Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults, March 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, March 12

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. 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. 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: The Drifters – Ocean Plankton Sunday, March 27

Continuing with our ocean theme we are moving on to the drifters, plankton. Join us in nature journaling about some of the tiniest but most important living things on this planet: the ocean plankton.  The ocean is where life began and some of these organisms are among the most ancient of living things.  They remain crucial to life on earth, being a carbon sink for greenhouse gases, providing oxygen and being the base of the entire food web — not to mention that many are both fascinating and beautiful.  We will work from photos as we journal about these ocean drifters in their diverse forms.  All that is needed for participation is curiosity, a pencil, paper, or whatever medium you would like to draw and write in. The session begins at 2:30 pm. 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 receive the Zoom link for this program contact AdultRE@uusm.org


Exploration of Ideas:

Science Non-Fiction Book Group Tuesday, March 15

We will discuss “The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race,” by Walter Isaacson. Jennifer Doudna, along with a collaborator, won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her contribution to the development of CRISPR, the gene editing technique that is so easy it can be done in your garage. The author gives a glimpse of what contributed to her passion, and a sense of how many others influenced the entrepreneurial direction of discovery. 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  Thursdays, March 3, 17

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:

  • 3/3/22: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”—Blaise Pascal. The internet, smartphones, and iPads have added to radio and TV in luring us to seek continuous entertainment and distraction by externals. Do you have any strategies or places for getting “unplugged”?
  • 3/17/22: Setting aside considerations of family or cost, if you could live anywhere in the world for a year or longer, where would it be and why?

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, March 14, 28

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 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 March 9, 7:00 – 9:00 pm on Zoom.

New Year’s Resolution Workshop with Norm Richey will not be meeting in March.

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