Come, come, whoever you are!
Welcome to an exciting journey of questioning, challenging, and celebrating life’s mysteries and wonders. For generations, Adult Programs at UU Santa Monica has welcomed seekers, exiles, and interfaith families along with those who have grown up in our own Unitarian Universalist tradition. We are a congregation made up of people who believe in God or a higher power, people who do not, those who are content to live with the mystery, and those who are ever searching for answers to the big questions. Most of all, we are enriched by one another’s life journeys, diverse beliefs, shared progressive values and uniting UU Principles as we learn and explore together.
Our Purpose and Our Guide
At its core, the purpose of our educational ministry is to provide opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to deepen their spiritual lives, and to live with compassion, integrity and joy as we nurture beloved community and work together for peace and justice in this world. Adult Programs offers classes, discussion groups, and special events on an array of topics relevant to the Six Sources and our congregation’s spiritual life. Some of these may include in-depth study of theology and spirituality, discussion of science writing or Humanist ideas, opportunities to explore music, arts and crafts, or chances to connect socially for fellowship and fun. Many programs are made possible through the time and talent of our members and friends.
Special Workshop for February:
The Gifts of a Life: Review of Your Lived and Unlived Life for People 50+ Friday, February 25
New Offerings Starting in February:
The Unthinkable Mind All Thursdays in February
Hot on the heels of the very successful Artist’s Way group, Judith Martin-Straw is again offering a great workshop for the creative artist in all of us. “The Unthinkable Mind” will be rooted in Lynda Barry’s book “Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor.” For the month-long, Thursday night workshop, Judith Martin-Straw will treat us to fun exercises in perception, memory, some cognitive gymnastics, and unbounded creativity. Judith Martin-Straw has been writing and teaching for decades. She has been a member of the church since 1999, and this is her first time using Lynda Barry’s book as a text for a creativity class. This class is scheduled for all Thursdays in February, from 7:00 – 8:30 PM on Zoom. Sign-ups are limited to 15 people. So please, sign up soon! If you are of limited funds, we may have the ability to purchase the book for you. Contact AdultRE@uusm.org for sign ups, and let us know of your needs ahead of time.
Writing for Discernment Wednesday, February 9
Participants in this writing group will be invited to explore the ministry theme of the month. Ideas and questions will be sent prior to each meeting that will serve as impetus for writing that will be read during the meeting. We will also do some brief writing from prompts during the meeting each month. There will be time to share your writings and people will be able to share what was most meaningful for them from the meeting. It is based very much on the format of a chalice circle, but the sharing is done by reading what has been written. This group will offer opportunities for self-discovery, being witnessed by others, for spiritual discernment. This is a recurring meeting with members expected to register in advance and attend each month. Bettye Barclay worked for many years as a psychotherapist and led a variety of workshops including career choice, stress management, journal writing, and meditation. It will be held the second Wednesday from February to June, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM on Zoom. Please email Adult RE at AdultRE@uusm.org for signups and the Zoom link.
Introduction to SoulCollage, An Intuitive Artmaking Process Saturday, February 12 – In person
SoulCollage® is a collage art endeavor founded by art therapist Seena B. Frost, MA, MDiv, in which the participants create a personal deck of cards. The method of creating cards develops one’s creativity, encourages self-discovery, and provides personal guidance. Using the cards can help access those inner and outer resources in difficult times, access the sacred, strengthen our awareness of our dynamic lives, make decisions mindfully, and help resolve personal or interpersonal conflicts. Community is also very important to the process as we explore our group’s imagery together. People who have done this program before, claim that the creation and usage of these self-crafted cards is transformative. This process is being shared across the world, in many languages, and enjoyed by people of all ages, genders, and cultures. So bring your curiosity, your wonder, your wisdom, your imagination and a beginner’s mind to this introductory workshop. This workshop is led by Adrienne Sumpter, who is a trained facilitator for SoulCollage®. We will meet on two Saturdays in the cottage: February 12, 1:00 – 4:00 PM and March 12 1:00 – 4:00 PM. It is okay to attend only one workshop. Please note that there is a 10-person maximum for groups held in the cottage. All participants need to be fully vaccinated, and people need to stay masked. Please sign up ahead of time. Please email Adult RE at AdultRE@uusm.org for signups!
Exploration of Ideas:
Science Non-Fiction Book Group Tuesday, February 15
We will discuss “The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World,” by Charles C. Mann. As the prophet, William Vogt advocated cutting back—the world cannot support so many people. As the wizard, Norman Borlaug worked to make the world support more people-–not without its own consequences. All are welcome. We meet from 7:30 – 9:00 PM. Contact: Rebecca Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UU Men’s Group Thursdays, February 3, 17
The Men’s Discussion Group provides a special opportunity to the men of the congregation and other like-minded men to join in thoughtful and stimulating discussion and meet others with UU perspectives:
- 2/3/22: If you were 18 years old right now in 2022, would you make the same educational and career choices that you did long ago? Why or why not? If not, what would you do instead? If you were more of a risk-taker than you are, what might you try?
- 2/17/22: What is your very earliest memory and what is your best childhood memory? How have you come to understand and interpret their significance to your life?
We meet from 7:30 – 9:00 PM. To request more information or to join us, please ask the church office for information about how to contact Jim Rheinwald or Richard Mathias through the Adult RE Committee email, AdultRE@UUSM.org.
Nature Journaling: Seaweed of the Santa Monica Bay February 27
Continuing with our ocean theme, the nature journaling group will be looking at the seaweed that grows in Santa Monica Bay. Seaweed is not only beautiful but has many unique and important qualities. It would be ideal if you are able to collect a little seaweed to have with you during our journaling session. If that is not possible, there will be photographs to work from. The only other things that you need to bring are pencil and paper or whatever tools and medium you would like to use to journal. If you are able to have seaweed with you, a magnifying glass would also be useful but not essential. This session will be facilitated by Dorothy Steinicke, a member of UUSM and a lifelong lover of nature and the outdoors. Dorothy has spent years encouraging people to experience the natural world. This class is held on Zoom from 2:30-4pm. To receive the Zoom link for this program contact AdultRE@uusm.org.
Open Meditation Mondays, February 14 and 28
We gather and listen to brief readings, sit together quietly for twenty minutes, journal and share with each other what’s on our hearts. We explore the integration of meditation with ordinary life through reading and sharing. This is a non-guided, quiet meditation that may be deeply nourishing. A time to simply “be” amidst all the “doing,” calling off the struggle to become other than we are. We meet every 2nd, 4th, and if possible 5th Monday evenings, from 7:30 – 9:00 PM. Contact Bev Shoenberger or Carol Ring through the Adult RE Committee email (AdultRE@UUSM.org).
Open Meditation: Wellsprings All Wednesdays and Fridays
Taking 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 noon – 1:00 PM online. Contact Bev Shoenberger through the Adult RE Committee email (AdultRE@UUSM.org).