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 here at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham (UUCB)? Are we the kind of people you want to hang out with? This is a good time to get to know us and ask questions. Meet people who are searching for community and purpose.
These classes are scheduled 2-3 times a year. Join us on September 11, 18, and 25, from 6:30-8:00 PM. Let us know you’re coming by indicating on the connection card or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: Alyssa Zasada
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.
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
Facilitator: Marilyn Kurata
Time and Place: Sunday, Sept 22, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm; room Volker Room
Description: Our Mutual Friend, the last novel completed by Charles Dickens, displays the full range of his Victorian genius for political satire, gothic melodrama, social commentary, grotesque comedy, and both sentimental and intensely dramatic love stories.
The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton
Facilitator: Samantha Lalak
Time and Place: Sunday, Nov 10, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, after church service ends; Volker Room
Description: In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free. But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. As Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015. The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times
Special Interest Classes
An Introduction to Duplicate Bridge
Facilitator: Larry Myers
Date and Place: Saturdays, starting at 1:30 PM, on August 31, Sept 7, 14, 21, and 28 (opt). You must sign up in advance of Aug 31 so the facilitator will know how many table set-ups are necessary. Volker Room.
Description: This class is designed for beginners who want to learn how to play duplicate bridge. Each class will begin with lectures on how to bid and how to play one’s hand. Participants will then practice what they have learned by playing several hands of duplicate bridge.
Building Your Own Theology
Facilitator: Anthony Hamley
Time and Place: Five Sundays (Sept 15, 22, 29, and Oct 13 and 20), 11:30 am – 12:20 pm; Covenant Commons Room
Description: Unitarian Universalists have an ambivalent relationship with theology, worship, and church. Many of us have come from religious backgrounds that left us disillusioned or emotionally scarred. As we now find ourselves in our “free faith,” some might reasonably wonder how religious liberals can possibly lead virtuous lives without hope of heaven or fear of eternal hell? To answer that question, I invite you to join me in Building Your Own Theology, a 5-week workshop that will ask us not to wrestle with creeds, but instead to develop our own credo: What is it that we value? What is it that moves us to lead good lives? To answer these questions, we will attempt to de-stigmatize the word “theology” and acknowledge that we regularly “do theology” – which simply means reflecting on life’s questions and thinking critically about the “whys” of human experience and the values and convictions we embrace. You are invited to embark on the adventure of exploring and expressing that which is of ultimate meaning and value in our lives.
The book you’ll need for the workshop is Richard S. Gilbert’s Building Your Own Theology: Introduction (Volume 1) – ISBN 978-1-55896-408-2. The church office will order a number of these books from the UUA bookstore for individuals to purchase directly from Jennie (cash or $17 checks made out to UUCB with subject line Building Your Own Theology). The reading to be done prior to the first session is pp. v-xvi of the “Introduction.”
Diversity and Inclusion Workshops
Facilitators: Tan Bell, Tony Bell, and Cortney Johnson
Time and Place: TBA
Are you interested in learning more about current LGBTQ and racial concerns? Sign up on the weekly connection card to learn more as this schedule of workshops unfolds.
Facing Death with Life
Co-Facilitators: Rev. Julie Conrady and Samantha Lalak
Time and Place: Eight sessions, Tuesdays 6:30-8:00 pm (Sept 10, 17, 24, and Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29); Grady Nunn Library
Description: If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide
unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and sea are one.—Kahlil Gibran
This program facilitates a process of personal reflection, learning, and spiritual growth focused on the topic of death and dying. It brings death, dying, and grief into the light of our daily lives and out of the dark, macabre recesses to which we often relegate it. The program is not a grief support group, nor is it an intellectual study of death. It includes sociological information and reflection, theological reflection, personal and shared narrative, creative expression, journaling, and practical learning and preparation. It helps participants move from viewing death as an abstract concept to developing a personal recognition of its meaning in their life, with the goal that all who participate in the program find a closer and more comfortable relationship with their own inevitable death. This program invites participants to experience death and dying as a healthy part of life, including the preparation, the moment of death, the grieving, and the living on. Open to all adults. NOTE: One session is a trip to a cemetery so this will be scheduled on a different day and time.
Health Effects of Air Pollution
Facilitator: Marion Fintel
Time and Place: Sunday October 27, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm; Volker Room
Description: This presentation will summarize the well-established health disorders associated with high levels of air pollution. A discussion of the different forms of air pollution will be included in this session, and when known, the mechanism by which a particular form of pollution may be exacerbating a particular health problem. This presentation is planned in order to complement and inform the environmental justice work the church is undertaking in this area.
Facilitator: Dick Segreto
Time and Place: Nov 17 and 24, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm; Grady Nunn Library
Description: Nov 17 is “Hooray for Hollywood,” a history of the studios, films, and
celebrities; Nov 24 is a discussion of “Citizen Kane,” one of the greatest films of all time.
Hope in the Time of Climate Change
Facilitator: Joyce Lanning
Time and Place: Sunday, Sept 15, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM; Grady Nunn Library
Description: The climate is changing and the shifting ‘new normal’ is becoming more and more challenging. We still haven’t solved the civil rights wrongs that were – finally- the focus of the 60s. Now we’re threatening the well-being of all living things, including humans of all races and creeds. Let’s have a conversation about various paths to changing what we can and living with what we can’t change. What visions of a better world and strategies and tactics to get there are available? Which ones resonate for us as individuals and in our groups? Let’s find hope in actions, small and large. Bring your own ideas and experiences.
Owning Your Religious Past
Facilitator: Rev. Julie
Time and Place: 7:00-9:00 pm on October 4, and 9:00-4:30 pm on October 5
Many who come to UU bring narratives of religious trauma and unsettling religious pasts. Let us gather for a weekend retreat to process our pasts, moving from a space of discomfort and awkwardness to a space of affirmation and wholeness. Presence for the entire retreat is necessary to move through the stages. Limited space available.
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