Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults, April 2022

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 (AdultRE@UUSM.org) and we can work with you on presenting your ideas.

Community Building Activities:

Introduction to SoulCollage®: An Intuitive Artmaking Process  Saturday, April 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. 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 in person in the cottage from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. If you are new to the process, we ask that you come 15 minutes ahead of schedule. 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 send proof of vaccination to the office, and people need to stay masked at all times. Please sign up ahead of time: AdultRE@uusm.org

Nature Journaling: Whales  Sunday, April 24

Come nature-journal with us as we consider the massive gray whales that pass through our near ocean waters twice every year.  We will learn a bit about the lives and travels of these enormous, intelligent mammals.  Then we will try to know them a little better by drawing them from photographs. All that is needed for participation is curiosity, a pencil, paper, or whatever medium you would like to draw and write in. The session lasts from 2:30 pm until 4:00. 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. To reach Dorothy for the Zoom link, you can contact AdultRE@uusm.org


Exploration of Ideas:

Science Non-Fiction Book Group Tuesday, April 19

We will discuss “Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?” by Frans de Waal. A revolution in the field of animal cognition reveals how much we have underestimated animals’ abilities. As quoted from the Barnes and Noble site, “Hailed as a classic, [this book] explores the oddities and complexities of animal cognition—in crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, chimpanzees, and bonobos—to reveal how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long. Did you know that octopuses use coconut shells as tools, that elephants classify humans by gender and language, and that there is a young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame? Fascinating, entertaining, and deeply informed, de Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal—and human—intelligence.” To receive the link, you will want to be on the group email list. Contact: Rebecca Crawford, sci-nonfiction@uusm.org. We meet from 7:30 – 9:00 pm. All are welcome.

UU Men’s Group  Thursday April 7, Saturday April 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:

  • 4/7/22: When you were younger, what was the main thing you were searching for? Did you find it? What are you seeking now? (This Thursday session will be held on Zoom from 7:30 – 9:00 pm)
  • 4/23/22: Imagine that you were able to go back in time and could give your child or children a gift (tangible or an experience or advice) at a key time in their lives. What is it and why do you believe that it might have made a significant difference in their lives? (This Saturday session will be held in the Patio from 1:30 – 3:00 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.


Meditations:

Open Meditation  Mondays, April 11, 25

meditationWe 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 meditation@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 meditation@uusm.org.


Reminders for Closed Groups:

For those of you who are attending ongoing closed groups, here are the reminders:

Writing For Discernment with Bettye Barclay will meet on Wednesday April 13

New Year’s Resolution Workshop with Norm Richey will be meeting April 20

 

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