Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults, August 2020

Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults
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 below our August activities, programs, and workshops for adults.

To contact the facilitator in regard to any offering, you may email with the title of the group in the subject line. Your email will be forwarded. Please note that currently, all offerings are facilitated through Zoom. Contact Teri Lucas for more information and the link to the Zoom meeting.

Do you have a passion or an expertise? Are you a chef or a gardener, a historian or an actor? Would you like to offer some help, support, or some frivolity to our UU community via Zoom? We’re seeking programming that is fun, informative, and engaging. Please let us know if there’s something you’d like to offer and the Adult RE Committee will help you to do it. Email the Adult RE Committee ( or Teri Lucas ( and we can work with you on presenting your ideas.

Limited Offerings

Still Life Drawing with Greg WoodStill Life Drawing Thursday August 6

This is a drawing class for everyone. We will start with drawing simple shapes like fruit in a bowl, or maybe pens in a cup. We draw for 5 minutes, and then show and talk about the drawings for 5 minutes. Then I will introduce a new exercise for 5 minutes. The format is to do lots of quick exercises that stretch our visual muscles and maybe open our eyes to what is possible. Greg Wood has a BA in Art from UCSC. Before he retired, he worked as an architectural illustrator. This class shall meet through Zoom from 10:00 to 11:30 am on August 6. Contact: Greg Wood.

tareot cardsTarot Meditation Workshop One extra Tuesday, August 4

The Tarot, it is said, is a symbolic picture of the universe in its many layers, from material to the spiritual and beyond. Currently, the Tarot has as its basis the mystical Jewish Qabalah, drawing into it various Medieval and Renaissance systems such as astrology, alchemy, numerology, sacred geometry and mathematics, world mythology, Theosophy, Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, and even Freemasonry. In modern times, it acquired Jungian psychological commentary as well. The Tarot itself is a fascinating, intricate system of interconnecting pictorial symbolism that is meant to catalyze helpful transformations within ourselves and our psyches, affecting not just behaviors, but perhaps even granting serendipitous opportunities. Jonathan “Buudha” Quant has been a practitioner of Tarot meditation for over 20 years and is eager to introduce you to Tarot meditation. Whether you are new to Tarot, or believe you know much, you will certainly gain fresh insights. It is preferable that participants meet for the entire sequence, but it is not mandatory. All are welcome. This class will meet via Zoom from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Contact: Jonathan Quant or Sarah Robson.


Community Building Through Personal Development:

Nature Journaling with Dorothy Steinicke Sunday August 16

We will come together again to appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature by contemplating, writing, and drawing. All that is required are pencil and paper and a few objects from nature. A lifelong lover of the outdoors, Dorothy Steinicke has more than twenty years experience introducing people to a love of the natural world. She leads hikes for children and for adults in Topanga Canyon, Ballona Wetlands, and Dockweiller State Beach. We will meet on Zoom from 2:30 – 4:00 pm. Please contact Dorothy Steinicke for more details.

Ukulele Strum Along Saturday August 22

Come and play ukulele with us or join with another strumming instrument. We recommended a familiarity with the ukulele for this online format but all levels are welcome (beginner to advanced). Bring a ukulele to our Zoom meeting and chords and lyrics will be provided in advance with a few folks prepared to lead some songs. We will share tips and support each other, pulling from a wide range of music. This event is for ages 15 and up, or 10 and up if accompanied by a guardian. We will need your email contact information by August 20th, so that we can send you the music ahead of time. We will gather from 9:30 – 11:00 am. Contact: Kim Kalmanson.

Exploration of Ideas:

AAHS Freethinker Forum Sunday August 23

AAHS (Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, and Secularists) is an open group that meets for a 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’ll meet from 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm via Zoom. Contact: James Witker.

Glass Universe book coverScience Non-Fiction Book Discussion Tuesday August 18

We will discuss “The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars,” by Dava Sobel. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, women were hired by the observatory as “human computers” to interpret the telescopic observations of their male counterparts. Later they interpreted the glass photographic plates taken of the skies. They made some pretty important discoveries. To receive the link, you will want to be on the group email list. We meet from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Contact: Rebecca Crawford,   All are welcome.

UU Men’s Group  Thursdays August 6 and 20

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 at 7:30 pm normally in the NE room of the Cottage, but while we are staying home we are meeting via Zoom.  The topic for August 6 is:  Knowing what you do now, what other career might you have chosen – or liked to have chosen?  The topic for August 20 is:  “How are you handling your aging? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of growing older? Consider things like the evolving meaning of life, how you want to be remembered, and of course, how you and your mate are handling the usual aches and pains of aging that all couples encounter, and how you are handling that dark fact, “Everything has an expiration date?” For more information, contact: Richard Mathias.



An Enjoyable Dive into Who and What We Are  Mondays August 3 and 17

Bill Blake will present an enjoyable dive into the “who and what” we are. This on-going, twice a month class on the 1st and 3rd Mondays is presented to help 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 will also focus on insights gained throughout the month. It is expected that participants will develop and enjoy a regular meditation practice. The class meets from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. Contact: Bill Blake.

Open Meditation  Mondays August 10, 24, 31

We gather twice a month to sit together quietly for 20 minutes, to walk with gentle awareness for seven minutes, and to explore the integration of meditation with ordinary life through reading and sharing. Anyone who senses they would benefit from 20 minutes of silent, non-guided sitting is welcome to join us. We have found that this time of quiet meditation and shared exploration can be deeply nourishing – a time of simply “being” amidst all the “doing” of our lives. We meet from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. Contacts: Bev Shoenberger or Carol Ring.

Open Meditation: Wellsprings  Wednesdays and Fridays

These are exceptional times. Taking this time for quiet meditation and sharing in the intimacy of having sat in silence together can help sustain and ground us during these difficult days. We trust each of you will use this group in the way that fits your needs. We listen to brief readings, sit together quietly for twenty minutes, journal and share with each other what’s on our hearts.  We simply sit together in our shared humanity. We call off the struggle to become other than we are. These are drop-in groups. You are welcome to join us when it feels right to you. If you come in late or need to leave early, just do so quietly. We meet every Wednesday and Friday afternoon from 12:00 to 1:00 pm online. Contact: Bev Shoenberger.


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