Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults, August 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 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, August 13

Soul CollageSoulCollage® 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 – 3:00 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: AdultRE@uusm.org

Nature Journaling – Leaves  Sunday, August 28

We will devote this session of nature journaling to leaves. Participants are requested to come to the on-line session with a variety of leaves to observe and journal on. Having colored pencils and a magnifying glass may enhance the experience but are not required. We’ll take the time to take a close look and record our observations by writing and drawing. 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 AdultRE@uusm.org.


Exploration of Ideas:

Science Non-Fiction Book Group Tuesday, August 16

Book cover

We will discuss “Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans,” by Melanie Mitchell. A computer scientist looks at how intelligent AI is – or isn’t. what goes into successful AI and when is it likely to surpass humans? To receive the link, you will want to be on the group email list. Contact Rebecca Crawford for this month’s book read, sci-nonfiction@uusm.org. We meet from 7:30 – 9:00 pm. All are welcome.

 

 

UU Men’s Group Thursday August 4, Saturday August 20

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 August via Zoom on Thursday the 4th at 7:30 pm and our second meeting of August on Saturday the 20th at 1:30 pm under the outdoor pavilion on the grounds of UUSM. The discussion topics will be:

  • 8/4/22 (Thursday evening via Zoom): Most of us are old enough to remember that playing card games with friends was a common social activity of our parents. Did your parents or did you play any card games socially? With whom did you play and what was especially enjoyable about the experience? What element of the game is most interesting to you?
  • 8/20/22 (Saturday afternoon in person): What makes/made you most successful at your work? What about your nature impedes/impeded you most? Did you develop a strategy to help you overcome it?

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, August 8, 22, 29

Meditating on waterWe 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 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 meditation@uusm.org.

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