Opportunities at USG for Adults of All Ages

The Adult Spiritual Development Committee of USG is committed to offering a variety of programs that deepen and broaden the range of spiritual practices in our congregation. ASD seeks to promote offerings that engage the heart and stimulate the intellect and create opportunities for USG members to share their talents and wisdom, as we strengthen the bonds of our Unitarian Universalist community.  Come to whatever interests you. No registration, no fees, no deadlines, no commitments.

 

View this week’s SPIRIT newsletter with up to date program information.

 
 Difficult Conversations: Immigration

The Difficult Conversations program has addresses abortion and patriotism.The Difficult Conversations program continues with its next discussion on Immigration. Much to discuss and no simple solutions. Expect diverse positions to be put forth in a setting of respectful listening, with a chance to state your position and learn why others may differ. Email Gerry Whelan at gwhelanmd@gmail.com if you want to participate and a date will be set to accommodate as many interested participants as possible. 

 

New Racism Book/Study Group
A new Racism Book/Study Group began in July. It will generally meet monthly on first or second Wednesdays. It will be sharing and listening until everyone has had a chance to share once and then discussion. All are welcome and asked to do the reading in advance.  We read UUs of Color for the first meeting.

Treva Burger leads the group, contact her with questions or if you would like to buy a book from her, trevawb@gmail.com. There will be a couple of each book to loan. If you would be interested in a second session on UUs of Color, please let her know. Possible dates are August 29, September 26 or a Sunday after the service.

Unitarian Universalists of Color: Stories of Struggle, Courage, Love and Faith (2017) Members of Unitarian Universalist congregations are predominantly white, upper middle class and highly educated. People of color often feel marginalized in such settings despite the denomination’s interest in becoming more diverse. This book lifts up voices from the margins to make our congregations more welcoming. Fifteen contributors share their stories of love, challenges, faith journeys, hope and despair. Also included is the transcript of a panel workshop based on the stories at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in 2015.

It can also be bought at Lulu.com   Another bulk order could be places if there’s enough interest.

For August 1: Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity and Power in Ministry (2017) Mitra Rahnema, editor. Published by the Committee for Antiracism, Anti-Oppression and Multiculturalism of the UU Ministers Association. The 2017-18 UUA Common Read. A joint project of the Committee for Antiracism, Anti-oppression, and Multiculturalism of the UUMA and Skinner House Books, Centering is the first book to center the stories, analysis, and insight of Unitarian Universalists of color offering their religious leadership.

​Can be bought at the UUA bookstore​ or amazon and another bulk order can be placed if there’s enough interest.

Unitarian Universalism 101
Third Sundays 12- 1:15pm in the Daskam room. An introduction to Unitarian Universalism for visitors and friends. Childcare is provided. Attendees will receive a free copy of The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide. Please let the leaders Eric Foster and Charles Gabriel know if you plan to attend by emailing  uu101@usguu.org or you can call Charles at 215-801-2711 if you are unable to email.

There are also a number of online classes offered through the UU Leadership Institute. The courses can be completed online on your own schedule while wearing your PJs. The cost is only $30. They are offered Fall, Winter/Spring and Summer. Highlight the Online Courses menu to see which classes are currently offered.

 

Sunday Morning Meditation Group
Welcoming space for meditation is available every Sunday at USG from 9:15 to 10:15am in Sullivan Chapel 3 or in the Grove in nice weather. On the First and Second Sundays, the Mindfulness Group will follow this schedule:

  • 9:15-9:35am – Sitting meditation
  • 9:35-9:55am – Dharma reading and sharing
  • 9:55-10:15 – Sitting or Walking meditation
All are welcome to join in quietly at any transition point. On the other Sundays the space is open for those who choose to come and sit. Beginners as well as experienced meditators are always welcome. For more information contact Stephanie Bonner at slbonner2@gmail.com or Sharon Mafuru at smallaxetz@gmail.com

 

Dialogue – ON SUMMER HIATUS
This group uses dialogue as a means for self-exploration. Dialogue is different than formal or informal conversation, in that it requires the capacity to listen deeply and ask fundamental questions. In dialogue, we are primarily focused on expanding our awareness and growing in self-knowledge. This group is inspired by the revolutionary work of David Bohm and Jiddu Krishnamurti. Using the dialogue format, we explore many of their insights. Typically, we begin the evening with a centering activity, then we read a short prompt and move into dialogue. Tuesdays 7-8:30pm. For more information, contact Jason Bender, Director of Spiritual Development at dsd@usguu.org.

