Opportunities at USG for Adults of All Ages

This week’s Spirit newsletter

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.  We are beginning to offer some things in person, outdoors, we are still offering many things on zoom.

Practice based spiritual development: meditation, yoga, conscious dance can be found on the Center for Mindfulness at USG page. This page has discussion based spiritual development.

Death Café
Thursday, October 28, 7-9pm
We gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. All are welcome! Our objective is “to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.”
This is a discussion group with no agenda or objectives, and is not a substitute for grief support. All are welcome!
Facilitated by hospice chaplain Maggie Beaumont, and hosted by Ryan Hurd and the Adult Spiritual Development Committee at USG. 
Seats are limited, Register Here to save your seat.
Exploring Elderhood ZOOM Gathering
Now 2nd Fridays only, 2-4pm

All Elders and others are invited to another remote Zoom meeting of Exploring Elderhood one Friday a month. Elders on the current mailing list will receive an invitation and instructions by email. If you are not on the list and want to join in, send your name and email to elderhood@usguu.org with Subject “Join Elders.”This program has been meeting more often virtually, sign up for emails so you don’t miss one. 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. For more information contact  elderhood@usguu.org or visit and join our Facebook page, just search Exploring Elderhood @ USG  


Images of the Divine
Next session TBA on Zoom

This is a group of respectful listening and sharing where all or no beliefs about the divine are welcome. New folks are always welcome and are invited but not expected to start off by sharing their personal Images of the Divine and/or their journeys. To join the group email dsd@usguu.org.


Find Black Lives UU resources for Black UUs linked here.

Unitarian Universalism 101 on Zoom

Usually third Sundays, 11:30am-12:30pm, but also by appointment. An introduction to Unitarian Universalism for visitors and friends. Attendees will receive a free copy of The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide. Please rsvp to Eric Foster and Charles Gabriel at uu101@usguu.org to let them know you are interested.

Virtual BLUUBox
Now on Third Sundays
Next: November 21 at 2pm

Here is the link to join online: bit.ly/BLUUBox
Questions? Contact endingracism@usguu.org
We are not currently receiving BLUU boxes, so are instead screening parts of the BLUU Symposium in fall 2019, which is interesting, thought provoking and inspiring. Please join us.


Racism Book/Study Group
We are reading Caste by Isabel Wilkerson for our next book. We will read it in three parts.
For November 8: Pillar 5 through the end of Part 4 
For December 13: Parts 5, 6, and 7
It’s still in hardcover and also available as a e book and at libraries. There will be a few copies to borrow at USG soon, email below before going to pick one up.
Treva Burger facilitates the group, contact her with questions or for the Zoom link, bookstudy@usguu.org.
Beloved Conversations Virtual
Registration has closed for the fall, it’s an excellent program, consider it for the spring.
Offered by the Meadville-Lombard UU seminary to help UUs embody racial justice as a spiritual practice.
The two three-month Within programs (spring and fall) consist of 6 self-paced modules with readings and videos, 6 self-scheduled meetings with a small group to reflect on the themes and 3 “meaning-making sessions,” similar to worship services. Carla Campbell and Treva Burger took the spring session; ask them about it! We need about 20 people at USG to take both sessions of the Within phase before we can move on to the Among phase. More info is here. No one will be excluded do to inability to pay. Financial support is also available from USG; contact Ryan Hurd at dsd@usguu.org if needed.
Here’s the link: https://www.meadville.edu/fahs-collaborative/beloved-conversations/










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. They offer a free on demand Coming of Age for Adults, check it out!



Community Day
Community Day is usually held the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

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? asd@usguu.org

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  Director of Spiritual Development Ryan Hurd at dsd@usguu.org.

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