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 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.
Community Building Activities:
Introduction to SoulCollage®: An Intuitive Artmaking Process Saturday, July 9
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. 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 in person in the cottage from 1:00 – 4:00 pm on the second Saturday of the month. If you are new to the process, we ask that you come 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Please note that there is a 10-person maximum for groups held in the cottage, so please sign up asap. All participants need to send proof of vaccination to the office, and people need to stay masked at all times. Please contact the Adult RE Committee.
Nature Journaling Sunday, July 31
Ferns are non-flowering, non-seed producing plants that reproduce by spores. They are an ancient lineage of plants that existed on earth long before the dinosaurs. They are interesting because they are different from all other plants. They are also exceptionally beautiful. Participants in this session are encouraged to have a fern or piece of a fern with them in order to make direct observations. They are also encouraged to have a magnifying glass in order to get a closer look. Photos will be provided if it is not possible to have an actual fern. Do have a pencil and eraser ready! No level of drawing ability required. A lifelong lover of the outdoors, Dorothy Steinicke has spent years encouraging people to experience the natural world. She leads hikes for children and for adults in Topanga Canyon, Ballona Wetlands, and Dockweiller State Beach. We will meet from 2:30 – 4:00 pm. To reach Dorothy for the Zoom link, contact the Adult RE Committee.
Exploration of Ideas:
Science Non-Fiction Book Group Tuesday, July 19
We will discuss “The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us,” by Diane Ackerman. Humans have affected the world for better and worse. An optimistic look at how we have changed the world. To receive the link, you will want to be on the group email list. Contact Rebecca Crawford for this month’s book read. We meet from 7:30 – 9:00 pm. All are welcome.
UU Men’s Group Thursday July 7, Saturday July 23
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. We will hold the first meeting of July via Zoom on Thursday the 7th at 7:30 pm and our second meeting of July on Saturday the 23rd at 1:30 pm under the outdoor pavilion on the grounds of UUSM. The discussion topics will be:
- 7/7/22 (Thursday evening via Zoom): Great joke tellers are prized but seem to be few and far between. Do you have some good jokes to tell (we will likely have time for 3 to 5 jokes each)? Do you remember where you heard them?
- 7/23/22 (Saturday afternoon in person): Have you experienced failure, despair, and/or defeat and, if so, how did you find your way back? Did the event leave a painful scar or did you become a stronger or better person as the result?
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.
Open Meditation Mondays, July 11, 25
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 evening, from 7:30 – 9:00 pm. Contact Bev Shoenberger.
Open Meditation: Wellsprings All Wednesdays and Fridays
Taking time for quiet meditation and sharing the intimacy of sitting 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.