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.

 

BREATHE – most Sundays,  5:00-6:30pm.

A weekly program of mindfulness classes led by trained meditation teachers, presented by the Adult Spiritual Development Committee’s new Center for Mindfulness at the Unitarian Society of Germantown. There is no fee for the classes, but Dana (Donations to the teachers) are greatly appreciated.

Topics of next Sessions:

January 26, February 2, 9 & 15,  5:00-6:30
Mary Kalyna- Engaged Buddhism:   Mindfulness in Action
Can we integrate our spiritual practice as we work to oppose racism, sexism, destruction of the planet and other injustices in the world? We begin with the premise that it is not enough to “just sit there.” We will explore how spiritual practice can inform activism and prevent burnout, and how engagement in the world is required for a grounded and authentic spirituality. 

For more information, please click here.

Meditations for the Mid-Week
From the Center for Mindfulness at USG
in conjunction with Exploring Elderhood
Wednesday afternoons at 2:30pm starting January 15, Sullivan Chapel 3

All are welcome- senior, junior, USG member or not to join Deborah Cooper for an hour of quiet meditation, reflection and sharing. Most of us long to be peaceful and happy, and yet our lives and the world around us, frequently present us with situations that cause anxiety and pain. The Buddha, 2,500 years ago, discovered a way to live that makes it possible to experience tranquility and joy in spite of the various difficulties we encounter day to day.In this hour we will explore some of his teachings and learn some ways to help ourselves navigate everyday challenges so that we can experience more peace in our world. No fee but donations (dana) gratefully accepted.
Questions? mindfulness@usguu.org     
 
Dharma Teacher Tuere Sala speaking on
Cultivating Awakening Emotions
Friday, January 31, 6:30-9:00pm, Sullivan Chapel at USG

Often emotions can turn our lives into a roller coaster ride of reactivity which can have the effect of turning our meditative practice into an escape clause rather than the source of our inner strength. It is possible, however, to engage our meditative practice in a more proactive way by cultivating several awakening emotions. They are considered awakening emotions because when present, they bring clarity and wisdom. We will explore these awakening emotions, how to distinguish them from non-awakening emotions, how to cultivate them, and how to recognize their impact upon our practice. Click here to read more about Tuere Sala.
Presented by Delaware Valley Insight Meditation
and co-sponsored by Springboard Studio and the Center for Mindfulness at USG

 
Developing Compassion for Oneself and the World: 
Livestream Audio Video with Suvaco Hansen 
Sunday, February 9, 1:30-3:00pm, USG’s Sanctuary
This session will include a brief led-meditation, a Dharma talk, and time for individual questions. Suvaco was a monk in the Thai Forest tradition for many years. He now lives in England where he is a psychotherapist and teaches meditation retreats. He is active in the Climate Action community and occasionally works with refugee communities. Deborah Cooper regularly attends his retreats. Suggested Donation- $10-$15.

 

Racism Book/Study Group
For February, we will read Think Black by Clyde Ford, but instead of meeting on the second Monday, please come Saturday February 22 for a presentation by the author, followed by a lunch and a workshop on the theme of Racism and Technology, linked here. All are welcome.

Treva Burger facilitates the group, contact her with questions, bookstudy@usguu.org.

 

 

Exploring Elderhood
This program meets on the second Friday of each month at 2PM in the USG Assembly Room (from September through June.) 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

 

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 Sharon Mafuru at sundaymeditation@usguu.org
 
 
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. They are offered Fall, Winter/Spring and Summer. Highlight the Online Courses menu to see which classes are currently offered.

 

Difficult Conversations provides a place where people can honestly speak their hearts and minds, knowing that they will be heard respectfully and with judgment at least suspended, and then allow those with whom they may disagree to do the same. This is not about changing minds, winning debates or convincing others; it is about true, compassionate listening with the aim of understanding why people hold the positions they do, a first step toward truly moving forward together. Watch this space for the next one.
 
 

Community Day
Community Day is held the Sunday of 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 Ryan Hurd at dsd@usguu.org.

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