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

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.

Aging and End of Life Series Continues

wills trustsknow choices doctorWe’ll have 2 more programs in this Series in March. On Thursday, March 2nd, 1:00-2:30pm, Attorney John Griffin, specialist in elder care law, will speak about “Wills, Trusts and Other Legal Considerations”. He’ll provide information on Florida law and answer questions.

On Thursday, March 30th, 1:00-2:30pm, Dr. Heather McCullough will speak on “Conversation with a Medical Doctor”. Dr. McCullough earned her medical degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. and has been treating patients in Southwest Florida for over 20 years. She will present information on interacting and communicating with your primary care doctor about aging and end of life topics.

A Popular Series is Repeated - TWICE

Long Strange TripIn March we will begin two repeat programs, one series in the afternoons and one in the evenings, of "A Long Strange Trip", a six-part series that 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 March 20-April 24 1-3pm Asta Linder House
March 20 "In the Beginning", examines early liberal religious thought prior to the Protestant Reformation and tells the story of one of our most compelling heroes Michael Servetus.
March 27 "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 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 their ultimate merger in 1961. This video follows the resulting UUA to the present day.

2: Monday Evenings March 27 – May 1 6:30-8:30pm Asta Linder House
March 27 "In the Beginning", examines early liberal religious thought prior to the Protestant Reformation and tells the story of one of our most compelling heroes Michael Servetus.
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 their ultimate merger in 1961. This video follows the resulting UUA to the present day.

UU & You 2.0

House For HopeThis continuation of the UU & You orientation classes begins Tuesday, March 14th , 6-8pm, and will meet for six consecutive weeks; it is open to all, whether or not you attended UU&You 1.0. In this program, you’ll deepen your understanding of Unitarian Universalism and be invited to meaningfully engage with liberal theology in both group and individual settings.

We’ll read “A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-First Century” by John Buehrens and Rebecca Ann Parker. Using the metaphor of a theological house, this book aims to recover the hope-filled frameworks that inspired generations of activists to work for women’s rights, racial equality, economic justice, and peace.

You’ll need to order your own copy of “A House for Hope “ from a website like Amazon or you may borrow a copy from the church. Please try to read the Beginning and Part 1 of the book before the first class. For further information, contact Khleber Van Zandt at or at 314-223-0551. You may either sign up on the clipboard in the lanai or contact the church office at to let us know you want to attend.

Interest Groups

BookClub1Book Club
The UUCOV Book Club will hold its March meeting on Thursday, March 9th, 1:30pm; the book selection is “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead. Refreshments are served. All are welcome.

In April, we will discuss "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right," by Jane Mayer and in May "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” by Matthew Desmond. Contact Barbara Smith, 941-408-1729 or for further information.

BuddhaMindfulness Meditation
Guided meditation and a look at early Buddhist teachings on living a more peaceful life. Meets weekly Wednesdays 6-7:30pm. 

platoPlato's Circle
Plato's Circle, an open discussion group, meets 1-3pm the first Wednesday of each month, in Asta Linder House. On March 1, participants will respond to the question: "Where do we go from here-politically, emotionally and morally-with the new reality brought on by President Trump?” Brad Jenkins will facilitate the meeting.
socrates

Socrates Cafe
Socrates Cafe are gatherings around the world where people from different backgrounds get together and exchange thoughtful ideas and experiences while embracing the central theme of Socratizing, the idea that we learn more when we question and question with others. UUCOV’s Café meets every third Wednesday of the month in Waters Hall at 1pm. All UUCOV members, friends, and neighbors who enjoy lively discussions are invited to participate on March 15.

Three O'Clock Poets
Dawn Spitz meets with the Three O'clock Poets on the third Thursday of the month in Waters Hall, 3:00 – 4:30pm. All poets and poetry lovers are welcome.

ParkWellness Walking
Each Saturday (until the end of April), Marianne Lombard will lead a walk from 10:30-12, with a focus on awareness and light exercises (breathing, posture, stretching). Meet her at “ Pinebrook Preserve”, 1251 Pinebrook Rd. Donations to UUCOV. Contact Marianne 941-485-5270, with any questions.

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