 

Mindfulness Meditation with Rev. Kent – ON SUMMER HIATUS
Come together to sit, move, or lie down to meditate, mostly in silence. Jon Kabat-Zinn defined mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” With the goal of engaging in mindfulness, Kent will provide basic guidance for paying attention to breath, or sound, or simple body movements. The documented health benefits of mindfulness for body, mind and spirit are irrefutable and wonderful. Come on in to pay attention.Thursdays 6:30-7:15pm. Sullivan Chapel 3.

 

Exploring Elderhood – ON SUMMER HIATUS
This program meets on the second Friday of each month at 2PM in the USG Assembly Room. Its purpose is to celebrate the path, with emphasis on the spiritual path, of all who are aging (that’s all of us!) but especially those who consider themselves Elders (or wannabe Elders) and is open USG members, guest and visitors with no minimum age.

Each month a team of Exploring Elderhood members prepare and present a program on a relevant topic and after initial presentation there is generally a time for small group discussions and then a reconvening to share experiences. Each session is also followed by a potluck TGIF with wine and cheese, tea and crumpets and such. At all times our goal is to accentuate the positive and have fun together as we share our journeys into the second act of life! And we do! Find this month’s plan in the Upcoming Events section of the website.

For more information contact Gerry Whelan at gwhelanmd@gmail.com or visit and join our Facebook page, just search Exploring Elderhood @ USG

 

 

Community Day
Community Day is held the weekend before Thanksgiving. 

At USG, the day begins with a choice of several workshops presenting different modes of spiritual practice. In the past we have offered workshops on meditation, yoga, drumming, chanting, dance, poetry and a chance to sing in The Wannabe Choir. There are also programs for youth of all ages and childcare. See link above for details about this years’ event.

Following the workshops there is an intergenerational worship service in the Sanctuary where many of the components of the workshops, including performance by the Wannabe Choir, are integrated into the service. In November, Bread Communion Sunday, which has traditionally been observed the Sunday before Thanksgiving, will also be included in the Service.

Community Day appropriately concludes with a communal brunch when all are invited to partake of a scrumptious feast.

For more information contact Gerry Whelan at gwhelanmd@gmail.com

 

The Caregiver Support Group provides a safe space where caregivers can make connections with others facing similar challenges, share their experiences and ideas, and provide emotional support to one another. Participants include individuals who provide various levels and types of care for partners, parents, and grandchildren. The group meets monthly at USG. Group size is limited. For information, contact Maura Gallagher, garden294@yahoo.com 

 

Bring Your Own Spirituality!
Is there a topic that you have been hoping would be offered in an ASD course? Is there an issue relating to the spiritual journey that you would like to explore? Do you have an interest in a spiritual teacher, resource or practice that you would like to share with others? Now, here is your chance! The BYOS program invites you to name and briefly describe what it is that you would like to explore, discuss, share, or even argue about. We will provide a simple form on which you can name it, briefly describe it and tell how you’d like to approach it. Maybe you would like to discuss the teachings of Eckhart Tolle or explore the Enneagram or talk about Chicken Soup for the Soul or share the poetry of Mary Oliver. You provide your name and contact information. This will be posted on a board that will be prominently placed in the hospitality area every Sunday. Then USG folks and even visitors can peruse the board and others who may share your interest can add their names and contact information. If you have even a few takers, ASD will assist you in setting up an initial get-together. Then your little group will take it from there, deciding where, when and how often to meet. If ASD can help in any way, we will, otherwise we will only ask for some feedback as your group progresses or finishes. So no more complaining that you don’t see what you want. BYOS puts you in the driver’s seat for your spiritual journey. Come on, it’s your turn! Blank forms will be on the ASD board or share your suggestion with the link below. Questions or comments? gwhelanmd@gmail.com

The Elders Storytelling Circle
This Elders Storytelling Circle is a joint project between Adult Spiritual Development (ASD) and Children’s Spiritual Development (CSD). Through the storytelling workshop, elders will be given the opportunity to reflect on their lives and choose significant moments that could be shared with others. Workshop participants will then be given support in developing these stories into tales that will be told to the children in our congregation. One storyteller will be brought into the 3rd-6th grade class per month for the duration of the program year. The purpose of such a storyteller’s circle is to link the elders with the young people in our community. In other words, the storytelling format acts as a vehicle so that the children in our community can begin to form meaningful relationships with those grandparent-aged folk who can teach them a thing or two. But again, it is not primarily about imparting knowledge. Building relationships is at the core of this project. An initial group has been asked to establish this workshop. In time, it will be open to any grandparent-aged elder in our community who wishes to participate.

If you have questions about ASD courses and programs, please contact Gerry Whelan, ASD Committee Chair gwhelanmd@gmail.com. Other questions related to Spiritual Development at USG can be directed to Jason Bender at dsd@usguu.org.

New ideas and suggestions are always welcomed. Just follow this link.