Mike teaches a technology class.
Mike teaches a technology class in the Grady Nunn Library.

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

On other pages you’ll find more opportunities for learning and growth

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.

UU101: March 4 and 11

Contact: Patti Steelman, membership@uucbham.org

Time and Place: 11:15 am on Sundays, March 4 in the Volker Room and March 11 in the Sanctuary.

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 membership@uucbham.org for more information.


Other Ongoing and Recurring Classes and Groups

The activities below are in alphabetical order.

Meditation Group

Contact person: Mary Williams

Time and Place: Sunday mornings from 9 – 10 am; Room #103

Description: Silent meditation in the Thich Nhat Hahn Buddhist tradition occurs for the first 30 minutes, followed by reading and discussion.


SUUnday ForUUm

Contact people: Jim Albea and Janice Williams

Time and Place: Weekly, Sunday mornings from 11:15 to 12:15 pm, Room #122.

To participate:  just show up, visitors and newcomers are welcome.

Description:  For most sessions, participants will view a 30 minute video from a Learning Company Series (“Great Courses”) first, with discussion to follow.

Tai Chi

Facilitator: Susan Putnam (contact Susan with any questions)

Time and Place: Saturdays, 9 am, beginning January 6, weather permitting in the Memorial
Garden, or inside the church.

Description: focusing the mind solely on the movements
of the Tai Chi form helps to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity along with
general health benefits and stress management.


Flower arranging is one of many classes that have been offered at our church
We learned to arrange flowers just in time for Mother’s Day

One-Time Classes

The classes below are in order by beginning date.

Beaded Jewelry Making

Facilitator: Angela Pruitt

Time and Place:  Jan-Feb at Angela’s home; participants will arrange dates & times directly
with Angela.

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.

Responsive Writing

Facilitator:  Barbara Koehler

Time and Place:  2 Sundays, Jan 28, 11:15 am to 12:45 pm, and Feb 4 after First Sunday Lunch; Volker Room

Description:  Sign up now for a two-session course leading to your own original responsive reading.  Our first class will look into the elements of responsive readings:

  • Why we have responsive readings
  • Categories of responsive readings
  • Styles of responsive readings
  • Sharing our favorite and least favorite readings
  • Ideas for original responsive readings

Then we’ll take a crack at writing our own, which we’ll share with the rest of the class (and perhaps even the congregation at a Sunday service). Sign-up sheet is in the Adult Enrichment book at the rear of the sanctuary. For more information, contact Barbara Koehler at koehlers@charter.net.

Meeting Challenges to Deliver Educational Materials in Areas with Poor Connectivity in Zambia and Ethiopia

Facilitator:  Craig Wilson, MD, Director, Sparkman Center, UAB

Time and Place:  Sunday, Feb 11, 11:15 – 12:15 pm, Sanctuary

Description:  While working on many education and training programs over the last decade on the African continent, leadership in the UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health (SCGH) (http://www.uab.edu/sparkmancenter/ ) in the UAB School of Public Health noted two recurring challenges: lack of textbooks or educational resources and lack of internet.  In response to the dual challenges, multiple solutions were explored over time but ultimately a software solution, SparkEd, was developed collaboratively with programmers in Zambia and Ethiopia.  The software is designed for easily organizing and delivering any educational content in an internet-like format for use in areas with no, poor, or expensive internet connectivity.  The software was released as an open-source resource in early October 2017.  Lynda Wilson will be the coordinator for this event.

On Topic Film: The Future for Israel and Palestine:  P-e-a-c-e Process or P-i-e-c-e Process?

Facilitators:  Drs. Jerry and Sis Levin

Time and Place:  Sunday evening, Feb 18, 7 pm, Sanctuary

Description:  Jerry Levin was international director of CNN in Beirut in earlier years and was kidnapped by anti-American forces.  His wife was instrumental in securing his release.  Since that time, they both have devoted their lives to trying to “educate” for peace and make the world a safer place.  The Film Committee is co-sponsoring the showing of a movie about their experiences.

The Future for Israel and Palestine:  P-e-a-c-e Process or P-i-e-c-e Process?

Facilitators:  Drs. Jerry and Sis Levin

Time and Place:  Sunday, Feb 25, 11:15- 12:15 pm, Volker Room

Description Birmingham journalist Jerry Levin was CNN’s Middle East Bureau Chief during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. Despite being kidnapped and escaping from Hezbollah, his writing and speaking out about tragic occupation of Palestine since then has been critical of questionable peace seeking efforts that he warns are proceeding “disastrously.”


