International Airport
- WHEN: July 27 – 29, 2018
Registration for this gathering is now open!
The theme and focus of our gathering will be “Connecting the Region: Innovating Together.” It will be facilitated by Susan Coleman and will be run in ‘Open Space’ – a meeting design that will enable all of us to work with maximum creativity and give everyone an opportunity to share their ideas and aspirations around this theme. By the end of the weekend, our goal is to achieve the following:
- Anything any one of us thinks is important will have been placed on the agenda.
- Every agenda item will have been tackled.
- We will have established our collective priorities and perhaps commitments
- We will have had great conversations, shared meals together and have spent some quality time together in a more relaxed environment.
- We will have created a draft book of proceedings capturing the ideas of all of our conversations (which will be finalized immediately following the event and distributed to all).
The Open Space meeting process has been used around the world with great success in getting groups of people to take creative action on complex tasks quickly. For more information about Open Space we refer you to the Open Space website.
What we request most from all of you is that you bring your passion, engaged presence and creative participation, including – only if you like – any offering or short workshop you think might be useful for the community.
We know from conversations with some of you that finances or time may appear to be barriers to your attendance. However, we have several mechanisms in place to help overcome these:
- Concerned about fitting the Assembly into your busy summer schedule? We are hoping to have each URI Cooperation Circle/Affiliate from the US and Canada represented at this gathering. Start thinking out-of-the-box about other people who might come! Is Member A – the one who would usually attend these gatherings – too busy? Is there someone on your team who you want to get more engaged? Is there someone who is really great at networking but not on your leadership team? Consider sending them! Each group is invited to send one member of their group and to add other members to the waiting list.
- Concerned about the cost? We can work with you on that! Registration for this gathering (which includes food, lodging, programming and transportation to/from the airport) is being offered on a “pay what you can” basis. There is even need-based travel support available.
- What about the Reimagining Interfaith conference I have been hearing about? Those who are interested, are invited to consider attending the Reimagining Interfaith conference (July 29 to August 1), which is co-sponsored by URI and will be held immediately following our gathering. This conference will take place 50 miles away, in Washington, DC and we will be providing transportation from our URI gathering to Reimagining Interfaith.
If there seem to be any barriers that would prevent your group from being represented at this exceptional gathering, please reach out to us and we will do everything we can to help those barriers disappear. You can reach out to our planning team anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-762-2713.
We look forward to seeing you in July!