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.

Meditation and Dialogue at USG
Together, we sit. Together, we ask questions that challenge our commonly held assumptions. Together, we come to a shared understanding of human nature, especially the nature of the mind. This group is open to those beginning the journey, as well as those already on the path. It is open to those who are familiar with meditation and dialogue, and those who are not. Together, we will learn to draw guidance from our own inner teacher; we will learn to be a light unto ourselves. In this way, we might draw from various traditions as a starting point. Ultimately, however, the purpose of this group is to help us embrace the present moment and our lived relationships as the most fertile ground for learning and transformation. This group meets Tuesday night from 7-8:30pm, weekly in Sullivan 3.

Exploring Elderhood
Exploring Elderhood first sessions were “The Meaning of Old” and the second of “Celebrating Aging” and “Connections.”

The next session will be on April 7 at the regular time of 2PM in the Assembly Room at USG. The topic for discussion this month is “The Spirituality of Aging – What’s New in Our Spiritual Lives at this Age?” There will be a presentation followed by small group discussions. If you are not getting those emails and want to, or if you have any questions or suggestion about Exploring Elderhood, send an email to gwhelanmd@gmail.com and you will be added.
 

Mark your calendars, plan on coming and bring a friend, elder or younger, UU or not and some goodies for the TGIF.

Sexuality Education of Elders
The Unitarian Universalist Association has been at the forefront of sexuality education for children, teens, and adults. This award-winning curriculum, called Our Whole Lives, is outstanding. Now the UUA has developed a curriculum for older adults and they have invited USG to test it and give them feedback. We plan to conduct 7 of the Elder OWL sessions over the next three months. We invite you to attend any or all of the sessions. The facilitators will be Andrea Barsevick, Treva Burger, Andrea Durham, and Marina Patrice Nolan. 

All individuals (single or in couples) who are interested in the topics may attend any and all workshops. All sessions will be Saturdays from 10am-12noon

1, April 8, Attitudes About Aging
2, April 22, Examining Sexual Scripts
3, May 6, The Sexual Body
4, may 13, Sexual Consent and Boundaries
5, May 20, Sexuality and Loss
6, June 3, Sexuality, Disability and Chronic Illness
7, June 17, Safer Sex

Please see attached flyer for descriptions of the topics

White Privilege Conversations

Ideally all white people spend some of their time examining their privilege and reflecting on ways to give it up. This is a very deep personal process that is essential to becoming a truly equal society. With the goal of helping the white people of USG on this journey, we will be offering a variety of resources and a monthly time to share experiences with and feelings about this process.

We have chosen for this winter and spring to read Let’s Talk: White Privilege, a curriculum from the United Church of Christ. Please read to educate yourself and keep the conversation going if only in your head. We all need to participate if things are going to change.

Here are the sections, we are reading the Cash Value of Whiteness for March.

This remaining sessions are April 9 from 12-2pm and May 21, 4-6pm and will be facilitated by Eli Scearce, Gail Mershon, Sandy Campbell and Treva Burger and is an Adult Spiritual Development class offered  in the education arm of the Ending Racism Committee.

A Day of Mindfulness Meditation – Finding Inner Peace

Saturday, March 25 from 8:30am to 4pm. The day will include some brief teaching as well as periods of meditation and Qi Gong. New and experienced meditators are welcome. Participants will be asked to maintain silence throughout the day, including during the lunch break, which will be held on site. Retreat instructors, Deborah Cooper and Paul Martin, will offer guidance throughout the day. Please bring your own lunch. Beverages will be provided. 

Deborah is a practicing, licensed family therapist and a Mindfulness Meditation instructor. Paul is an experienced teacher of Qi Gong with many years of practice and teaching experience.

*** Child care will be provided (for children 6 months and older) to make this event more accessible to parents. ***

Registration is now closed. To be placed on a wait list please contact Sharon Mafuru at smallaxetz@gmail.com or 215.756.6466.

The facilities fee will be $15 for this event, which is paid at the time of registration. This covers use of the facilities and child care only. The instructors offer this retreat free of charge. Participants may choose to give a donation in the Buddhist tradition of dana.

Parking for USG is off Johnson Street, northeast of Wayne Avenue.

See flyer.

Unitarian Universalism 101
Gale Gibbons & Andi Bernstein Second Sundays 9am – 10:15am, USG An introduction to Unitarian Universalism for visitors and new members. It is held on the second Sunday of each month in the Sullivan Chapel. Childcare is provided. Attendees will receive a free copy of The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide. If you plan to attend, please let us know by the Friday before. For more information or to RSVP, contact Gale Gibbons (gigi3318@gmail.com) or (uu101@usguu.org)

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 10:15 in Sullivan Chapel. On the first two Sundays of the month there may be guided meditations, meditations on readings, walking meditations, silent meditations or whatever those in attendance prefer. On the other Sundays the space is open for those who choose to just come and sit. Beginners as well as experienced meditators are always welcome. Note the announcements in the weekly order of service or contact Sharon Mafuru at smallaxetz@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 Delores Hill at hillott@comcast.net

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 board starting with the ASD Faire and every Sunday after that. 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.