Adult Learning Opportunities
Adults at our church have many opportunities to learn and to share common interests. Some are serious, and some are just plain fun. And classes aren’t the only way to learn. Committee work and Social Activities often offer opportunities to hone your skills or learn new ones, so be sure to visit those pages as well.
Below you’ll find
- Classes Especially for Visitors
- Other Ongoing and Recurring Classes and Groups
- Book Discussions
- Past Classes (you might request a repeat!)
On other pages you’ll find more opportunities for learning and growth
- Social and Recreational Activities
- Opportunities for meaningful committee and social justice work
- Small Group Ministry
Especially for Visitors
Monthly Visitors’ Q&A
Facilitator: Membership Committee member
Time and Place: 3rd Sunday at 11:15 am in the Minister’s Office
Description: The Visitor Q/A is for visitors who have questions about Unitarian Universalism or our church. A member of the Membership committee will meet with you, answer your questions, and will have a variety of pamphlets and handouts available.
Contact: Patti Steelman, email@example.com
Time and Place: To Be Announced. These classes are offered 2-3 times per year.
Description: What do we believe in? Are we the kind of people you want to hang out with? This is a good time to get to know Unitarian Universalists and ask questions. Meet people who are searching for community and purpose.
For those who want to learn more about our faith, Unitarian Universalism 101 classes are scheduled 2-3 times a year, and are scheduled for two consecutive Sundays. These classes give you an in-depth understanding of our faith and qualify you for membership, if you choose to take that step. See our Membership page or write firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Other Ongoing and Recurring Classes and Groups
Facilitator: Jim Albea and Janice Williams
Time and Place: Weekly, Sunday mornings from 9 to 10 am, Room #122 (lower level)
Description: For most sessions, participants will view a 30 minute video from a Learning Company series (“Great Courses”) first, with discussion to follow. Just show up, visitors and newcomers are welcome.
Facilitator: Mary Williams
Time and Place: Sunday mornings from 9 – 10 am; Volker Room (lower level)
Description: Silent meditation in the Thich Nhat Hahn Buddhist tradition occurs for the first 30 minutes, followed by reading and discussion. Please note the upcoming Insight Meditation Retreat November 30th through December 1st.
UUCB and the UUWorld
Facilitator: Alyssa Zasada
Time and Place: 2nd Sunday (Sept 9, Oct 14, Nov 11), 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, Pickett Room
Description: This monthly forum provides the opportunity for an informal discussion of 1-3 articles published in the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Articles may be proposed by the facilitator or by participants and will be announced in advance in the All Church Email. Visitors and newcomers are welcome. Articles will be reviewed at the beginning of the session, so prior reading is not required. Each session is independent so come whenever you can.
PaperWorks Local Gallery Talk
Facilitator: Barbara Koehler
Time and Place: Sunday, Sept 9, 1 pm, Church sanctuary
Description: In conjunction with the opening reception for the PaperWorks Local sanctuary art exhibit, PWL member, artist and curator Richard Stockham will give a talk on the show and the group’s activities. PaperWorks Local is a non-profit artists’ co-operative established in the summer of 2013 to enable and nurture the making, exhibition, and appreciation of original fine art prints and other works of art on paper. It provides professional quality studio and exhibition space as well as workshops at all levels.
Gun Control and the Second Amendment
Facilitator: Darryl Hunt
Time and Place: September 16, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, after church; Volker Room (lower level) Description: With so much gun violence affecting us on a daily basis, what’s keeping us from having effective gun control? Does the Second Amendment really bar any form of gun control or is that just what we are told by powerful Washington lobbies? Does a person have an absolute right to own any type of gun they want, regardless of their mental state? Please join us for this lively discussion refereed by Darryl Hunt (a follow up to his presentation last year on the Constitution)
Overview of the Federal Criminal Justice System
Facilitator: Oscar Stephenson
Time and Place: Sunday, October 14, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm. Volker Room (lower level)
Description: The Unitarian Universalist Church’s mission includes an emphasis on social justice. Election years heighten the spotlight so it behooves us to make informed decisions based on facts. Retired Chief U.S. Probation Officer Oscar Stephenson brings years of experience to enlighten us about the legal and prison system in America. He will review how
a criminal case moves through the system from start to finish, covering the difference between pretrial diversion and pretrial release, the difference between probation, parole, and supervised release, and the difference between determinate and indeterminate sentencing. If you want to learn more about how good time works, the impact of mandatory minimums on the sentencing guidelines, or the outcome of the war on drugs, then this is the opportunity for you to ask questions and get clear answers.
