Adult Programs

Exploration is an important continuing part of our adult lives as Unitarian Universalists. By learning, discovering new perspectives, and working towards deeper understanding of ourselves, one another, and our world we become part of a greater whole working for peace and justice.

Each class represents one or more of our seven core exploration areas:

  • Unitarian Universalism
  • Jewish and Christian Heritage
  • World Religions
  • Personal and Spiritual Growth
  • Spiritual Practice
  • Peace and Justice
  • The Interdependent Web

If you are interested in facilitating your own class or discussion group related to one or more of these core areas, please fill out a UUSM Adult Programs Proposal. The Adult Programs Subcommittee will review it and, if approved, work with you to schedule and promote your program

Wherever your interest leads you, we welcome you to a new year of personal and spiritual exploration at UU Santa Monica.

UUSM ADULT PROGRAMS Winter 2017- 2018


The UUA Common Read, The Third Reconstruction

“A truly moral agenda must be anti-racist, anti-poverty, pro-justice, pro-labor, transformative and deeply rooted and built within a fusion coalition.  It would ask of all policy, is this the policy Constitutionally consistent, morally defensible and economically sane.  We call this moral analysis and moral articulation which leads to moral activism.”  Reverend Doctor William J. Barber II

Lifespan Religious Education Adult Programs presents the 2016-2017 UU Common Read, The Third Reconstruction:  Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement, by Rev. William Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.  Copies of the book (168 pp) are available for sale at the Lifespan R.E. table.

Reverend Barber’s speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention brought him to national attention.  That same year, he addressed a general session at the UUA General Assembly in the morning, conducted a workshop in the afternoon, and, in the evening, spoke at the G.A. State of Emergence Public Witness Rally.  Videos of some of these speeches are available on the UUA website.

Rev. Barber is pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, of the Disciples of Christ, in Greensboro, North Carolina.  He served for over ten years as president of the North Carolina branch of the NAACP, until this year when he stepped down to focus on his nonprofit organization, Repairers of the Breach, Inc., and to lead a renewal of the Poor People’s Campaign.  Repairers is a nonpartisan and ecumenical organization focused on a progressive agenda rooted in a moral framework, bringing together clergy and laity from different faith traditions with “nones” who are guided by the same moral principles.  The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Mass Meetings, is co-led by local grassroots organizations to address issues of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, and ecological devastation in the states.On September 19th, several of us had the opportunity to visit McCarty Memorial Christian Church in Los Angeles to attend Rev. Barber’s inspiring Poor People’s Campaign meeting, which was co-sponsored by CLUE and other local groups.  A video ofthis speech, as well as those given across the country, is accessible at 

In North Carolina, Rev. Barber built a “state-wide interracial fusion political coalition” of civil rights groups, immigrant rights activists, unions and LGBT+ advocates, groups with sometimes conflicting interests and values.  What they had in common was a desire to resist state-sanctioned discrimination, whether it be against workers, people of color, women, poor people, or queer folks.  Accordingly, in the summer of 2013, Rev. Barber led this fusion coalition in Moral Monday rallies at the North Carolina statehouse to protest redistricting and voting rights restrictions, as well as attacks against social programs protecting these groups.  The Moral Monday movement contributed to the supplanting of the Republican incumbent with a Democratic governor, and supported litigation that successfully challenged, up to the U.S. Supreme Court, voter access restrictions.

The Third Reconstruction serves both as a memoir and as a detailed, pragmatic guide to building and sustaining a social justice movement.  From the UUA website: “Drawing on the prophetic traditions of the Jewish and Christian scriptures, while making room for other sources of truth, the book challenges us to ground our justice work in moral dissent, even when there is no reasonable expectation of political success, and to do the hard work of coalition building in a society that is fractured and polarized.”

Please join us on Sunday, December 3rd from 1-3pm in Forbes Hall, Room 4, to discuss the 2016-2017 Common Read, The Third Reconstruction.  Portions of the G.A. speeches will be viewed during the class.  Consider how Rev. Barber’s “Fourteen Steps Forward Together” may apply to UUCCSM’s own justice work.

  • Audrey Lyness

Spirited Seekers

Spirited Seekers is a group where we come together and share our curiosity and enthusiasm for all things spiritual.  This is not ministry, but rather pure exploration into specific topics, like "What constitutes a religion?" and "Who is Howard Thurman?"  Future groups will soon include "An Introduction into American Shamanism" and we will watch the moving film on the practical application of sacred music, "I Bring What I Love." The group meets on the first Sunday of the month, from 1-3pm.  Facilitator: Sarah Robson

Open Meditation Group

 We cordially invite you to a new meditation group called “Open Meditation.” Whether you are a beginner who is just curious about meditation or whether you have been meditating for many years - you are welcome. Meditation at its root is a natural and deeply human practice. We are not teaching a particular form of meditation or doctrine. You don’t need to know anything, do any particular activity or believe in anything.  We will have brief readings, two 20 minute periods of sitting with walking meditation, and time for journaling and sharing, You can drop in when it serves you, or come regularly. If you are late, just come in quietly and join us.  If you have questions, speak with either Beverly Shoenberger or Carol Ring at coffee hour, or contact Bev at 424-235-9002.

Friday October 20th in Forbes Hall, 7:00-8:30pm.

The Fifth UU Principle Meets BYOT Ethics

Building Your Own Theology III: Ethics
In this course, Gilbert’s model has the self connecting to a system of ethics- the system that you use to choose how to act in your relationships with yourself and others.
Some questions are: Who Am I? To Whom and to What Am I Related? Within what communities do you identify yourself and how do those identities affect your life, your beliefs, your choices?  Does who you are make a difference in what you believe?
These are the kinds of questions we will ask you to consider during this course. You do not need to be sure of your answers, we only ask that you consider the questions and answer as best as you can with what you believe in this moment.  Leon Henderson-MacLennan- Facilitator Feb. 11, 18, 25, Mar. 4, 11 1:00-3:00



  • Heart to Heart Circles - Heart to Heart Circles offer an opportunity to connect with others in the church who wish to explore their values and their ideas of spirituality in an intimate setting and who wish to make a difference through service to the church and to the larger community.  Sign-ups for Heart to Heart (Small Group Ministry) are going on now. Groups begin in January.  Further questions? Please contact

Monday Meditation Group -

— An Enjoyable Dive into Who and What We Are

We endeavor to answer the questions Who am I? (attitudes and beliefs) and What am I? (Essence or True Nature).  This class will include meditations which explore participants’ spiritual goals.

October 2 and November 6,  7:00-9:30pm, Room 1

Contact: Bill Blake