Adult Personal and Spiritual Exploration for February 2019

Learning and exploration are about the transformation of the individual, our community, and the larger society. Participation helps us grow in wisdom, compassion, and ethical living. See our upcoming activities, programs, and workshops for adults.

Recognizing and Resisting Racist Responses Sunday, February 3:

Please join us to discuss anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo’s new book, White Fragility. We will share our responses to the author’s perspectives on implicit bias and structural racism, and explore the unconscious strategies that white folks may engage in to defend against the notion that they are complicit. From author, academic and preacher Michael Eric Dyson: “A vital, necessary and beautiful book, a bracing call to white folk everywhere to see their whiteness for what it is and to seize the opportunity to make things better now.” Poet and playwright Claudia Rankine writes that the book “brings language to the emotional structures that make true discussions about racial attitudes difficult.” Books are available for purchase at the Lifespan RE table. 156 pp. We will be meeting from 1:00-4:15 pm in Warren Matthews Conference Room. Contacts: Roberta Frye or Audrey Lyness.

An Enjoyable Dive into Who and What We Are Monday, February 4 and February 18:

This ongoing, twice-a-month class helps participants master specific meditation skills. We endeavor to answer the questions Who am I? (attitudes and beliefs) and What am I? (essence or true nature). This class will include meditations that explore participants’ spiritual goals. The monthly group meetings also focus on insights gained throughout the month. It is expected that participants will develop and enjoy a regular meditation practice. This group meets on the first and third Mondays from 7:30-9:00 pm in Classroom 3. Contact: Bill Blake.

UU Men’s Group Thursday, February 7 and February 21:

The Men’s Group offers a special opportunity to the men of the congregation and other like-minded men to join our welcoming group in provocative and stimulating discussion and to get to know others with UU perspectives in a more meaningful way. The topic for February will be reporting on your favorite book.  4 Men will report on Feb. 7 and 4 more will report on Feb. 21. We meet from 7:30-9:00 pm in the NE Cottage. Contact: Richard Mathias.

Collage Group with Stan Bemis Saturday, February 9 and February 23:

Do you wish to express yourself creatively in art, and yet may feel inadequate or untrained? Do you yearn to make an artistic statement, yet not sure how? Do you have too many catalogs, magazines, and advertisements, and haven’t a clue what to do with them? We welcome you to create your own collages with Stan Bemis! Stan works to bring joy and peace into people’s lives through creating art. He has taught many who didn’t realize they had creative talent, from all across the world – from California to Palestine/Israel. He welcomes any age, from youths to older adults. The goal of this group is to help foster personal worth and empowerment, entering that holy place within and having sacred fun. The objectives are 1. to create works of art and 2. possibly create cards for events or celebrations. We encourage you to bring your old magazines to work with as well. We meet from 10:00-12:00 pm in the NE Cottage. Contacts: Stan Bemis or Sarah Robson.

Open Meditation Monday, February 11 and 25:

We sit quietly for 20 minutes, walk with gentle awareness for 7 minutes, and explore the integration of meditation with ordinary life through journaling, readings, and sharing. Anyone who senses they would benefit from 20 minutes of silent, non-guided sitting is welcome to join us. We meet on the second, fourth, (and fifth) Mondays from 7:30-9:00 pm in Classroom 3. Contacts: Bev Shoenberger or Carol Ring.

Conversations and Connections Saturday, February 16:

Each person attending sits 1 to 1 with several different people during the time we are together.  In these dyads there is time to talk, to listen and to dialogue about the questions presented each time. It is our intention that these times will be relaxing, enjoyable and an opportunity for people in our congregation to create a growing web of connections. For information contact Sue Stoyanoff or Bettye Barclay. We meet from 10:00-12:00 pm in Forbes Hall. Contact: Bettye Barclay or Sue Stoyanoff.

Come Dance with Us! Saturday, February 23:

Learn international folk dancing with instructors Sandy Helperin and Teri Hoffman. Folk dancing is for anyone who loves to move to traditional music. No partners needed! New dancers are welcome. We meet from 7:00-8:30 pm in Forbes Hall. Contact: Ellen Levy.

AAHS Freethinker Forum (Agnostics, Atheists, Humanists and Secularists) Sunday, February 24:

AAHS is an open group that meets for lively and engaging discussion on topics of politics, science, religion and philosophy. We also host occasional guest speakers, films, and outings. We are a home base for non-believers and questioners, but everyone is welcome. For many, atheism/agnosticism is a first step; Humanism is the thousand steps that come after. We meet 1:00-3:00 pm in the Warren Matthews Conference Room. Contact: James Witker.

The Disability Support Group Sunday February 24:

The Disability Support Group will be promoting a dialogue on a selected topic at each of its meetings throughout this church year. There is a different theme for each month. All church members interested in the topic are invited to attend. For January, we will be discussing “Governmental Programs.” We meet the fourth Sunday of each month beginning at 12:30-2:00 pm in the NE Cottage. Contact: Michael Young.

Exploring the Sermon on the Mount Monday, February 25:

The Sermon on the Mount is a core source of wisdom and knowledge, forming the basis of many of the values in Western literature and culture, from Hamlet to Harry Potter. Come explore this important part of our heritage with Abby Arnold and Laura Matthews in three weekly 2-hour sessions starting Monday, February 25. We’ll discuss how the ideas speak to us (if at all), what the ideas might mean in practical application, and how they are or are not useful today. Register with Abby or Laura to receive the Sermon to print out and read ahead of time. Our hope is that the discussion will be uplifting, positive, and practical, with all of us learning from the perspective of others to bring a fresh awareness to these ancient words. We meet from 7:00-9:00 pm in the Warren Matthews Community Room. Contacts: Abby Arnold and Laura Matthews.

Humanist Voices: Is God a White Racist? Dates TBA

Humanist Voices continues to read and discuss the book, Is God a White Racist? by the late Rev. Dr. William R. Jones, an African American UU minister, theologian, professor, and mentor. In this provocative, powerful, emotional examination of liberation theology, Jones questions whether the belief in an omnibenevolent God who has dominion over human history can provide an adequate theological foundation to effectively dismantle the economic, social, and political framework of oppression. Seeing divine benevolence as part of oppression’s mechanism of disguise, Jones argues that black liberation theologians must adopt a new theism that is informed by humanism and its principle of the functional ultimacy of wo/man, where human choice and action determine whether our condition is slavery or freedom. UU religious educator and blogger Daniel Harper argues that Bill Jones is one of the most important UU theologians of the 20th Century. A short synopsis of the book’s ideas and arguments is also available. Contact: James Witker.

Highlights of additional interest groups coming in February:

  • Knitters and Friends Please join us for fellowship in between services on Sundays. You are welcome to bring any project. All Sundays 10-11 am in West Forbes Hall. Contact: Linda Van Ligten.
  • Body-Mind Tune Up for Seniors This group is for seniors, superseniors, and people with physical difficulties for UUSM members. All Fridays 10-11 am in Forbes Hall. Contact: Bruno Lacombe. Note: Free for church members, $10 suggested donation for non-members.
  • Fiction Reading Book Club Monday February 18, 7:00-8:30 pm. We will discuss “Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje (304 pages). A story set in the decade after World War II, seen through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two teenagers whose lives are indelibly shaped by their unwitting involvement.
  • Science Non-Fiction Book Group Tuesday February 19, 7:30 pm, Forbes Hall. Contact: Rebecca Crawford. We will discuss “The Rise and Fall of American Growth,” by Robert J. Gordon. An excellent explanation of the effect of the important inventions and modernizations on the “American century” and why new developments today seem to have less effect. All are welcome.

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