Church News and Announcements

26 Reasons to Attend Summer Institute

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Written by Michael Safran.

Tracy and I have been attending Summer Institute (SI) for many years now. We could not believe that we had never heard of it while attending First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh. It was almost like it was a mystery. I remember the first time that we attended. It was the second day. Jeremy was tying his shoe when he exclaimed, "Dad. Can we come back next year? I love it hear." We were all hooked. These are just a few reasons why we love SI:

Riding your bike anywhere you want

playing with friends
Ice Cream
Craft beer tasting at 4:00PM each afternoon
Song circle at 5:00PM each day
Paint our hair
Temporary tattoos
Making giant Soap bubbles
Slippery slide
Children's Talent show
Children's Choir
tye dye
Ice Cream Social with Dance
Duct tape shoes and bags
Harry Potter class
the Pub
sharing the week with like minded folks
the slide show at the end of the week
It is at Oberlin College
It just seems like there are more reasons to return.

SI is an intentional intergenerational community that gets created and re-created each summer as we come together to live fully as Unitarian Universalists. It is a vacation week to grow, relax, play, and connect. It is a time to experience workshops and new ideas. It is a place for relaxed conversations with old friends and friends you do not yet know. It is a time to recharge and live fully.
I cannot imagine raising our children and not attending SI. There are scholarships for families that are attending for the first time! There are positions that one can perform to reduce your tuition for the week.

This is a very apt description from the Summer Institute web site:

"There is a diversity of both programming and worship opportunities designed to appeal to the breadth of our community. The content of the programming and the worship are meaningful, but these community-wide events also serve to create a shared experience. There is also time for quiet reflection and introspection. We each create our own balance of activity and peace. As fabulous as it is, the programming just scratches the surface of Summer Institute. At the end of our week our sense of trust and confidence in the inherent goodness of others reaches a new level. The integrity of our intentional community is reflected by simple things, such as the transformation of perfect strangers to friends over the course of a meal. We experience our diversity and celebrate our humanity. We live and breathe our Unitarian Universalist principles without explanation to each other or any sense of self-consciousness"

When the week together is over we wonder how we can bring this life experience home with us.

That is the SI magic. The result is something quite spectacular."

I am sure that you will find your own reason to attend SI!

For complete information, go to: and

For individual inspiration, contact:

Tracy Safran:

Michael Safran:



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