Lifespan Religious Exploration News

Aug 2020

Still Life Drawing with Greg Wood

Still Life DrawingYou are cordially invited to participate in Greg Wood’s Still Life Drawing Class. It is scheduled for Thursday August 6, from 10 – 11:30 am on Zoom. Please RSVP for Zoom information:

Why is a skill in drawing important?

Drawing teaches you to perceive the world with critical eyes, and to be faithful to any item’s details: shadows, contours, and gentle nuances in shapes and proportions. Being able to carefully see the world through an artist’s eyes will allow you to see the world in a fresh way. A common item that you had inattentively passed by can become a fascinating world of its own. Ideas, perspectives, and insights are often nurtured by creative pursuits.

The Still Life Drawing Class is for anyone open and curious about how to draw. We will practice a common technique, like drawing lines from light to dark, drawing just shadows, and drawing contours. After five minutes of drawing, we will do a show and tell, with encouraging and insightful comments.

What do I need to start?

Any pencil will do for a beginning class. The best materials for a drawing class, however, are pencils of different hardness. To start, a single soft 2B professional graphite drawing pencil is the best. For optimal results, a set of three pencils of different hardnesses are recommended:  HB, 2B, and 4B. Another item you should choose is a handheld sharpener, and of course, a white eraser is a must. You will also need a small pad of drawing paper, or even spiral bound blank paper. All of these can be purchased at a local art store.

Since this is a still life class, have a few items ready – bottles, cups, cutlery, and fruit to start. Flowers are for advanced drawing and are not recommended for beginners.

Who is teaching the class?

Greg Wood will be leading the class. Greg is a professional artist, having a BA in Art from UCSC, and before he retired he was an architectural illustrator.

And why would a UU want to pick up a skill in drawing?

There is a growing recognition that everyone needs some creative output for a well-rounded and fulfilling life.

We hope to see you on August 6th!

