Spiritual Exploration for Adults (SEA)
Spiritual Exploration for Adults (SEA) provides opportunities for adults in the church to deepen and explore their faith. SEA provides high quality programs on primarily onThursday evenings (but also at other times) which focus on spiritual development in three areas: theology, spiritual practice and ethics. Programs are compelling, high quality, of general interest and engage participants in personal spiritual development. Programs also serve to integrate participants into deeper relationship in the church community. The Spiritual Exploration for Adults Committee is responsible for the SEA program with staff support from the Director of Lifespan Religious Education.
Our work is not just a committee but truly a ministry at our church.
Through our programming we hope to help our parishioners…
- Develop sustainable, fulfilling spiritual practices
- Deepen our spirituality
- Strengthen and build relationships with each other
- Build knowledge about different practices
- Transform how people see the world
Our Topic/Teaching Blocks
1. Theology/Spiritual Practice
2. World Religions (to include UU, Christianity and Humanism/Atheism
3. The Spirituality of Eco and Social Justice
4. Personal Growth and Development
5. Ethics and Philosophy
Register for SEA Courses
Registration on Sunday mornings after the service at the SEA Table in the Jones Building or you can email Marion Hirsch at hirsch.marion @ gmail.com or sign up on-line HERE.
Spring 2018 Schedule (more courses to come)
Led by Joe Swain
Wednesdays 6-7 PM, starting on 9/ 20 through 12/20, then again in January
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese system that has been called "meditation in motion." Whether you have years of practice, or no previous experience, join us to on Wednesdays for a peaceful interlude in the week.
Building Your Own Theology (BYOT)
Led by Steve Warshaw and Joe Swain
Thursdays 7-9 PM 1/11, 1/18 1/25, 2/1,2/8
BYOT addresses five questions that characterize any personal religious quest: Who am I? How do I know what I know? Who or what is in charge? What is my purpose in life? What does my death mean? It is a discussion-based course. There are readings and/or exercises to do in preparation for each class meeting. By the end of the course each participant will have written her/his personal creed.
In the Belly of the Whale: Is That You Down There?
Led by Ms. Karen Jessee, OP.
Thursdays 7-9 2/15, 2/22, 3/1
Join other prophets in our community as we explore our lives in light of the book of Jonah. This enigmatic narrative is rich with themes of being called by God, being reluctant prophets of hope and change, and being self-absorbed but graced by God anyway. We will use writing exercises and conversation to complement Lectio Divina as we encounter Jonah in Hebrew scripture and in our lives today.
Spiritual Practice: Meditation
Led by Karen Rossie PHD
Thursdays, 7-8:30 PM 3/8, 3/15, 3/22
In this course on building a personal spiritual practice, we will learn about one of the most common spiritual practices: meditation. We will participate in short experiences and discussions as we work towards developing a personal meditation practice or improving existing practices. We will learn about, discuss, and/or experience:
• How a meditation practice contributes to spiritual growth
• Two basic types of meditation, concentration and mindfulness
• Elements that different forms of meditation have in common and how to do each of them in our own meditations.
• Common challenges encountered in starting or continuing a meditation practice and ideas for addressing them.
Required reading: One to two articles per week sent by email. An optional classic book on meditation:
Daniel Goleman. The Meditative Mind. The Varieties of Meditative Experience.
Led by Rev. Thom Belote
Thursdays 7-9 PM 3/29, 4/5, 4/12, 4/19, 4/26
SIGN-UPS BEGIN FOR PREACHING PRACTICUM 2018 Each spring Rev. Thom offers a sermon writing class to a small group of church members. Those members then deliver their sermons on Sundays during June and July. The class is a transformational experience. Preaching Practicum 2018 meets on Thursday evenings from 3/29-4/26. If you are interested, please contact Rev. Thom at firstname.lastname@example.org
Transform Negative Judgement and Hate to Joy and Love through Dragon Dao Yin: An ancient Qigong Form
Led by Dave Gulick
Thursdays 7-8 PM, 4/5, 4/12, 4/19 and 5/3 and 5/10
Learn the Fire Dragon Form of Dragon Dao Yin (similar to Tai Chi forms)
- Designed to open the Heart through movements that activate heart meridians
Increase flexibility and balance
Purges negative thoughts and emotions
Stretches and strengthens the spine
Uses intention, sound, color and breath to bring healing
Dave has practiced Qigong for 8 years and Tai Chi for over 30 years.
Creative Time to Connect with Your Inner Spirit
Presented by Steevie Jane Parks, Ph.D.
Thursday 7-9 PM, 4/26This is a one day workshop using model magic or modeling clay to provide a sense of soul connection. We will be using one of the transformational healing techniques that I developed for my Art Therapy practice. This technique can be modified for many different types of issues. This workshop is open to anyone regardless of their self-perceived level of artistic ability. This is totally about the process and hardly at all about the ‘product’. However the product will be a powerful reminder of this growth experience and you will surely want to keep it. Bring a smock or clothing that can tolerate clay residue. Music and Clay will be provided. All you need to bring is an open mind and an open spirit.
Facilitated by Marion Hirsch
Thursdays 7-9 PM 5/3, 5/10, 5/17, 5/24, 5/31
In the classic Northwest Earth Institute discussion course examine the distractions that get in the way of caring for the planet. Explore how consumer culture impacts you and your relationships, as well as the environment. Our decisions on how we live and consume are not made in a vacuum. We are affected by the consumer culture and society around us. Voluntary Simplicity helps participants examine how modern society can interfere with caring for the planet. Together, we explore how consumption patterns have an impact on us and our relationships, as well as the environment. Discover ways to slow down and live simply.
Vegetarianism From a Spiritual Perspective
Led by Rondy Elliott, RN, MTS.Thursdays 7-8:30 PM 5/17 5/24 5/31Most of us know that vegetarianism/veganism is helpful for the environment, a healthier dietary option, and is a choice often made by people who are outraged over the treatment of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses. But can it have a spiritual dimension as well? Without judgment or proselytizing, participants will explore all these issues in more depth ( through some short readings, discussion and leadership by one of our newer congregants.) Rondy Elliott is a graduate of Duke Divinity School, made animal-ethics her focus for study there, and has presented this topic in many churches in the Triangle area.
Past SEA Courses:
Articulating Your UU Faith
Long Strange Trip
UU Values in Action
After Sermon Conversations
Immigration as a Moral Issue
(The) New Jim Crow (1 week)
(The) New Jim Crow (3 weeks)
Purposeful Use of Life’s Energy
Values and Choices: Purposeful Use of Your Life’s Energy
Ethics in America: When It’s a Right vs. Right Decision
Your Legacy: How To Leave a Gift and Not a Mess
Contemporary Buddhist Thought
(The) Nature of God
Cakes for the Queen of Heaven
Science and the Search for Good
Concepts of Consciousness
Discovering a Sense of Place
Hungry for Change
Menu for the Future
Reconnecting with Earth
Spiritual Growth and Practice
Building Your Own Spiritual Practice
Building Your Own Theology
Creativity and Spirituality
Finding Purpose in Your Life
Finding Your Power
(The) Happiness Project
Story as Entry to Relationship
Using the Psalms To Write
Writing: Chapter and Verse
For more general information contact:
Marion Hirsch, Director of Lifespan Religious Education
hirsch.communitychurch @ gmail.com