Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults, December 2021

Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults

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.

Special Event:

Tour Ballona Wetlands Saturday, December 4

Come discover a local gem with Dorothy Steinicke! The Ballona Wetlands is one of the few remaining coastal wetlands in Southern California, featuring a unique plant habitat with annual migratory birds to view.

Binoculars will be available to borrow.  The tour will involve about a mile of flat walking. Of important note, Los Angeles Audubon requires that all participants be vaccinated and remain masked throughout their visit even though we will be outdoors.

We will be meeting promptly at 10:30 AM at the gate entrance. For directions: take Culver Blvd. almost to the ocean and turn into the dirt parking lot behind Gordon’s Market. The Market is at 303 Culver Blvd. 90293.  In the northeast corner of the parking lot will be a gate for entrance to the wetland.

Please RSVP to Adult RE so that we can get a head count and would be able to contact you in the unlikely event that the tour would be canceled. AdultRE@uusm.org.


Exploration of Ideas:

A History of God, Book Discussion Saturdays, December 4, 18

How and why have concepts of God changed over time and across cultures, yet remained resonant and important? How have the three great monotheistic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — shaped the image of God in their own ways? How have these faith traditions influenced each other? Join us for a theological and historical exploration of monotheism in its myriad forms and possibilities, guided by Karen Armstrong’s classic, “A History of God.”  This group is facilitated by both Sarah Robson and James Witker, and will be held from 9:30 -11:30 AM on the Saturdays. Contact: AdultRE@uusm.org for the Zoom link.

Science Non-Fiction Book Group Tuesday, December 21

We will discuss “The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds,” by Michael Lewis. “Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original papers that invented the field of behavioral economics. One of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, Kahneman and Tversky’s extraordinary friendship incited a revolution in Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible. In The Undoing Project, Lewis shows how their Nobel Prize–winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.” — (quote from WWNorton Books) All are welcome. We meet from 7:30 – 9:00 PM. Contact: Rebecca Crawford at sci-nonfiction@uusm.org.

UU Men’s Group  Saturday December 4, Thursday December 16

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:

  • On Saturday, 12/4/21, 1:30-3:00 PM: During the next two years what aspect(s) of your life do you anticipate will give you the most joy and happiness? What do you see as your biggest concern or challenge for this same period?
  • On Thursday 12/16/21, 7:30-9:00 PM: Do you have a hobby? What first stimulated your interest in it? Has your interest in it changed over the years?

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.


Meditation:

Open Meditation  Mondays, December 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 evenings, from 7:30 – 9:00 PM. Contact Bev Shoenberger or Carol Ring through the Adult RE Committee email (AdultRE@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 the Adult RE Committee email (AdultRE@UUSM.org).

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