Personal and Spiritual Exploration for Adults, August 2020

Learning and exploration are about the transformation of the individual, our community, and the larger society. Participation helps us grow in wisdom, compassion, and ethical living. See below our August activities, programs, and workshops for adults.
To contact the facilitator in regard to any offering, you may email with the title of the group in the subject line. Your email will be forwarded. Please note that currently, all offerings are facilitated through Zoom. Contact Teri Lucas for more information and the link to the Zoom meeting.
Do you have a passion or an expertise? Are you a chef or a gardener, a historian or an actor? Would you like to offer some help, support, or some frivolity to our UU community via Zoom? We’re seeking programming that is fun, informative, and engaging. Please let us know if there’s something you’d like to offer and the Adult RE Committee will help you to do it. Email the Adult RE Committee ( or Teri Lucas ( and we can work with you on presenting your ideas.
Limited Offerings
This is a drawing class for everyone. We will start with drawing simple shapes like fruit in a bowl, or maybe pens in a cup. We draw for 5 minutes, and then show and talk about the drawings for 5 minutes. Then I will introduce a new exercise for 5 minutes. The format is to do lots of quick exercises that stretch our visual muscles and maybe open our eyes to what is possible. Greg Wood has a BA in Art from UCSC. Before he retired, he worked as an architectural illustrator. This class shall meet through Zoom from 10:00 to 11:30 am on August 6. Contact: Greg Wood.
Tarot Meditation Workshop  - One extra Tuesday, August 4
The Tarot, it is said, is a symbolic picture of the universe in its many layers, from material to the spiritual and beyond. Currently, the Tarot has as its basis the mystical Jewish Qabalah, drawing into it various Medieval and Renaissance systems such as astrology, alchemy, numerology, sacred geometry and mathematics, world mythology, Theosophy, Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, and even Freemasonry. In modern times, it acquired Jungian psychological commentary as well. The Tarot itself is a fascinating, intricate system of interconnecting pictorial symbolism that is meant to catalyze helpful transformations within ourselves and our psyches, affecting not just behaviors, but perhaps even granting serendipitous opportunities. Jonathan “Buudha” Quant has been a practitioner of Tarot meditation for over 20 years and is eager to introduce you to Tarot meditation. Whether you are new to Tarot, or believe you know much, you will certainly gain fresh insights. It is preferable that participants meet for the entire sequence, but it is not mandatory. All are welcome. This class will meet via Zoom from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Contact: Jonathan Quant or Sarah Robson.
Community Building Through Personal Development:
We will come together again to appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature by contemplating, writing, and drawing. All that is required are pencil and paper and a few objects from nature. A lifelong lover of the outdoors, Dorothy Steinicke has more than twenty years experience introducing people to a love of the natural world. She leads hikes for children and for adults in Topanga Canyon, Ballona Wetlands, and Dockweiller State Beach. We will meet on Zoom from 2:30 – 4:00 pm. Please contact Dorothy Steinicke for more details.
Ukulele Strum Along - Saturday August 22
Come and play ukulele with us or join with another strumming instrument. We recommended a familiarity with the ukulele for this online format but all levels are welcome (beginner to advanced). Bring a ukulele to our Zoom meeting and chords and lyrics will be provided in advance with a few folks prepared to lead some songs. We will share tips and support each other, pulling from a wide range of music. This event is for ages 15 and up, or 10 and up if accompanied by a guardian. We will need your email contact information by August 20th, so that we can send you the music ahead of time. We will gather from 9:30 – 11:00 am. Contact: Kim Kalmanson.
Exploration of Ideas:
AAHS Freethinker Forum - Sunday, August 23
AAHS (Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, and Secularists) is an open group that meets for a lively and engaging discussion on topics of politics, science, religion, and philosophy. We also host occasional guest speakers, films, and outings. We are a home base for non-believers and questioners, but everyone is welcome. For many, atheism/agnosticism is a first step; Humanism is the thousand steps that come after. We’ll meet from 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm via Zoom. Contact: James Witker.
We will discuss “The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars,” by Dava Sobel. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, women were hired by the observatory as “human computers” to interpret the telescopic observations of their male counterparts. Later they interpreted the glass photographic plates taken of the skies. They made some pretty important discoveries. To receive the link, you will want to be on the group email list. We meet from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Contact: Rebecca Crawford,   All are welcome.
The Men’s Group offers a special opportunity to the men of the congregation and other like minded men to join our welcoming group in provocative and stimulating discussion and to get to know others with UU perspectives in a more meaningful way. We meet the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7:30 pm normally in the NE room of the Cottage, but while we are staying home we are meeting via Zoom.  The topic for August 6 is:  Knowing what you do now, what other career might you have chosen – or liked to have chosen?  The topic for August 20 is:  “How are you handling your aging? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of growing older? Consider things like the evolving meaning of life, how you want to be remembered, and of course, how you and your mate are handling the usual aches and pains of aging that all couples encounter, and how you are handling that dark fact, “Everything has an expiration date?” For more information, contact: Richard Mathias.
An Enjoyable Dive into Who and What We Are  - Mondays,, August 3 and 17
Bill Blake will present an enjoyable dive into the “who and what” we are. This on-going, twice a month class on the 1st and 3rd Mondays is presented to help participants master specific meditation skills. 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 that explore participants’ spiritual goals. The monthly group meetings will also focus on insights gained throughout the month. It is expected that participants will develop and enjoy a regular meditation practice. The class meets from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. Contact: Bill Blake.
Open Meditation - Mondays, August 10, 24, 31
We gather twice a month to sit together quietly for 20 minutes, to walk with gentle awareness for seven minutes, and to explore the integration of meditation with ordinary life through reading and sharing. Anyone who senses they would benefit from 20 minutes of silent, non-guided sitting is welcome to join us. We have found that this time of quiet meditation and shared exploration can be deeply nourishing – a time of simply “being” amidst all the “doing” of our lives. We meet from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. Contacts: Bev Shoenberger or Carol Ring.
Open Meditation: Wellsprings - Wednesdays and Fridays
These are exceptional times. Taking this time for quiet meditation and sharing in the intimacy of having sat in silence together can help sustain and ground us during these difficult days. We trust each of you will use this group in the way that fits your needs. We listen to brief readings, sit together quietly for twenty minutes, journal and share with each other what’s on our hearts.  We simply sit together in our shared humanity. We call off the struggle to become other than we are. These are drop-in groups. You are welcome to join us when it feels right to you. If you come in late or need to leave early, just do so quietly. We meet every Wednesday and Friday afternoon from 12:00 to 1:00 pm online. Contact: Bev Shoenberger.