The Purpose of the Adult Religious Growth and Learning Program is to nurture and stimulate the religious and personal growth of the adult church community, and the community at large, by offering a varied and cohesive program within the context of the larger Unitarian Universalist tradition and religious community.
New classes are being added frequently to our Program Guide - updates are announced in our weekly newsletter, The Window. A variety of programs are offered. The classes are divided into three categories: Religious and Spiritual Growth, Personal Growth, and Knowledge and Skills. Classes are taught by volunteer members and friends of the congregation and by church staff.
Spirit in Practice Curricula
All of our many and varied Adult Education classes fall within the Eight Spheres of Spiritual Growth as outlined by the UUA’s Spirit in Practice curricula.
The idea of spiritual practices encourages individuals to take responsibility for their own spiritual development by spending time working on it, deliberating on its meaning and how best to pursue it, seeking to understand the sacred through reading and the counsel of others, and seeking to have contact with the sacred through personal reflection and prayer.
For further information on this curriculum, see the UUA's "Spirit in Practice: Program Introduction".
Coffee Conversations with Arvid (ongoing, most Wednesdays). Join us at 6:45p for coffee and pastries and conversation. At 7p Rev Dr Arvid Straube will begin directed conversations and experiences for transformative spiritual growth on a wide variety of topics which will be announced prior.
- The Perennial Philosophy: A Tour of World Mysticism
There is a mystical element to each of the world’s religions. Many scholars believe that mysticism’s direct experience of Truth is the foundation of all the religions. This course will explore the themes that all the various mysticisms have in common. For more info see uumystics.org.
- Wed May 22—Action in the World
Check The Window for on-going details. Registration is not required, just drop in.
(2nd Saturdays) – Dances of Universal Peace, Meditation (optional) at 7p, Dancing at 7:30p, with Louise Jacobus. The Dances of Universal Peace use sacred chant, song, simple circle dances, and music to create an opportunity where hearts can open, spirits can soar, and a deeply-rooted peace can be experienced. The dances are a modern form of interfaith devotional movement based in the time-honored wisdom traditions of the world. No experience is necessary. Just bring your curiosity and your open heart and be prepared to join in the dance! No registration required.
(2nd Sundays) - Shape Note Singing: The Sacred Harp, 3-5p with members of the San Diego FaSoLa Singers. Everyone is welcome. It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing. It matters that you want to. Your voice is your harp. Let’’s sing together, without instruments or formal training, using shape note notation. Or just stop by and listen. Drop in, registration not required.
(Mondays from Feb 4 - Jun 24 [no class Jun 10]) – Yoga and Meditation, 10a, with Rolly Fanton. Please join us and give yourself time to experience the subtle, yet profound effects of a regular practice of yoga and meditation. Bring a sticky mat or blanket. Drop in.
(Every Sunday) - Open Heart Sangha, from 4 to 6 p.m., Rm 323, practicing in the tradition of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Most Sundays the group practices sitting meditation and walking meditation, has a short lesson, shares about the practice, and sings. Please bring a cushion or mat to sit on, or chairs will be available. Open to everyone; drop in, registration not required.
Building Sacred Ground (all four sessions required)
- Building Sacred Ground: Session One - UU 101—Our Foundations.
This is a dynamic, intriguing and wonderful session taught by our intern minister. This session reviews Unitarian Universalist European and American history; our Unitarian and Universalist theologies; and our practices: worship, education, social justice, pastoral care, and community. Time is set aside to answer all of your questions.
- Building Sacred Ground Session Two- Sharing Our Journeys
Participants. will build sacred space, and begin to build personal community. This session is activity based and will encourage participates to reflect on their spiritual lives, spiritual development and future spiritual explorations. Questions for our ministers will also be collected.
- Building Sacred Ground Session Three: Getting Involved.
Joined by church lay leaders, this session will explore the rich array of church projects and groups. This session is activity based and participants will gain a sense of how to nurture their spiritual life, explore personal gifts and to find ways to engage in the broader community. Questions for our ministers will also be collected.
- Building Sacred Ground Session Four: Tea with a Minister.
The group has now bonded and participants are invited share casual social time with the ministers in an intimate setting. Ministers will respond to the questions that have been gathered throughout the previous sessions. For those considering membership, the path to membership will be presented. For those who have been seeking a deeper church experience (either newcomer or established member), ways to become more involved will be identified before the session is completed.
