Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults, April 2019

UUSM Adult Personal and Spiritual Exploration

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.

Special Event:

Passover Seder Saturday, April 20

passover sederA special intern rabbi will lead the Passover Seder and service, which will include a reading of the Haggadah. Traditional Passover food and wine will be served. A donation of $15 per person or $30 per family is requested.  Please also bring a side dish, such as a vegetable, salad, or dessert (macaroons, honey cake) to share. No one will be turned away for their inability to pay. Attendance is limited to 40 people to preserve an intimate family setting, so please sign up at the Adult RE table in Forbes or send an email to the facilitators, Resa Foreman or Teri Lucas. If you are interested in volunteering to help with organizing, set-up, and clean-up for the event, please contact the facilitators. The event itself will take place from 5:00-9:00 pm in Forbes.

Community Building:

Collage Group with Stan Bemis Saturday, April 13

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. to 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.

Come Dance with Us! Saturday, April 27

They say that dancing is combining fun with exercise and friends! Learn international folk dancing with instructors Sandy Helperin and Teri Hoffman. Folk dancing is for anyone who loves to move to traditional music. New dancers are welcome – there are no partners required. Donations accepted. We meet from 7:00–8:30 pm in Forbes Hall. Contact: Ellen Levy.

Exploration of Ideas:

UUA Common Read: Justice on Earth Sunday, April 7 and 14

Justice on Earth bookcoverJoin us for the 2018-2019 UUA Common Read, Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment, edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom (Skinner House Books, 2018). As we kick off Climate Justice Month (World Water Day to Earth Day), Alison Kendall and James Witker will facilitate a three-part discussion on the intersectional challenges of combating today’s environmental crisis and its many interconnected ills. Together, we will read and respond to this engaging anthology of essays from diverse authors within our greater UU movement. We will also consider recent developments like the proposed Green New Deal, Los Angeles’ decision to shutter natural gas power plants, and the latest international climate news. We are meeting from 3:00–5:00 pm in Forbes. Contacts: James Witker or Alison Kendall.

AAHS Freethinker Forum Sunday, April 28

AAHS (Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, and Secularists) 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. For April, we are featuring a special Earth Sunday Screening of the award-winning documentary, Journey of the Universe. We’ll meet 1:00–2:30 pm in the sanctuary. Contact:

Interest Groups:

The Disability Support Group Sunday, April 28

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 April, we will be discussing Interactions with Local, State, and Federal Government. We meet the fourth Sunday of each month from 12:30–2:00 pm in the NE Cottage. Contact: Michael Young.

UU Men’s Group Thursday, April 4, 18

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. We meet the first and third Thursdays of the month.  The topic for April 4 is: Getting away from our regular life by going on a trip is restorative to a person and especially to a relationship. What trip and hotel or campground stay was your most memorable and why?  The topic for April 18 is:  What person in your life do you wish you had spent more time with? What questions would you have asked of this person? We meet from 7:30-9:00 pm in the NE Cottage. Contact: Richard Mathias.


An Enjoyable Dive into Who and What We Are Monday, April 1, 15

This ongoing 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.

Open Meditation Monday, April 8, 22, 29

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.

Personal Development:

Adult OWL (Our Whole Lives) Saturday, April 27

Our Whole Lives is a human sexuality class focused on developing positive relationships and respect for others across the spectrum of gender identity and sexual expression. Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives. For these reasons and more, we are proud to offer Our Whole Lives (OWL), a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education curricula for use in both secular settings and faith communities. Using values, communication skills, and spirituality as starting points, this program explores sexuality issues for adults of all ages. With it we will build on the understanding of healthy sexual relationships, affirm diversity, and help participants accept and affirm their own sexuality throughout their lives. Classes for adults will be held in the spring of 2019 at UUSM. Four Saturday sessions – April 6 and 27, May 11, and June 1  – followed by five sessions in the fall. Sign up at the RE Table after services or email Please consider if you will be able to commit to regular attendance. We will be meeting on April 6 8:00 am–4:00 pm in Forbes Hall, and then on April 27 12:00–6:00 pm in Forbes Classroom 4.

Awakening the Sage Within: a Free Workshop with Connie Zweig, PhD, Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28

Today, for the first time in history, most people approaching their elder years can expect to live for another two or three decades. But how do you want to live those years? Research now shows that people with positive self-perceptions as they age will live longer, healthier lives. We will gather for two 3-hour workshops to explore Sage-ing or conscious aging, a model for late life that can help us to live with more awareness, joy, and purpose. This inner work of aging opens the opportunity for seniors to become Elders – Awakening the Sage Within. We will introduce aging as a spiritual journey, our images/fears of aging, harvesting wisdom from our life review, forgiveness to release the past, and facing our mortality. Free! Preregistration is required; no walk-ins. Recommended reading: “From Age-ing to Sage-ing” by Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi We will meet Saturday, April 27,  2:00–5:00 pm and Sunday, April 28, 2:00-5:00 pm in Forbes Hall. Contact: DRE Kathleen Hogue for registration.

Conversations and Connections Saturday, April 20

Come join Sue Stoyanoff and Bettye Barclay for Conversations and Connections. Each person attending sits one to one 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. We meet 10:00 am–12:00 pm in Forbes Hall. Contacts: Sue Stoyanoff or Bettye Barclay.

Highlights of additional interest groups meeting in April:

  • Knitters and Friends Please join us for fellowship in between services on Sundays. You are welcome to bring any project. All Sundays 10:00–11:00 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 10:00–11:00 am in Forbes Hall. Contact: Bruno Lacombe. Note: Free for church members, $10 suggested donation for nonmembers.
  • Fiction Reading Book Club We will be reading Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout (272 pages). Nine linked tales about overcoming miserable childhoods, severe losses, disheartening marriages, and war trauma to experience moments of amazing grace, resulting in comfort and reassurance. We meet Monday, April 15, 7:00–8:30 pm in Classroom 1. Contact: Lucy Hahn.
  • Science Non-Fiction Book Group We will discuss Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space, by Janna Levin (256 pages). The story behind the discovery of gravity waves and other esoteric physical phenomena, from a theoretical astrophysicist with a reputation for lyricism. All are welcome. We meet Tuesday, April 16 from 7:30–9:00 pm in Forbes. Contact: Rebecca Crawford.

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