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 and Free Books Table
- 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.
Facilitator: 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.
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.
Book Discussions and Free Books Table
Free Books Table
Facilitator: Marion Fintel
Time and Place: second Sunday of each month, immediately after church.
Description: Members and friends donate books they believe other UUs would like to read and take books they would like to read. It is not a swap; there’s no need to bring a book in order to take a book. Books, magazines, CDs, and anything else that would be found in a library, can be donated to the Free Books Table. Books not taken after several months on the table will be donated to another non-profit organization.
Book Discussion: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
Facilitator: Marilyn Kurata
Time and Place: Thursday, Feb 7, 1-2:30 pm; Grady Nunn Library, lower level
Description: Based on two lectures Woolf delivered at two women’s colleges at the University of Cambridge, this long essay became an instant classic feminist text since its publication in 1929. Woolf’s argument for women to have a literal and metaphorical space of their own within a literary tradition and social culture dominated by men is equally timely and significant today. Those interested in attending should contact Alice Lizee (205 290-5633) for a photocopy of this long essay so they can be read or reread before attending the discussion.
Book Discussion: The Land of Grace by Mike Burrell
Facilitator: Mike Burrell
Time and Place: Sunday, March 3, beginning at 11:30 am; Grady Nunn Library, lower level
Description: After a career path that began in the state revenue office, included a law degree, and that led him to pursue a master of fine arts degree, our own Mike Burrell has published his first novel. Come learn about the inspiration for The Land of Grace, a book which centers on an Elvis impersonator who becomes trapped in a cult of Elvis fans. Mike will share his advice on writing and publishing, and maybe even provide a hint about the next book he is writing. The Land of Grace is available for purchase online at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Powell’s Books, and Livingston Press. Feel free to bring a plate from First Sunday lunch.
Book Discussion: How Not to Die by Michael Greger
Facilitator: Michael Geer
Time and Place: Sunday, April 14, beginning at 11:30 am; Volker Room, lower level
Description: Through the lens of his experience in medical practice, Michael Geer discusses How Not to Die, an introduction into the whole food plant based diet to optimize health.
Special Interest Classes
Exploring the Heretics
Facilitator: Rev Julie Conrady
Time and Place: January 13 & 20 immediately following service.
Description: Feel like a heretic? You are in good company! Rev. Julie’s master’s thesis explored three of the texts intentionally kept out of the Christian scriptures for their heretical narratives. Come, explore, and feel at home.
Justice On Earth
Facilitator: Rev Julie Conrady
Time and Place: (two class choices) – Every third Tuesday from noon-1pm (feel free to bring a bagged lunch )(Jan-May), or March 10 & 17, immediately after service.
Description: Each year, the Unitarian Universalist Association chooses a Common Read – a book read by folks in our denomination around the globe for further reflection and study. This year’s selection is a collection of writings by fourteen activist ministers and lay leaders, entitled Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment. Paperback is $18; digital copy is $10. Contact the church office (205 945-8109 or email@example.com) if you’d like the church to order a paper copy on your behalf.
Researching UU History
Facilitator: John Bawden
Time and Place: 3 Sundays, Feb 3, 10, and 17, beginning at 11:30 AM, Music Room, lower level
Description: In this course, John Bawden, an Associate Professor of History at Montevallo University, will discuss the history of Unitarian Universalism, then participants will proceed to do original research on topics of interest such as the ideas, liturgical forms, and political involvement of Unitarians and Universalists. During the second and third weeks, participants will share what they have learned based on primary source material culled from newspaper databases, hymnals, sermons, and other accessible materials. The facilitator will assist participants in conducting their search and hopes to learn a great deal.
Opera: Passion in Sight and Sound
Facilitator: Lida Hill
Time and Place: Sundays, Feb 10 and 24, beginning at 11:30 am, Volker Room, lower level.
