Many paths. One welcoming and diverse community.

Adult Exploration

Adult Exploration programs include Sunday Forums; classes to educate, open new horizons, and enrich your spiritual journey; monthly discussion groups on various topics; and more. Any programs that offer the opportunity for development of a personal philosophy to live by will encourage open dialogue on questions of beliefs and spiritual practice.

Adult Exploration News

Message from our Director of Religious Education

Meet You at the Quad
WilliamsJaye150Okay, we don't have a quad on the UUCOV campus yet. It was the evening of February 2. There was a large group assembling for the showing of the film “Legalize Democracy” in the sanctuary, people were engaged with choir practice in Waters Hall, and a Pathways class was about to start in Asta Linder House. I was assigned the task of picking up a flip chart stand and pad needed for the discussion following the film. The stand was in Asta Linder House. I chose to drive over rather than stumble my way in the dark from ALH to the sanctuary with the stand.

As I pulled up close to ALH, (but not so close that I would hit someone's motorcycle) the doors to Room A were open wide welcoming the Pathways participants. Chairs were being arranged, folks were greeting one another and streaming between Room A and Room B. I pulled the stand and pad from the closet and wound my way through the crowd toward the door when I heard these words, "Wow, this place is so active it reminds me of a college campus!" I was so busy trying not to spear or hit someone with the stand I was carrying, I couldn't turn to see who said it, but those words really made an impression. It also put a big smile on my face.

Team leaders were asked recently to relay one and only one accomplishment that they were most proud of for this past fiscal year. I noted that Lifespan has been working with and being supported by a number of the other teams this year and it has been productive and fun to work together. But, I must confess that the comment about UUCOV reminding someone of a college campus personally resonated. My recollection of campus life conjures images of energy, exploration, growth, social and justice activities, laughs and great friendships. Even better; we can stay enrolled for as long as we want.

"Evicted"

EvictedWhy are evictions, which used to be relatively uncommon, so much more prevalent today?

The prologue to Matthew Desmond’s “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” states: "In 2013, 1 in 8 poor renting families nationwide were unable to pay all of their rent, and a similar number thought it was likely they would be evicted soon." A reviewer, Adrian Liang, writes, "It's the rare writer that can capture a social ill, with the clear-eyed nonjudgmental tone and still allow the messiness of real people it's due."

Adult Religious Education is joining with Social Justice Team in encouraging everyone to read this highly acclaimed book. A limited number of copies of the book will be available to borrow from UUCOV after Sunday services. The Sarasota County Library system has copies of each title or you may purchase the book on your own. UUCOV is on the front lines of this issue in our community. Stay tuned for some special programs on this topic. Plan to join the book discussion on May 4. from 1:30-3:30.

We Return to One Service

DeclaraIndepBeginning April 23 at 9:00 am,  we introduce a terrific Great Course Program on the Cycles of American Political Thought. This is very highly rated course examines the often neglected philosophical underpinnings of our nation's history, exploring how this nation of "doers" has, from its birth, been deeply engaged with the most fundamental questions of political philosophy. We will explore the many ways our nation has answered the question: "What is an American?", including how the idea of "We the People" has changed and expanded far beyond the founding fathers' original conception.
Through the sessions, we'll navigate the ever-shifting political landscape and see how political trends in American history can be understood as variations on a single theme: the philosophy of liberalism.

Not Too Late for The Long Strange Trip

Both the afternoon and evening series of "A Long Strange Trip" continue into April. This six-part series details the 2000 year history of Unitarian and Universalist thought from the beginning of the Christian era to what we know today as Unitarian-Universalism. You will see an exceptionally well-done video and participate in a discussion.

This fascinating story includes the compelling life stories of heroes such as Michael Servetus, David Ferenc and Joseph Priestly, William Ellery Channing and Hosea Ballou: it details the role of transcendentalists such as Theodore Parker and Margaret Fuller in developing our commitment to a free and open search for truth and meaning. You’ll follow the evolution of both Unitarianism and Universalism in this country from bible-orientated religions to the non-creedal movement we know today, and you’ll learn of the diverse influences such as the Civil War, Suffrage and Feminism. And you’ll learn the how the two movements came together and merged in 1961, creating what we know today as the Unitarian Universalist Association.

1: Monday Afternoons
April 3 In "American Universalism", we come to America with the arrival of Unitarian thought in this country and learn about three separate movements all of which compete with the early churches established by the Pilgrims and Puritans. This session includes understanding the impact of the Transcendentalist movement through the work of Theodore Parker and Margaret Fuller.

April 10 “Universalism" introduces us to Universalism from its early development in Germany to its explosion in America during the first half of the 19th century as people adopted the teachings of Hosea Ballou.

April 17 "Evolution" follows both Unitarianism and Universalism as they evolve from bible-orientated religions to our present day non-creedal movement. It Includes the effect of several diverse influences such as the Civil War, Suffrage, and Feminism.

April 24 "The Hundred Year Waltz" documents the century-long courtship between Unitarianism and Universalism leading to their ultimate merger in 1961. This video follows the resulting UUA to the present day.

2: Monday Evenings
April 3 "The Birth of Unitarianism" chronicles the spread of Servetus' message and the development of the first coherent Unitarian theology. It tracks these ideas across Europe and eventually to England where we encounter Joseph Priestly (yes, the scientist) and discover his role as a Unitarian minister.

April 10 In "American Universalism", we come to America with the arrival of Unitarian thought in this country and learn about three separate movements all of which compete with the early churches established by the Pilgrims and Puritans. This session includes understanding the impact of the Transcendentalist movement through the work of Theodore Parker and Margaret Fuller.

April 17 “Universalism" introduces us to Universalism from its early development in Germany to its explosion in America during the first half of the 19th century as people adopted the teachings of Hosea Ballou.

April 24 "Evolution" follows both Unitarianism and Universalism as they evolve from bible-orientated religions to our present day non-creedal movement. It Includes the effect of several diverse influences such as the Civil War, Suffrage and Feminism.

May 1 "The Hundred Year Waltz" documents the century-long courtship between Unitarianism and Universalism leading to their ultimate merger in 1961. This video follows the resulting UUA to the present day.

Message from our Director of Religious Education

WilliamsJaye150Our History Matters
Last Spring, our children presented a song with movement. The first verse was "standing on the Earth with our roots dug down...". The image of solidity and grounding those words and movements evoke feel powerful and reassuring to me.

If we are to be, live, and act with intention in our UU faith, wouldn't it serve us to connect with our roots? Whether one chooses to picture a line, a circle, or a trip, there are people and events that brought forth the Unitarian Universalism we each experience today. Their stories are important and vital to our journey.

The more personally we engage both with head and heart in our history, the more likely we are to build relationship with each other. We connect and are rooted in solid ground as we go out to serve our World.

The Long Strange Trip curriculum, exploring the history of Unitarian and Universalist thought, has been offered and moderated by Bonnie Norton as a Sunday ARE option. It has been so wildly popular, that Bonnie and I had requests from a number of you that a weekday repeat of the course, for those that couldn't attend on Sundays, would be greatly appreciated.

Please check your March calendar as both an afternoon and evening session of the course will begin Mondays in March. Many thanks to Bonnie for continuing to share her time and talent as moderator.

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