Facilitator: Samantha Lalak
Time and Place: Oct 21, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, Sanctuary
Description: A group discussion on advance care planning for those would like to make their wishes known as a safeguard for the possibility that one day they may be unable to do so. We will discuss the various options for end-of-life care planning, including the “Five Wishes” booklet, advance directives, power of attorney, and living wills.
Book Discussion: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Facilitator: Anthony Hamley
Time and Place: 4 Sundays, 9/23, 9/30,10/14, and 10/21, beginning after Sunday service
Description: We live in troubling times. In 2018, it is widely accepted for us to demonize each other, labeling some of our most marginalized as “animals,” “rapists,” “drug dealers,”
or apparently worst yet, “Muslims” – and those are just the words of our current president. We have just watched the downfall of a celebrity due to her racist Twitter tirade, but weren’t her racist beliefs the very thing that led to her having a highly-rated television show in the first place? Undoubtedly, white supremacy is in vogue, so much that we have even wrestled with it at the highest levels of our denomination. But wait… there’s more: Economists and historians have told us that income inequality is at its worst levels since the 1920s (a decade that of course led to the Great Depression), and with the tax deal signed into law in 2017, there are plenty of reasons to assume the inequality will only get worse
(a Great-er Depression?). And our country continues to be polarized due to fear – both of the “other” and of our economy that seems only to benefit those who have already been richly rewarded.
What in the world is going on? How do we fix this? To get some answers, I find myself turning time and again to John Steinbeck’s classic novel The Grapes of Wrath. Many of the struggles of 2018 mirror the struggles that Steinbeck wrote about, and I believe Steinbeck offers us the best possible solutions to the troubles: unity and love.
Please join me in reading and discussing one of the most important novels ever written. The page numbers below correspond to the edition I will be using (ISBN # 978-0-14-303943-3), but you are welcome to use any edition you have available.
Sunday, 9/23: chapters 1-12 (pp. 1-1221) Sunday, 9/30: chapters 13-19 (pp. 123-239)
No session on Sunday, 10/7, due to first Sunday lunch
Sunday, 10/14: chapters 20-25 (pp. 240-349) Sunday, 10/21: chapters 26-30 (pp. 350-455)
A History of our Church by Jeanne Weaver
Facilitator: Jeanne Weaver
Time and Place: Sunday, November 9, 11:30 am, Volker Room (lower level)
Description: Jeanne will share insights into the rich history here at UUCB including the Civil Rights years, in an informal setting. All are welcome, books will be available to purchase.
Hobbies and Special Interest Classes
An Intro to Beekeeping
Facilitator: Paul Mancill, producer of Bluff Park Honey
Time and Place: Saturday, Sept 15, 9 am – 12 noon, Grady Nunn Library
Description: This course will include (1) a 90-minute class session to
discuss the equipment, costs, and work involved in private beekeeping; and
(2) a field trip to the Botanical Gardens to inspect hives. Participants may attend
one or both parts. NOTE: Date is subject to change based on weather.
Beaded Jewelry Making
Facilitator: Angela Pruitt
Time and Place: At Angela’s home; participants will arrange dates & times directly with Angela via email
Description: Two to three individuals will get personal attention with Angela and make or repair the item/items of your choice. Supplies may be purchased from Angela or you may bring your own. Supplies include beads of all kinds, base metal, sterling silver or gold-filled findings. You may bring old jewelry that needs repairing, updating or recycling if you like.
Knitting/Crocheting and Handworks Hour
Facilitator: Elisa Aboatiyeh
Time and Place: Second and Fourth Sunday; DRE Office
Description: Time of fellowship during the RE hour, open to all looking to share their skills or to learn new ones.
Make Metal Clay Jewelry
Facilitator: Alice Lizee
Time and Place: Thursday, November 8, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Volker Room
Description: A class for up to three participants, who will each create a pendant and/or earrings out of bronze metal clay. The clay will be pressed into a mold of choice, dried, and refined. A necklace and earring findings will be provided. Alice will fire the pieces in a kiln and return them to the participants.
Past classes, which may be repeated from time to time, include
Beaded Jewelry Making
- Bird Walks
- Book Discussions
- Building Your Own Theology
- Dealing with Difficult People
- Developing Beliefs, Principles and Goals: A Pragmatist’s Guide to Spirituality
- Ethical Controversies in Elder Health
- Flower Arranging
- Google Drive
- Guided Hikes, Bird Walks and Wildflower Walks
- Let’s Write, also known as the Monday Writers, has been meeting during the summer at noon on Mondays. Contact Lyn Stafford.
- Less is More: Declutter and Organize Your Way to Joy
- Resilience: What is it and how can we increase it
- Tai Chi
- This I Believe—Developing a Personal Credo
- Tours of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham Museum of Art, and other destinations
- Transgender 101