Adult Programs

PANDEMIC PROGRAMMING

 Additional groups will be starting in the fall.

Laughing at God: Religious Satire in Terry Pratchett’s “Small Gods”

Who: All

Meets: Fridays April 9 – May 22 @ 6:00  p.m. CT

Leader: Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw

Australian author Jack Heath describes Terry Pratchett’s “Small Gods” as “one of the 20th century’s finest satires”, and adds that “the gods are pompous, the worshippers cowed, and the priests violently closed-minded. Yet the tale is never heavy-handed, thanks to Brutha’s sincerity and some deftly comical plot twists, as well as all the levity that comes from picturing an angry God trapped in the body of a tortoise.

“Small Gods is the thirteenth of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, published in 1992.It tells the origin of the god Om, and his relations with his prophet, the reformer Brutha.” Come and join Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw for a 12 week look at this wise and witty book which satirizes religious institutions, people, and practices, and the role of religion in political life. This is a stand-alone Pratchett novel, and you do not have to be familiar with Pratchett’s Discworld series to understand it. Small Gods can be purchased anywhere books are sold. (Click to view on Amazon) The book is novel length, and we’ll be covering about 30-35 pages a week. Rev. Amy has Kindle copies to share if needed.

Registration is not required, but if you are sure you are coming, you can email revamy@ucdsm.org and let her know.

Saging Group

Who:  All

Meets:  Second and fourth Tuesdays; 10:30 a.m. CT

Leader:  Various

Contact: Devon McClurken at dff@ucdsm.org for Zoom link.

The group consists of retired people who are looking to share experiences and learn more about ways to enhance the ‘growing older’ experience.  We welcome new participants.  Eventually we will get back to meeting at the church.

UU and You

This class is for those who want to learn more about us or are considering becoming a member. See further details at UU and You Class.

Soul Matters

All groups full

Who: All

Meets: Once a month via Zoom, days and times vary – Registration is required (below)

Contact: Devon McClurken, Director of Faith Formation, dff@ucdsm.org

Soul Matters is a way of engaging our monthly themes through deep listening and open-hearted sharing. Groups of 8-10 committed participants come together once a month with a trained leader to nurture spiritual growth in the community. We do this by listening in three distinct ways:

  • First, we listen to each other. Listening is a gift not often offered in our culture. Most of the time, we are “talked at” rather than listened to. Being listened to by trusted companions helps us hear our own voice again. And more than that, it gives our story back.
  • Second, we listen to our lives. This is not easy to do. Directly or indirectly, we are taught to see life as a challenge not a companion. The goal is to conquer it, not listen to it. Soul Matters invites us to take another look and dance with life in a new way. Through spiritual practices and questions focused on our daily living, we engage the world, not as an obstacle course to get through, but as a host of voices calling us to greater loving and living.
  • Finally, we listen to our deepest selves. Introspective questions guide us in this work, but ironically, it’s the people and space around us that helps us go inward. We hear that “still, small voice inside” best when voices of friends speak in a disciplined way.

Together, these sacred practices of listening — to each other, the world, and our deepest selves — adds up to a more intentional and authentic life. It’s a journey back to connection, and ultimately a journey back home.

How it works

At the beginning of each month, participants will receive a packet of materials based upon the month’s theme. From these materials, each participant chooses one spiritual exercise and a deep question to sit with for the course of the month. At the end of the month, participants will gather with their group to share their experiences of the spiritual exercise, of contemplating their question, and to reflect on the theme.

Soul Matters Themes

September: Renewal
October: Deep Listening
November: Healing
December: Stillness
January: Imagination
February: Beloved Community
March: Commitment
April: Becoming
May: Story
June: Play

Soul Matters Registration

* indicated required field

Please choose your first and second choice for meeting time:

 

Wellspring

All groups full

Wellspring groups meet twice a month September through June.

Wellspring offers a spiritual deepening within our Unitarian Universalist tradition—an opportunity for learning more about ourselves and our faith through a ten-month small-group experience.

The Five Components of Wellspring

  • Spiritual practice – a commitment to regular, intentional practice
  • Spiritual direction – self-reflection with a guide
  • Unitarian Universalist history and theology – reading, listening, reflecting
  • Small group – participation in a community of seekers
  • Faith in action – what we are called to do in the world

Expectations

During the ten-month program, participants will make every effort to:

  • Attend small group sessions twice each month and actively engage from both the head and the heart
  • Commit to a daily spiritual practice and seek support if that becomes difficult
  • Complete the readings and other assignments

Wellspring Deep Questions

Who: All

When:  First & third Wednesdays, 9:30-11:00 a.m. CT

Leader: Janis Elliott

The “Deep Questions” program alternates between sessions on the Seven UU Principles and sessions on the deep questions of our lives, offering a total of nineteen sessions. The homework for each session includes usually at least one reading, plus a chapter from one of the books, How, Then, Shall We Live? by Wayne Muller, and/or The Seven Principles in Word and Worship, edited by Ellen Brandenburg.


Wellspring Faithful Actions

Who: All

When: 2nd & 4th Sundays, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Leaders: Sally Boeckholt, Kate Allen

As people who have made the commitment to explore and deepen our spiritual lives in the company of others, “Faithful Actions” attempts to create a space to examine the “so what” more deeply, to consider how each of us puts our own faith into action, without guilt, without obligation, with love, and with the spiritual grounding that gives meaning to our lives and energy to the work we do in the world.

Participants will:

  • Explore the many areas in which we can put our faith into action
  • Commit to offering intentional service over the course of the program
  • Address questions of burnout, hopelessness, and maintaining our own spiritual health while trying to repair the brokenness of the world

Affinity Groups

Please see our Affinity Groups for more adult programming.