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: Abortion

The Difficult Conversation on Abortion with parishioners of Our Mother of Consolation will be Wednesday, December 12 from 7-9:30pm. We have five people from each congregation committed, but we have space for a few more participants from USG and any number of interested observers. If this is a date and time that works for you and you are interested in participating and/or observing or have questions, please contact Gerry Whelan at gwhelanmd@gmail.com before December 7.
 
Our goal is to get some genuine, honest diversity into our conversations, which may allow us all to hear from people with different positions that are held in honesty and sincerity. The Difficult Conversation model creates a climate of mutual respect, honest speech and deep listening where that can happen.

 

Racism Book/Study Group
A Racism Book/Study Group began in July. It is be sharing  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 have read UUs of Color, Centering and Black Pioneers in a White Denomination and Darkening the Doorways: Black Trailblazers and Missed Opportunities in Unitarian Universalism by Mark Morrison-Reed. In December, we began engaging the White Supremacy Culture document linked below.

Our next meeting is Thursday, January 3 at 7:30pm. We will engage the next three sections of White Supremacy Culture, by Tema Okun: Defensiveness, Quantity over Quality and Worship of the Written Word.

We are asking is that people spend some time thinking about these characteristics. Examine whether they show up in you or any of your communities, home, work, school, church, family, etc. And what that looks like. And then think about the antidotes and whether any of them are things you think would be helpful, are any of them things you might be able to shift. 
 
Please also visit the UUA’s Dismantling White Supremacy page for more information and perspectives.
 
It would be good to make notes for yourself and look at it at least a few times before the meeting, and see if anything new comes up.
 

Treva Burger facilitates the group, contact her with questions or if you would like to buy or borrow a book, trevawb@gmail.com.

 

Exploring Elderhood
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

 

 

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.

 

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
 

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.