Adult Spiritual Development

The All Souls Adult Spiritual Development program brings people together in different places and formats, like different threads, to form a spiritual, intellectual, communal tapestry for our daily lives. ASD offerings fall into five categories. Click on each to be brought directly to that section.

Registration

  • Payment at the time of registration is appreciated, as facilitators are not equipped to handle money and registration details. It also guarantees you a spot in the class.
  • If you’re unable to pay when you register, please contact Leo Jones (ljones@allsouls.ws) to request a scholarship.
  • If a class reaches its maximum before you register, you can be placed on a waiting list by contacting Leo.

Fees

All ASD offerings, other than those related to membership or fellowship, have fees. Fees cover some portion of the cost of the whole program, but most of the cost is covered by congregant annual pledges. We encourage everyone (member or not) who takes an ASD class to pledge annually.

Registration

To register, find the class below and click on the appropriate link. NOTE: Dates listed below are subject to change. Please check the class registration page for finalized dates. Classes without registration buttons are either full or have already taken place.

Spiritual Growth and Transformation

Paradise Lost: Faith, Spirituality, and Epic Poetry

Participate in a five-week Monday night read of John Milton’s Paradise Lost with others from All Souls. Some historical and theological context will be provided, but the focus will be on our responses to the poem and its relevance to personal and Unitarian beliefs about sin, righteousness, and higher powers. (This is a reading group more than a formal class.) Facilitated by Wendy Carter.

When: Monday evenings, 7:00-9:00, February 8 through March 14 (no class March February 15, Presidents Day).
Where: Library
Cost: $25 (please bring payment to first class)
Limited to 15
To register, please email gpenn@allsouls.ws, putting "Paradise Lost" in the subject line.

God No! God Yes! Beyond the Atheism/Theism Divide

CLASS IS FULL

Presented by Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, president emerita and professor of theology emerita, Starr King School for the Ministry; sabbatical minister and theologian-in-residence, All Souls Unitarian, Washington DC; author of Proverbs of Ashes and Saving Paradise (with Rita Nakashima Brock), Blessing the World, and A House for Hope (with John Bueherns).

What might we call sacred if we have left God behind? Many sensitive people of conscience and many thoughtful theologians reject offensive, oppressive and problematic beliefs about God. This 7-week class proposes that saying "no" to untenable and destructive ideas about God is an act of faith--one that provides an entryway into a sanctuary of openness in which a spiritual awakening can occur and a new sense of the sacred can arise. Beyond our "no" there is a mysterious "yes" that beckons.

“God is so tender, sometimes she is called Green,” Parker recalls dreaming as a young minister. She will work with us on how each of us may find ourselves struggling to move beyond oppressive concepts of God and embrace new approaches to sacred source, life-giving Spirit, or “the power within and among us” that offer liberation and hope. Such struggles take on special importance as we face the collective threats to life generated by racism, war, and global climate change. This class will offer a respectful and appreciative honoring of both atheism and theism.

The course will begin with examining theological protests against God—in our own lives and by philosophers and theologians. You will be invited to reflect on your experience: in what ways have you said “no” to established images of God? Why? Where has “no” led you?

We will move from the exploration of God, No! to explore new experiences of God, Goddess, Spirit, and/or Divinity that are emerging from scientists, eco-justice activists, women, people of color, Queer folk, trauma survivors and others for whom “no” has been a prelude to a different “yes.” You will be invited to reflect on your experience: have you felt, discovered, or named the ground of your spiritual life in a new way? If so, how and why? Where has "yes" led you?

A prolific author and leading theologian, Dr. Parker weaves feminist, process, counter-oppressive and multireligious sources into her work—and draws on music, poetry and visual art for theological reflection and spiritual practice. This class will draw from and inform her current book-in-progress.

