Adult Spiritual Development
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. We are continuing to do this in the time of COVID-19.
Images of the Divine
The USG Adult Spirituality Development Committee invites you to participate in a new program which will explore the many ways our members relate to the idea of a Divine, God, A Higher Power, the Great Transcendence, or whatever you call that which grounds your spirituality. Participants will be invited to share their personal experience of this presence, how it may have evolved, and how it guides their lives and ethics. Humanists, atheists, and agnostics are also welcome to share what provides their centering and guidance.
Discussions will be held in a structured, safe setting, by Zoom of course, and will be facilitated by Gerry Whelan, members of the ASD Committee, and Rev. Kent and other members of our ministerial staff. If you are interested, or want to know more, send an email to email@example.com, Subject: Images of the Divine
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, register by February 26. Program starts March 16.
USG, in conjunction with Braver Angels, will offer With Malice Towards None, a program aimed at beginning the process of healing the destructive polarization we face in our nation today. The program will begin with gatherings of like-minded people to explore the nature and cost of our own polarization and will invoke our UU values and principles. Only after that would participants be invited to meet with those on the other side to continue the process. For more information, click here. To indicate your interest in participating, contact Gerry Whelan at firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
Meditations for the Mid-Week by ZOOM! Wednesday afternoons at 2:30pm. To get the ZOOM link, email firstname.lastname@example.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.
2nd and 4th Fridays, 2-4pm
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.
Third Sundays 11:30am-12:30pm. 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 email@example.com to get a Zoom link.
Now on Third Sundays
Next: February 21, 2:00pm
Here is the link to join online: bit.ly/BLUUBox
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.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 begin engaging My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem. We will read a chapter a week and will 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 March 8, we will read chapters 1-4 (in addition to the Intro.) 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, email@example.com.
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 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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? email@example.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 Director of Spiritual Development Ryan Hurd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New ideas and suggestions are always welcomed. Just follow this link.