Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults, February 2021

Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults logo

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 below for our February activities, programs, and workshops for adults.

To contact the facilitator in regard to any offering, you may email AdultRE@UUSM.org with the title of the group in the subject line. Your email will be forwarded. Please note that currently, all offerings are facilitated through Zoom. Contact Teri Lucas for more information and the link to the Zoom meeting.

Do you have a passion or an expertise? Are you a chef or a gardener, a historian or an actor? Would you like to offer some help, support, or some frivolity to our UU community via Zoom? We’re seeking programming that is fun, informative, and engaging. Please let us know if there’s something you’d like to offer and the Adult RE Committee will help you to do it. Email the Adult RE Committee (AdultRE@UUSM.org) or Teri Lucas (uusmREassist@uusm.org) and we can work with you on presenting your ideas.


Special Offerings, continuing February 2021:

“How to Be an Antiracist,” Study Group  Wednesday, February 3

How to be an AntiracistThis winter, the Faith In Action: Peace & Social Justice Committee offers another opportunity to read and discuss Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist.” Last year’s acclaimed New York Times #1 Bestseller was our guide for several sessions of provocative, important learning and dialogue in early 2020. In the time since, our country has been roiled by more violence, protests, and a renewed call to confront systemic racism. And this instructive volume has solidified its place as something of a “common read” to understand both racism and anti-racism today. Kendi, a professor of history and international relations and founder of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, argues that a redefinition of terms — focusing on policies rather than attitudes and feelings — is in order if we are to properly confront the historical legacy and enduring oppressive systems of racism. The Peace & Social Justice Committee undertakes study groups such as this to help us grow in knowledge and understanding, which helps us to bear witness and work for change as part of our congregation’s commitment to UU Principles. Facilitated by James Witker, Faith In Action Co-Chair. Contact justice@uusm.org for dates and Zoom link.

New Year Resolution Workshop  Wednesday, February 3

To remind our participants, this is a continuation of the full and closed group: “Increase your ability to follow-through and achieve success with New Year Resolutions in our New Year Resolution Workshop, a 3-session workshop on Zoom. 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 keeping those resolutions in the past, this workshop is where you want to start. Over the course of three sessions, Norm Richey, MSW, and Certified Life Coach will introduce you to new skills that will help you achieve your resolution and goals for 2021.”  The class will continue on February 3, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm.


Community Building Through Personal Development:

Nature Journaling – Birds  Sunday, February 28

Come and join us in observing, learning about, and enjoying nature. Whether you are spending some time outdoors or not stepping out your front door at all, you can still enjoy and appreciate nature.  You are welcome to join even if you have no knowledge of nature, botany, drawing, or writing. In our upcoming nature journaling session we will investigate birds. We will work from photographs and reflect on their place in our lives and our world. The nature journaling group has been meeting monthly to contemplate, write about, and draw various aspects of nature. It is a way to slow down and come to a deeper appreciation of the world around us. No knowledge, skill, or experience is necessary and new participants are always welcome. People who attend these groups remark that they are reminded of times in childhood when they had the time to get lost in wonder at the natural world. As adults, we rarely give ourselves that permission. We will meet from 2:30 – 4:00 pm. Contact: Dorothy Steinicke.

Spiritual Grounding and Productivity Drop-In  Weekday Mornings

Join us for a weekday morning short meditation and check-in session to encourage connection and accountability around mindful presence and daily action. We will meditate for 10-15 minutes and share priorities, victories, and stumbling blocks in our work-at-home/family life in this unprecedented time. We meet weekdays, from 9:00 – 9:30 am. Contact: Jacki Weber for the February schedule.

Ukulele Strum and Sing-Along Saturday, February 13

Come and play ukulele with us or join with another strumming instrument. We recommend a familiarity with the ukulele for this online format but all levels are welcome (beginner to advanced). Bring a ukulele to our Zoom meeting and chords and lyrics will be provided in advance with a few folks prepared to lead some songs. We will share tips and support each other, pulling from a wide range of music. We will need your email contact information by February 10, so that we can send you the music ahead of time. This event is for ages 15 and up, or 10 and up if accompanied by a guardian. We will gather from 9:30 – 10:45 am. Contact: Kim Kalmanson.


Exploration of Ideas:

AAHS Freethinker Forum  Sunday, February 28

The Freethinker Forum is a monthly interactive meeting sponsored by AAHS: Agnostics, Atheists, Humanists & Secularists of UU Santa Monica. All are welcome to join in a lively discussion where a diversity of viewpoints are encouraged and respected. We’ll meet from 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm via Zoom. Contact: James Witker.

Science Non-Fiction Book Discussion  Tuesday, February 16

We will discuss “Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures,” by Nick Pyenson. It is easy to be awed by whales, but studying them in their habitat isn’t easy. Pyenson has been doing just that – and looking at the fossil record as well. Grey whales have been stranding along our coast in unusual numbers recently. To receive the link to join the discussion, you will want to be on the group email list. All are welcome. We meet from 7:30 – 9:00 pm. Contact: Rebecca Crawford, sci-nonfiction@uusm.org.

UU Men’s Group  Thursdays, February 4 and 18

The Men’s Group offers a special opportunity to the men of the congregation and other like-minded men to join our welcoming group in provocative and stimulating discussion and to get to know others with UU perspectives in a more meaningful way. The topic for Thursday, February 4 is:  What were the hardest truths you came to learn about the world and about yourself? Did life become better for you as a result or have you remained somewhat disappointed?  The topic for Thursday, February 18 is:  What books have you read or movies and/or TV have you seen in the past few months that you can recommend? We meet the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7:30 pm via Zoom.  For more information, contact Richard Mathias.

Meditations:

meditation

Open Meditation  Mondays, February 8 and 22

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 from 7:30 – 9:00 pm. Contacts: Bev Shoenberger or Carol Ring.

Open Meditation: Wellsprings  All Wednesdays and Fridays

These are exceptional times. Taking this 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.

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