Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults, January 2022

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Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults

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.

An Invitation

Do you have an idea for a program or event? We want to hear it. Email the Adult RE Committee ( and we can work with you on presenting your ideas.

New Offerings:

New Year Resolution Workshop Wednesday, January 12

Only 8% of people continue their New Year Resolutions after the first month. Be one of the 8%! Increase your ability to follow through and achieve success in this New Year Resolution Workshop. The workshop will consist of three 1.5 hour sessions on Zoom and a check in at 6 months. The New Year is the time we typically set out our list of things we want to do, change, see, and accomplish. If you’ve had problems identifying and or keeping those resolutions or goals in the past, this workshop is where you want to start. Over the course of the workshop, Norm Richey, MSW, and Certified Life Coach, will introduce you to new skills that will help you achieve your resolutions for 2022. The workshop will meet on three of the 2nd Wednesdays of the month beginning on Jan 12th, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm, continuing to February 9th and March 9th. This is a closed group, and there are only 12 spots available. Email to reserve your spot.

Soul CollageIntroduction to SoulCollage Saturday, January 15

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 Warren Mathews Conference Room: January 15th, 1- 4:00 pm, and February 12th, 1 – 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, all vaccination records need to be forwarded to the office beforehand, and people need to stay masked at all times. Please sign up ahead well of time. Email to reserve your spot.


Community Engagement:

Nature Journaling: Sea Shells Sunday, January 30

Hosted by Dorothy Steinicke, sea shells are the former homes of sea creatures, usually mollusks. The shells that they leave behind are often beautiful and intriguing. We will spend this nature journaling session considering some of the sea shells of the Santa Monica Bay and learn a little about the animals that used to occupy them. If it is possible, Dorothy asks that you come to our session with a local shell or shells to journal on. If it isn’t possible, she will have photos that you can work from. This session will be facilitated by Dorothy Steinicke, a member of UUSM and a lifelong lover of nature and the outdoors. She has spent years encouraging people to experience the natural world. The class is held from 2:30 – 4:00 pm. To receive the Zoom link for this program contact

Exploration of Ideas:

A History of God, Book Discussion Saturday, January 8

In this final class, we will discuss modern challenges to theism, and the future of monotheism in the West. So far in this book discussion series, we have asked how and why concepts of God have changed over time and across cultures, yet remained resonant and important. How have the three great monotheistic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — shaped the image of God in their own ways? How have these faith traditions influenced each other? Join us for a theological and historical exploration of monotheism in its myriad forms and possibilities, guided by Karen Armstrong’s classic, A History of God. This group is facilitated by both Sarah Robson and James Witker, and will be held from 9:30 -11:30 am on Saturday 8th. Contact: for the Zoom link. All are welcome, even for just the last session.

Science Non-Fiction Book Group Tuesday, January 18

We discuss a new title every month. All are welcome. We meet from 7:30 – 9:00 PM. For this month’s reading, contact: Rebecca Crawford at

UU Men’s Group Thursdays, January 6 and January 20

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:

  • 1/6/22: For those in the group who have retired, why did you retire and how has it been for you? In retrospect, was it the right time? Was there anything that you didn’t expect and anything you would have done differently? For those who are still working, when do you plan to retire and why?
  • 1/20/22: What personal event and what public event do you believe had the greatest influence in shaping your life?

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,


Open Meditation Mondays, January 10, 24, 31

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 (

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 (

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