Summer Session June 2013
- Session 1 Sat Jun 1 9a— 11a
- Session 2 Sun Jun 9 9:30a— 11:30a
- Session 3 Sun Jun 16 11:30a— 1:30p
- Session 4 Sat Jun 29 9a— 11a
Oct 14, Nov 11, Dec 9, Jan 13, Feb 10, Mar 24, May 19 (Sundays) – Family Treasures: Exploring the Secrets of Strong Families: Introduction, 9:45-10:30a, with Liz Jones, Director of religious Education and Family Ministry. Do strong families still exist? Yes. This once-a-month, seven-part series will focus on the qualities that strong families share. Based on the work done at the University of Nebraska --Lincoln by John DeFrain, we will focus on the strengths we see in our families, and on the findings done by this program. Each session will focus on one of the six strengths identified and the games and activities that can be done within a family to practice those strengths. Oct 14 - Introduction; Nov 11 - Commitment; Dec 9 - Time Together; Jan 13 - Appreciation; Feb 10 - Communication; Apr 14 - Spiritual Wellness; Postponed - Coping with Crises. Attendees will get more by attending all sessions; but this is not a requirement.
4th Fridays and a couple of Sundays - The Savvy Caregiver, with Alejandra Ceja-Aguilar, Southern Caregivers Resource Network
· Fri May 24 - Managing Difficult Conversations (will cover family involvement). Hillcrest, 1-2p. Learn to facilitate and respond to difficult conversations. Explore ways to address stressful topics. Learns ways to start, finish, and follow up on these conversations.
· Fri Jun 28 - Making the Most of Your Doctor Visits. Learn how to prepare for, make the most of, and what do to after. Explore successful communication techniques. Learn how to help your love one with visit.
May 8, May 22, Jun 5 (Wednesdays) – A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism, 7:00-9:00pm in South Bay, with Rev Jim Grant. For many, UUism is “a chosen faith,” not the religion we were born into. We will explore the values and aspects that have drawn us to this religion, rather than one more creedal-based. For new members and life-long UUs, we will learn the sources of our tradition and discuss what engages and inspires us. This discussion-based course will explore various aspects and qualities of UUism examined in the book, “A Chosen Faith.” Please join us and share what is meaningful to you about our chosen faith.
May 21 (Tuesday) – End-of-Life Planning: A San Diego Memorial Society Workshop, 6:30-8p, with Russ Armstead, President SDMS. Few people prepare for the end of life situation. Some say they will worry about that later, others feel they have everything under control. Each day hundreds of families wake up to find one of their loved ones has passed on and the family has no idea what to do. Even those who think they have everything planned have failed to let the family know their wishes; the family is no better off than those who had no plans. This workshop seeks to provide needed information and answer your questions.
May 30 (Thursday) – This I Believe… A Credo-Writing Workshop, 6:30- 8:30p (South Bay), with Emily Webb. Beliefs are important, they shape our lives. Yet, articulating beliefs can be a challenging – but enlightening practice. Join intern minister Emily Webb for a series of exercises to explore your personal credo. Humanists, theists, pagans, all are welcome.
Jun 5 (Wednesday) - Will Robots be in Church? An engaging conversation about the future of religion and Unitarian Universalism. 7-8:30p, Rm 323. Join Emily Webb, intern minister for a dynamic conversation with the young adult group at First UU San Diego to discuss the future of religion and Unitarian Universalism. Bring your questions and your IMAGINATION with you, as we explore together emerging models of religious life and spirituality in the 21st century and beyond. Everyone is welcome to this open discussion.
Jul 13 (Saturday) - The Mind of Love with Peggy Rowe Ward, 9:00 am - 12:30 pm. You are invited to join the Open Heart Sangha for a “morning of mindfulness” in the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Supported by a blanket of silence we will cultivate “The Mind of Love” and enjoy the practices of sitting meditation, walking meditation, lying meditation (deep relaxation), a Dharma talk and community circle. Please bring your cushion and a blanket for total relaxation. Chairs will be provided. Bring a water bottle if you like. Donations appreciated. All are welcome. Please pre-register as we need to prepare adequate facilities and supplies. You do not need to be a member of First Church to join in.
For more details, please check the Online Program Guide. Please pre-register using the email registration links in the Guide or the paper Registration Form in the paper catalog. We need to prepare adequate facilities and supplies. You do not need to be a member of First Church to join in our classes. Validated parking is available. We are on San Diego MTS Bus Route 3.