Ways of Thinking about Spirituality

Facilitator:  Rev. Ed Brock

Time and Place:  3 Sundays, March 4, 11, and 18, 11:15-12:15 pm, Music Room, lower level

Description:  An overview of how major religious traditions have understood spirituality.
Sessions are independent, so you are welcome to attend one, two, or all sessions.


Reincarnation and Past Lives

Facilitator: Mary House Kessler, PhD

Time and Place:  Sunday, March 11, 11:15-12:15 pm, Pickett Room

Description:  Enjoy this fascinating talk by our very own Mary House Kessler, a practitioner of
past lives regression therapy.  Participants may bring a brown bag lunch if desired.


Book Discussions

The Poisonwood Bible

Facilitator:  Melissa Hamley

Time and Place:  Six Sundays, Jan 14-Feb 25, 11:15 am-12:15pm, Music Room, lower level

Description:  Imagine being stranded on a desert island.  Which books would you want to have with you to read over and over again for the rest of your life?  Come join high school English teacher Melissa Hamley as she facilitates a discussion on one of her desert island book choices:  Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible.  Discussion will be held over a six-week period immediately after the service starting on Sunday, Jan 14th, and will included a focus on Kingsolver’s characterization and narrative style, as well as the allusions to the Biblical books on which her novel is based.

Jan 14:  Book 1 of the novel—“Genesis”; Jan 21:  Book 2 of the novel—“The Revelation”

Jan 28:  Book 3 of the novel—“The Judges”; Feb 11:  Book 4of the novel—“Bel and the Serpent”

Feb 18: Book 5 of the novel—“Exodus”; Feb 25: Books 6 & 7 of the novel—“Songs of the
Three Children” & “The Eyes in the Trees”


Humanist Voices in Unitarian Universalism

Facilitators:  Julia Mortenson & Angela Pruitt

Time and Place: Sunday, Feb 18, 11:15-12:15 pm; Sanctuary

Description:  We would like to celebrate the 100th anniversary of UU Humanism by reading this collection of essays edited by Kendyl Gibbons and William Murray.  Come and get an overview of the ideas in this collection. Upon signing up, you will receive copies of the first two essays in the book.  We will then explore how much interest there would be in scheduling more get-togethers to discuss additional essays in the collection.



Facilitator:  Barbara Koehler

Time and Place:  Thursday, February 22, 7-8 pm, Grady Nunn Library

Description:  Mary Roach, dubbed by the New Yorker “the funniest science writer in the
country,” turns her outrageous curiosity and witty insight onto the scientific subject of sex
and sex research.  Absolutely nothing is off-limits to Mary Roach, as illustrated by a few of her
chapter titles:  What’s going on in there?  What would Allah say? Persons studied in pairs.
This will be an open and frank discussion of a wide range of sexual topics, so it will be
restricted to a mature audience (over 21 years of age).  Thank you for your cooperation.

Optimal Relationships

Facilitator:  Rev. Ed Brock

Time and Place:  Sunday, April 8, 11:15 – 12:15 pm; Pickett Room

Description:  Rev. Ed will share some of the research, experience, and insights at the core of
his soon to be published book.


The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

Facilitator:  Marion Fintel

Time and Place:  July, exact date and time to be announced in late spring.

Description:  Description: Cancer researcher and physician Siddhartha Mukherjee has
written an engaging history of the understanding and treatment of cancer from ancient times until the present. Mukherjee is an excellent teacher, who explains the underlying cancer biology so that a lay reader can easily understand it.  He also focuses on the scientists, physicians, patients, and patient family members who played a key role in advancing cancer research and treatment.  In our discussion, we will reference what we learned from Mukherjee’s book, as we explore current   cancer research funding, patient care, and other topics that reading the book brought to mind.


Past classes, which may be repeated from time to time, include

  • Bird Walks
  • Book Discussions
  • Building Your Own Theology
  • Dealing with Difficult People
  • Developing Beliefs, Principles and Goals: A Pragmatist’s Guide to Spirituality
  • Facebook
  • Enneagrams
  • 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
  • This I Believe—Developing a Personal Credo
  • Tours of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham Museum of Art, and other destinations
  • Transgender 101