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ADULT SPIRITUAL GROWTH PROGRAM

Welcome to the Adult Spiritual Growth page! Below you will find a listing of our current offerings. All programs are open to everyone. Make sure to check if the class requires registration

If you have questions, or would like to offer a class for our community, please contact Rev. Laura Shennum, Minister of Congregational Life
Email - lshennum@uusf.org
Phone - (415) 776-4580

Adult Spiritual Growth: Text
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LOVE AND DEATH: THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES FOR SKEPTICS, SEEKERS, AND RELIGIOUS LIBERALS

Led by Rev. John Buehrens

A Six-Week Online Course with Rev. John Buehrens

Monday Evenings, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, February 19 to March 25

This is quite unlike a traditional class in an orthodox Christian church during the season of Lent. Yet in 2024, Ash Wednesday, the start of that season, happens to fall on St. Valentine’s Day, February 14. So perhaps we should ponder again a key assertion of the Christian mythos: Love Transcending Death. The final session is on Monday after Palm Sunday, starting what Christian tradition calls Holy Week.

Each live session on Zoom will consist of three thirty-minute segments. The first will take up a key theme in the Christian scriptures, beginning with the meaning of the “Kingdom (or Commonwealth) of God” and the relationship between Jesus, John the Baptist, and the origins of the forty-day practice of Lent. The first key text will be the oldest and shortest of the gospel traditions, according to Mark. Participants will be encouraged (but not required) to read previous commentary by Rev. Buehrens in his book, Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, and Religious Liberals (Beacon, 2004). Available through the UUA Bookstore, Beacon, Amazon, Thrift Books, and other sellers.


The second segment will be for interactive questions on the overall theme, key texts, and commentary. With the permission of participants, this segment, like the first, will be recorded and made available to registrants who may have to miss a session.


The third segment will not be recorded, allowing for more personal responses to the overall theme, any difficult issues that may emerge, and the overall theme of love and death. Rev. Buehrens may be available for one-on-one follow-up when requested. He also reserves the right to decline to do so.


The registration fee for the course is $30. But if this is burdensome, simply say so.

No one turned away.

Adult Spiritual Growth: Feature
Image by Ed Robertson

MINISTER'S BOOK GROUP

Led by special guest host Asani Seawell

REGISTER HERE

Asani Seawell, a member of the UUSF, is going to lead the book group during the month of February while Rev. Vanessa is on sabbatical.


Asani has picked How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones. Asani Seawell (she/her/hers) lives in Portland, OR and is a member of UUSF since January 2023. A life-long lover of books, she spent her high school and college years as a library assistant and almost chose a career in library sciences before pursuing her degrees in psychology.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Haunted and haunting, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir. Jones tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself within his family, within his country, and within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence—into tumultuous relationships with his family and into passing flings with lovers, friends, and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another—and to one another—as we fight to become ourselves.

Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern returns in March to lead the book group for Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization by Neil deGrasse Tyson on March 20, 2024.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Dr. Tyson director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where he has served since 1996. Dr. Tyson is also the host and cofounder of the Emmy-nominated popular podcast StarTalk and its spinoff StarTalk Sports Edition, which combine science, humor, and pop culture. He is a recipient of 21 honorary doctorates, the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences, and the Distinguished Public Service Medal from NASA. Asteroid 13123 Tyson is named in his honor. From his website, “When Galileo Galilei published Sidereus Nuncius in 1610, he brought to Earth cosmic truths that had been waiting since antiquity to descend upon human thought. …Unlike anything people dared say was true. Sidereus Nuncius contained his observations of the Sun, Moon, and stars, as well as the planets and the Milky Way. Two fast takeaways from [Galileo’s] book: (1) human eyes alone are insufficient to reveal fundamental truths about the operations of nature, (2) Earth is not the center of all motion. It orbits the Sun as just one among the other known planets….Sidereus Nuncius translates from the Latin to Starry Messenger….These first-ever cosmic perspectives in our world were ego checks on our self-importance—messages from the stars forcing people to rethink our relationships to one another, to Earth, and to the cosmos.”


Join the starry adventure outward and inward guided by Dr. Tyson!

All sessions will be on Zoom only, and more information and links to register can be found below. Questions? Email Alicia Cover at acover@uusf.org.

Adult Spiritual Growth: About
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MONTHLY PARENT/GUARDIAN GROUP

1st Sundays during worship 

Facilitated by Rev. Laura Shennum, Minister of Congregational Life

Parents and guardians gather on the first Sunday after the doxology in the Fahs room to check in about our roses/thorns and offer each other support as well as resources.

If you have any questions, contact Rev. Laura at lshennum@uusf.org.

Adult Spiritual Growth: About
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MONTHLY GRIEF GROUP

1st Wednesday of the Month from 7-8:30pm on Zoom

Facilitated by Rev. Laura Shennum, Minister of Congregational Life.

This is a monthly drop-in group for those who need support with grief or loss. The first meeting will be Wednesday, March 6. To receive the Zoom link, please register HERE.

If you have any questions, contact Rev. Laura at lshennum@uusf.org.

Adult Spiritual Growth: About

MORNING METTA MEDITATION

Tuesdays & Thursdays
8:00-8:30 am
Leader: Elena Perez, Member of UUSF

Online Class. Click button to join Zoom call. ZOOM Password: metta

Watch a Sample Recording Morning Metta Mediation

You are warmly welcomed to join this "Morning Metta Meditation" group, which meets Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 8-8:30 am. Elena leads a simple, centering loving kindness meditation practice which is appropriate for all religious backgrounds and levels of meditation experience. Attendees can choose to leave their microphone and camera off and just follow along.


About the Leader: Elena Perez is a member of UUSF. She is a Licensed Acupuncturist who practices in SF at Dance With Life Chiropractic in the Inner Sunset, and in Fresno at Benessere Fresno.


Questions? email elena@communityneedles.com

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EQUANIMITY PRACTICE

Fridays
8:00-8:30 am

Leader: Elena Perez, Member of UUSF

Online Class. Click button to join Zoom call. ZOOM Password: metta
Watch a Sample Recording Equanimity Practice

You are warmly welcomed to join our "Equanimity Practice" group, which meets on Fridays, 8-8:30 am. Elena Hanyo leads a simple meditation practice on cultivating equanimity- that is accepting the reality of life's highs and lows, and developing an attitude of peaceful calm abiding throughout the inevitable changes.  This practice balances the heart-centered approach of our other group, lovingkindness- as it is common to get attached to positive outcomes for those we spend time wishing well.  Equanimity allows us to develop mental stability and even-minded loving awareness. Appropriate for all religious backgrounds and levels of meditation experience. Attendees can choose to leave their microphone and camera off and just follow along.


About the Leader: Elena Hanyo Perez is a member of UUSF. She is a Licensed Acupuncturist who practices in SF at Dance With Life Chiropractic in the Inner Sunset, and in Fresno at Benessere Fresno, as well as a lay minister with Bright Dawn Center for Oneness Buddhism.


Questions? Email elena@communityneedles.com

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Adult Spiritual Growth: Programs
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