Description: Learn about one of our culture’s most exciting art forms. On Feb 10 the focus will be on enjoying the beauty, music and mystery of opera through stories and hearing a bit of music. On Feb 24 the class will concentrate on Giacomo Puccini and his melodrama in three acts, Tosca, which has onstage torture, murder, suicide, and betrayal with fabulous emotion-filled melodies. To save your space, email Lida Hill or add your name to the signup sheet at the back of the sanctuary. Those who sign up and attend one or both sessions will qualify for a 20% discount for Opera B’ham’s Tosca to be performed Fri., March 15, 7:30 pm, and Sun., March 17, 2:30 pm, at Samford University’s Wright Center.
Making Metal Clay Jewelry
Facilitator: Alice Lizee
Time and Place: Two class choices: Thursday, Feb 21, 1-3 pm, or Thursday, April 25, 1-3 pm;
at Alice’s home.
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. $5 materials fee to be paid to Alice. Interested participants must contact Alice in advance, either in person or by email.
Road Trip to Legacy Museum & Memorial in Montgomery
Facilitators: Paul and Marcia Mancill
Time and Place: Sunday, Feb 24; assemble at church to leave at noon.
Description: In order to arrange carpools, you must sign up for this 6+ hour excursion to visit two historical sites in Montgomery ($10 for combined entrance fees). Email Paul or Marcia in advance. There will be no lunch break so either eat lunch before the drive begins or bring a sack lunch to eat on the road.
Misconceptions about Peace
Facilitators: Jerry and Sis Levin
Time and Place: Two Sundays, March 24 and 31, beginning at 11:30 am Volker Room, lower level.
Description: Last year in a short talk, Birmingham anti-violence nonexclusive peace activist writer, Jerry Levin, shared his views as to “What is Peace.” This year he returns to expand on that theme in two classes titled “Misconceptions about Peace.” He will 1) unpack the existential significance of the literal truth behind the celebrated spiritual descriptive insight concerning “the peace that passes all understanding,” and 2) warn of the consequences of failing to acknowledge the world’s failure to comprehend that truth about itself.
Spring Wildflower Walk
Facilitators: Janice Williams and Marcia Mancill
Time and Place: Sunday, April 7, 1-3 PM; weather permitting; place TBA (Aldridge Gardens or Birmingham Botanical Gardens)
Description: Interested participants must contact Janice or Marcia at the end of March or beginning of April to confirm their attendance and to learn which garden will host this walk. Meet at the main entrance for an informative and enjoyable walk.
Make Your Own Planter or Bowl
Facilitator: Mary Segreto
Time and Place: Monday, April 15, 10 am – 12 noon; Mary’s home.
Description: A class for up to four participants who will each create a planter or bowl from a mixture of cement and other materials. Mary will provide instruction, models, and materials. $5 materials fee to be paid to Mary. Interested participants must contact Mary in advance, either in person or by email.
Spring Bird Watching
Facilitator: Bob Koehler
Time and Place: Saturday, April 20, beginning at 8 AM; Birmingham Gardens
Description: Easy walk at a slow pace; bring your binoculars for observing birds in the garden. Contact Bob 205-999-1226 to confirm if the weather appears in question on the day of the event. Meet at the entrance to the Botanical Gardens.
Rise Up and Call Her Name: An Earth Based Spiritual Journey
Facilitators: Lisa Moyer and co-facilitator
Time: 11:30 AM on Sundays
Dates: To be announced
This course is a feminine honoring journey into global earth-based spiritualties. It emphasizes ecological awareness and includes stories from a variety of cultures throughout the world. Join us for an exploration of sacred narratives that honor the cross cultural feminine divine, and to engage in diverse and creative activities informed by these narratives.
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
- Gun Control and the Second Amendment
- History of our Church
- Less is More: Declutter and Organize Your Way to Joy
- Let’s Write, also known as the Monday Writers, has been meeting during the summer at noon on Mondays. Contact Lyn Stafford.
- Metal Clay Jewelry
- Overview of the Federal Criminal Justice System
- 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
- UUCB and the UU World