When: Tuesday evenings, 7:00-9:00, January 26, February 2, 9, 16, 23, March 1, 15 (no class March 8).
Where: Eaton Room
Cost: $35 (please bring payment to first class)
Limited to 24
To register, please email gpenn@allsouls.ws, putting "God No God Yes" in the subject line.

Our Whole Lives Comprehensive Sexuality Education for Adults

Want to learn what they didn't teach you in health class? This spring, All Souls offers two courses of the Our Whole Lives progressive and comprehensive sexuality and faith curriculum for adults. While these courses are non-sequential, we request that you plan to attend every session for whichever course you sign up for.

  • OWL for Young Adults (18-35+). Mondays, 7-9 pm, Feb. 22-Mar. 28, with two Saturday sessions, 9 am-3 pm, on Mar. 12 and 26. Sign up here.
  • OWL for Adults (18+). Mondays, 7-9 pm, Apr. 11-May. 16, with two Saturday sessions, 9 am-3 pm, on Apr. 23 and May 7. Sign up here.

Contact Jen Du Mond (jennifer.du.mond@gmail.com) or Althea Atherton (altheatherton@gmail.com) with questions.

All Souls Bible Discussion Group

Gather with fellow UUs interested in Bible history and literacy, as we journey through the Hebrew Scriptures (otherwise known as the “Old Testament”). This comfortably paced reading will give us a grounded, structured method for discussing universal themes of contemporary relevance, such as love and fidelity, filial duty, group identity and survival, hospitality to strangers, inter-ethnic marriages, justice, territoriality and political power, our human search for divinity, transcendence, and wholeness. Conversely, in trying to situate ourselves in biblical times, we may learn that “self-evident and timeless” truths are actually time- and culture-bound. We’ll explore contradictions and repetitions and discover who wrote the Bible, for what purposes, and how it became holy over the centuries. All are welcome, and welcome any time: come every week or when the topic interests you! Although participants are encouraged to contribute perspectives from secondary literature, the only required text is a Bible (any version—in fact, different translations will help us extract the essence of the texts). We will place the Bible in its historical and cultural context, without deference to any dogmatic interpretations or theological teachings. Together we’ll discuss and evaluate the relevance of the Bible’s texts to UUs and other spiritual seekers. After working through the Hebrew Scriptures in 2015-16, we’ll move to the Christian Scriptures in 2016-17.

On February 2, discuss Psalms 42-64.

When: Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 pm, Sep. 15, 2015-May 31, 2016
Where: All Souls
Cost: free
Facilitators: Jose Luis Sanchez (jl.sanchez@verizon.net) and Dana E. Connors (dana.e.connors@gmail.com)

Philosophical Souls

When: 3rd Wednesday of the month, 7:00–8:30 PM
Where: All Souls Church or John Tambornino’s apartment
Facilitators: John Tambornino and Sara Frueh

Honoring Socrates’ belief in the unique rewards of the examined life, Philosophical Souls holds monthly discussions to tackle big questions in small settings. To participate, you only need what is available to us all—an open and inquiring mind. During each gathering we will explore a basic philosophical or theological question. Join us for one gathering or many! To be added to the mailing list to be notified about future meetings, e-mail Sara (sarafrueh@gmail.com).

December: This month the Philosophical Souls explore vulnerability. Can we accept our inherent vulnerability while also striving to minimize it? How can we feel safe? What is the cost of avoiding vulnerability, individually and as a society? Beyond physical and emotional vulnerability, what would it mean to be ethically and spiritually vulnerable? Join us for these and your questions! Mon., Dec. 14, snacks at 6:30 pm, discussion starts at 7:00 pm. RSVP to Sara or John.

Welcoming, Diverse, Vibrant Community

About All Souls

Location varies
Several Sundays throughout the year. Look for dates in weekly announcements.
Learn and ask questions about Unitarian Universalism and All Souls Church. This informal session lasts about an hour.
No registration, no fee; just drop in.

Service and Prophetic Action

Other F-UU-N