Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults, March 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 our upcoming 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.

Special Workshop

Lessons of Loss Sundays, March 1, 15, 29 and April 12

The Lessons of Loss is a Life-Span Curriculum developed by Unitarian Universalist Carol Galginaitis. To paraphrase Carol Galginaitis, in Lessons of Loss, we frequently note that loss and gain are part of the same experience. We permit the certainty of death to aid our focus on those aspects of life we find most precious. We do not suppress the great pain of loss, yet we recognize that with it may come growth, greater capacity to survive change, and novel avenues of strength. When shared, we recognize that related experiences may help our neighbors, families, and children face life and its often relentless sets of losses, with grace, hope, and peace of mind. We shall explore participants’ experiences to losses large and small including those associated with death. Reflecting on experiences, we shall also explore the consequences of both sharing and ignoring feelings of loss as well as relevant, related Unitarian Universalist theses from theologians and laypeople alike.  We shall meet in Forbes Hall on March 1st from 1-3 pm, and March  15, March 29, and April 12 from 12-2 pm. Contact: Leon Henderson-MacLennan.

Community Building Through Personal Development:

Collage Group with Stan Bemis Saturday, March 14

Do you wish to express yourself creatively in art, and yet may feel inadequate or untrained? Do you yearn to make an artistic statement, yet not sure how? Do you have too many catalogs, magazines, and advertisements, and haven’t a clue what to do with them? We welcome you to create your own collages with Stan Bemis! Stan works to bring joy and peace into people’s lives by creating art. The goal of this group is to help foster personal worth and empowerment, entering that holy place within and having sacred fun. We encourage you to bring your old magazines to work with as well. We will meet from 10 am-12 noon in the NE Cottage. Contacts: Stan Bemis or Sarah Robson.

International Folk Dancing with Instructors Saturday, March 21

They say that dancing is combining fun with exercise and friends. Learn international folk dancing with instructors Sandy Helperin and Teri Hoffman. Folk dancing is for anyone who loves to move to traditional music. New dancers are welcome – there are no partners required. Donations accepted. We are meeting from 7-8:30 pm in Forbes Hall. Enter through the Arizona entrance. Contact: Ellen Levy.

Ukulele Strum and Sing-Along Saturday, March 21

UU Ukes of Santa Monica presents a monthly strum and sing-a-long.  Come and play Ukulele with us (or join with another strumming instrument) or come just to sing along. All levels welcome (from no experience to advanced).  Bring a Ukulele if you can, chords and lyrics will be provided and we will share tips and support each other to strum and sing-a-long, pulling from a wide range of music. We will meet in Forbes Hall on the third Saturday of the month, from 10 am-12 pm. Contact: Kim Kalmanson.

Exploration of Ideas:

AAHS Freethinker Forum Sunday, March 22

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 one hour after the service in the Warren Mathews Conference Room. Contact: James Witker.

Science Non-Fiction Book Discussion Tuesday, March 17

We will discuss “Sorting the Beef from the Bull: The Science of Food Fraud Forensics,” by Richard Evershed, et al. The authors go beyond the important stories of adulteration – both purposeful and accidental – and look at the methods for detection and the “arms race” as scammers respond to ever-improving technology. All are welcome. We meet from 7:30-9 pm in Forbes Hall. Contact: Rebecca Crawford.

Interest Groups:

Body and Mind Tune-Up for Seniors Every Saturday

Bruno Lacombe is conducting exercise classes for seniors, super-seniors, and people with physical difficulties. Classes are no-charge for UUSM members; non-members suggested donation $10 per class to UUSM. We meet from 12:30-1:30 pm in Forbes Hall. Contact: Bruno Lacombe.

Discussion and Support for Persons with Disabilities Sunday, March 22

Come and join us as we share stories and inspirations and find community with each other.  The group offers a forum in which members can feel the benefit of its mutual support. Previous topics include: how to improve the quality of one’s life overall and how to use structure, aides, and devices more successfully/productively/efficiently in one’s life. The Disability Support Group will be promoting a dialogue on a selected topic at each of its meetings throughout this church year. There is a different theme for each month. All church members interested in the topic are invited to attend. We meet on the fourth Sunday of each month a half-hour after the service in the SE Cottage. Contact: Michael Young.

Parents’ Group Sunday, TBA

Come join us to discuss the joys and challenges of parenting in a group setting! Childcare will be provided. Contact Chris Brown for more information.

UU Men’s Group Thursdays, March 5, 19

The Men’s Group offers a special opportunity to the men of the congregation and other like-minded men to join our welcoming group with provocative and stimulating discussion and to get to know others with UU perspectives in a more meaningful way. The topics for Thursday, March 5 are:  “What’s the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you,” and “We’re all lucky to be here; were there any events in your life that but for … could have resulted in tragedy and how were they averted.”  The topic for Thursday, March 18 is: “What was the model of masculinity you grew up with, and how did you receive the messages of what attitudes, values, behaviors, and roles are expected of a man?  Who were the key people, entities, etc. who modeled and communicated that model and those messages?  How did that model affect your relationships?  How, if at all, has your model of masculinity changed over the years, and what have been the consequences of that change?”   We meet the first and third Thursdays of the month from 7:30-9 pm in the NE Cottage. For more information contact Richard Mathias.


An Enjoyable Dive into Who and What We Are Mondays, March 2, 16

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 Monday 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 in Forbes Classroom 3 from 7:30-9 pm. Contact: Bill Blake.

Open Meditation Mondays, March 9, 23, 30

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 in Forbes Hall, from 7:30-9:15 pm. Contacts: Bev Shoenberger or Carol Ring.

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