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 continuing to do this in the time of COVID-19.

Qigong in the Grove with Margaret Kinnevy
Mondays, 4:30-5:30pm
Pilot program will be May 10,17, 24

In the USG Grove; Parking is off Johnson Street near Wayne Ave.
Drop in; beginners welcome! Breath, movement, and embodied awareness are the three treasures of this Daoist healing art. Breathing deeply is especially important for lung function and easing concerns during the pandemic. A delightful way to be outdoors with others, our time together will leave you feeling a calm confidence in your being.

We will begin in the quiet beauty near the memorial garden with an opening of our senses and slow, gentle movements while standing. After 20 minutes we will walk to the grove of trees for sitting qigong. Masks, distancing, and loose, layered clothing will ensure your safety and comfort. Bathrooms are not available. Questions? Email asd@usguu.org.

Dana for Margaret: you can bring cash to the event, or use Venmo: @margaret-kinnevy

Images of the Divine
Wednesday May 12, 7pm
The space where we go to share our Images of the Divine, the God, the Higher Presence or whatever we experience of the Transcendent, will be open again to share or listen or both. All USG members and friends are welcome; bring a friend. To be added to the zoom invitation list, email asd@usguu.org


Sunday Breathe Mindfulness, weekly from 5-6pm
The Breathe mindfulness class format consists of guided meditations, teaching, and discussion geared to support and enhance the practice of both experienced and beginner meditators. The sessions will be led by the following outstanding and  experienced  teachers in rotation-Pamela Freeman, Mary Kalyna, Jesse Frechette, Deborah Cooper and Rev. Kent Matthies. Click here for more information.


Mindful Mondays with
Jesse Frechette
, 7:30-8:30pm
This drop-in weekly community mindfulness session will feature a teaching/discussion on Mindfulness with an emphasis on the wisdom and lessons we can learn from nature and its symbols, including the planet, the seasons, the elements, animals, plants/trees, and ourselves as we are part of nature and nature is part of us.
Jesse Frechette, LCSW, is the founder and director of Center Mindful in Fort Washington, Pa. He is a mindfulness educator and coach and a mindfulness-based psychotherapist. Jesse is committed to collaboration, diversity, inclusion, and supporting LGBTQ+ individuals and families and others who experience prejudice and discrimination. Click here for more information. To get the ZOOM link, email mindfulness@usguu.org.


Meditations for the Mid-Week by ZOOM! Wednesday afternoons at 2:30pm. To get the ZOOM link, email mindfulness@usguu.org.
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) to the teacher are gratefully accepted.
Questions? mindfulness@usguu.org   

Exploring Elderhood ZOOM Gathering
2nd and 4th Fridays, 2-4pm
All Elders and others are invited to another remote Zoom meeting of Exploring Elderhood every Friday. 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 Gerry Whelan at elderhood@usguu.org or visit and join our Facebook page, just search Exploring Elderhood @ USG    
Yoga with Esther Wyss Flamm (via Zoom) 
Fridays 9:30 – 10:45am A gentle chair-to-mat class designed to release tension, stretch the body, and support joint health. Full focus is on safe movement, alignment that supports the healthy spine. As her most accessible class, it is great for anyone with age-related health conditions or recovering from physical injury.
Saturdays, 9:30 – 10:45am A mat-based class to builds strength and stability in body, breath, and mind. The focus is on alignment and reviewing fundamentals to build postures from the ground up, including lunges, balance postures, twists, and back bends. A great way to kick off the weekend!  
Esther is offering these classes to USG Members on a donation basis. Questions? Contact Esther at: ewyssflamm@gmail.com.
For more info, see whiteflameyoga.com
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: May 16, 2:00pm (ERC Presents will be held instead of BLUU Box on April 18)

Here is the link to join online: bit.ly/BLUUBox
Questions? Contact endingracism@usguu.org
Each BLUU (Black Lives of UU) Box contains a prayer to center us in joy, affirm us, and ground us in spiritually challenging times; a reflection on contemporary issues informed by a Black UU faith perspective; information about prominent Black UUs who have shaped and informed our living faith tradition; and a brief guided meditation. Please join us.


Racism Book/Study Group
In February we began engaging My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem. We will read a chapter a week and meet on Thursdays at 8pm for 15-20 minutes to lead each other through body practices designed to heal racialized trauma that keeps us stuck in a racialized system (you don’t need to read to join us.) Join us at this link: bit.ly/healingpractices
On 2nd Mondays, we will meet from 7:30-9pm to discuss the book and the practices.  For May 10, we will read chapters 9-12. Books are available to purchase or borrow in the name tag foyer at USG.  Treva Burger facilitates the group, contact her with questions or for the Zoom link, bookstudy@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. 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!

Beloved Conversations Virtual

Beloved Conversations—offered by Meadville Lombard Theological School (one of our two UU seminaries)—is a program for UUs seeking to embody racial justice as a spiritual practice.

The current phase, called “Within,” focuses on the internal work that each of us needs to do as we engage in explorations of race and work for racial justice. This work is different for White folks and for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) and will be done entirely in race-based caucuses. “Within” work will include 6 self paced online Lessons, using videos, music, and readings, accompanied by reflection and conversation prompts; 6 bi-weekly small group conversations in a Learning Pod; and 3 larger, monthly, facilitated Meaning-Making Sessions on Zoom.  Click HERE for more info, registration is closed for the Spring 2021 phase.


Community Day

Community Day is usually held the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

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? 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.