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, June 11
Note: This will be a six month class, please sign up for the series. 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 for a 6 month course. 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: AdultRE@uusm.org
Nature Journaling Sunday, June 19
Join us as we learn about hummingbirds and observe and journal on them through photos. Hummingbirds are known only in the Western Hemisphere and include the smallest species of birds on Earth. Their small size and rapid metabolism cause them to behave in different ways from many other birds. Hummingbirds include a wide variety of species that are all beautiful and interesting. Hummingbirds also figure prominently in the stories of indigenous peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere. All you need are paper and pencil and a flower to observe. 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 AdultRE@uusm.org.
Exploration of Ideas:
Science Non-Fiction Book Group Tuesday, June 21
We will be be reading “Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World” by Carl Bergstrom. Learn to dismantle misinformation and think clearly in a world of fake news and bad data. To receive the link, you will want to be on the group email list. Contact Rebecca Crawford for this month’s book read, firstname.lastname@example.org. We meet from 7:30 – 9:00 pm. All are welcome.
UU Men’s Group Thursday June 2, Saturday June 18
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 June via Zoom on Thursday the 2nd at 7:30 pm and our second meeting of June on Saturday the 18th at 1:30 pm under the outdoor pavilion on the grounds of UUSM. The discussion topics will be:
- 6/2/22 (Thursday): Aristotle: “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everyone’s power and is not easy.” How do you handle anger? Have you ever regretted your actions when angry? Has your temper become ‘shorter’ or more patient/nuanced with age?
- 6/18/22 (Saturday): What one or two attributes or personality characteristics stand out most in your memory about of each of your parents? Is there an especially fond memory you can share about something they did with you or for you? What do you think your own children, or nieces and nephews if you have no children, will most remember about you?
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.
NEW OFFERING: Fostering an Undefended Heart – Morning Meditation and Check-in Weekdays
Join in a weekday morning meditation and check-in session on Zoom May 30-June 10. We’re following along with Insight Timer’s Karen Anderson as she leads a course on Fostering an Undefended Heart.
As Karen Anderson says, “Many of us wait for conditions to bring about enjoyable emotions such as love or peace. But wisdom traditions teach that we can in fact practice cultivating these states, as they are at the core of our true nature but often get obscured by fear and confusion. This course invites you on a profound exploration of daily ‘heart practices,’ drawn from various traditions, to comprehensively promote positive emotional states. These pro-social attitudes–called the ‘abode of the gods’–include loving-kindness (founded on forgiveness), compassion, joy, and equanimity.” Although you may want to complete this course, it is recommended to repeat a given heart practice until it takes root in your heart and mind.
For these brief 30 minute sessions, we will sign on at 9 am, settle in for a brief lesson and meditation, and close with a 10 minute check-in and sharing what’s on your heart and mind as you launch your day. Contact AdultRE@uusm.org for further information.
Open Meditation Mondays, June 13, 27
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 through email@example.com
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 through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminders for Closed Groups:
Writing For Discernment with Bettye Barclay will meet on Wednesday June 8.