Two adult R.E. classes start Sept. 11

Mark your calendars with a recurring event to join us from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday evenings starting Sept. 11 for two exciting new adult religious education classes!

During our first 10-week semester from Sept. 11 to Nov. 13, our Adult R.E. Team will offer two thought-provoking classes – “Class Consciousness in Unitarian Universalism” and “What Moves Us: UU Theology.”

Registration is not required, and you are welcome to come to some or all of the sessions. Free childcare will be provided.

We’ll kick off this exciting new program with a potluck dinner at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 11, followed by classes at 6:30.

Read more below about each of the classes:

Current Events/Social Justice Track: “Class Consciousness in Unitarian Universalism”

This curriculum invites congregation members to explore how class influences their values, coping styles, and expectations about others. A combination of self reflection, small group activities, large group discussion and videos is provided. We will review how we can make our congregation an even more welcoming place for people of all class backgrounds and prepare to take action against escalating economic inequality.

Topics include:

  • Why we avoid talking about class
  • Emotions related to class differences
  • Class indicators
  • Types of classism
  • Intersections with other “isms”
  • Meritocracy
  • UU history and contexts
  • Domains for congregational classism
  • Economic inequality – reasons for and impacts of
  • Class cultures in organizations
  • Becoming a class ally
  • Stages of classism awareness

Spirituality/UU Identity Track: “What Moves Us: UU Theology”

When we say, “That service was very moving,” or “I always love that song,” we know what moves us as Unitarian Universalists: personal experience. These comments and so many others demonstrate every week that our religious feelings and practices are changing and transforming us through direct personal experience as a major source of our Unitarian Universalist faith. Yet, we often stumble when trying to explain our Unitarian Universalist theology of personal experience to ourselves and to others.

The “What Moves Us” program peels back the doctrine-rich theological language that can prevent us from affirming our faith experiences with one another and in the wider world. Through shared direct experiences and reflection exercises, readings and lessons, and ethical deliberations, “What Moves Us” creates an adult faith journey for Unitarian Universalists who want to preach and teach what they already experience but have not been able to articulate – the spiritual power of our faith. Each session will look at the faith journey of an influential UU.

Topics include:

  • Physician George de Benneville’s experience of boundless Divine Love that pulled him from a deep despair and led him to become one of the spiritual fathers of American Universalism.
  • Puritan minister Charles Chauncy’s response to the emotionalism of the Great Awakening, which led him to affirm the place of human reason in religious renewal, inadvertently sparking a new American liberal theological tradition.
  • Universalist forebear Hosea Ballou’s shift from dejection to happiness when he read, on his own, the book banned by his Baptist preacher father because it had turned his son into an apostate – the Bible.
  • Unitarian forebear William Ellery Channing’s celebration of human nature as divine, while at the same time engaging in a struggle to gain control and mastery of his own emotions, believing such struggle to be the route to moral perfection.
  • Transcendentalist forebear Margaret Fuller’s personal discovery of an uplifting religion of the heart that turned her into a liberal religious champion for human rights for all people, everywhere.
  • Unitarian Universalist founding religious educator, theologian, and minister Sophia Lyon Fahs’ personal experience of the emotional impulses that prompt people to be religious because these feelings are part of human nature “everywhere and apparently always.”
  • Beloved 20th-century Unitarian theologian James Luther Adams’ encounter with Nazism which led to his understanding that our religious beliefs and our faith are reflected in our actions rather than in our words.
  • Renowned theologian and minister Forrest Church’s personal discovery of the liberating feelings of awe and humility that prompted him to preach, teach, and write his Universalist Theology for the Twenty-First Century.
  • Celebrated human rights activist, author, minister, and third-generation Unitarian William F. Schulz, whose own personal discovery of a steadfast “organic faith” that can teach all of us how to stay the course through anxious feelings, led him first as president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (1985-1993) and then as president of Amnesty International, USA from 1994-2006, and now as president and CEO of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, to practice his Unitarian Universalist ministry on the world stage.
  • Respected contemporary theologian, writer, and teacher Thandeka, whose discovery that personal experience is the basis of our faith commitments has led her to advocate for building networks of care and compassion in our faith communities through her “We Love Beyond Belief” program ( and the spiritual practice of small group ministry.