ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES

FOR WINTER – SPRING 2018

For a PDF version of the print catalog: CATALOG TEXT (continuous).12-19-17 Flyer Winter-Spring (2 p.)

 

ACTING 101: FREE YOUR IMAGINATION

 

Date: Saturday (8 sessions): February 3, 10, 17, March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31

Time: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Janet Spencer

Minimum enrollment: 6 persons

This class will be totally interactive. Exercises based on Voila Spolin’s Theater Games involve everyone playing together.  As the participants become more comfortable with the exercises and each other, basic improvisation techniques, character development and scene study will be introduced. Eventually some members may feel ready to perform for an audience – in time for next year’s talent show. If participants are interested this could become an ongoing class.

Although Janet Spencer is new to OUUC, she has been a UU for over 40 years, and a professional in show business for over 50 years.  She has been an actor, a director, an educator and a manager.  Her peripatetic career has taken her from New York (on and off Broadway), to Boston, North Carolina, Houston and Texas, and New Orleans.  She has toured with stars Mickey Rooney and Donald O’Connor. Her memoir – unfinished – is called “Near Famous”.

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BICYCLE BASICS

 

Date: Saturdays (2 sessions): April 21 and 28

Time: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leaders: Mike & Adele Donahoe

 

The class is designed to help people feel comfortable with basic bicycle care and to help in selecting a bicycle that fits their needs and desires.

Session One

  1. Fix a flat: Know your tube type and size. Patch or replace? Tools needed. Proper tire pressure.
  2. Chain care: Cleaning. Lubricating. Chain tension.
  3. Brake care: Adjustment. Replacement of pads. Brake choices.
  4. Saddle: Choices. Adjustments.
  5. Pedal choices: Clipped. Standard. Clipless.
  6. Professional bicycle care.

 

Session Two

  1. Helmets: Importance of wearing and correct fit.
  2. Dress for comfort: Bicycle pants, bicycle jacket.
  3. Bicycle accessories: Computer, lights, reflectors, racks, bags.
  4. Right bicycle for you: Standard road bike, tricycles, cruisers, mountain, comfort.
  5. Practice: Removing wheel; removing tire; replace or patch tube.

 

Mike and Adele Donohoe enjoy riding a bicycle (tandem) most every day. When they moved from Ocean Shores to Tenino they chose to live close to a “Rails to Trails” type trail to safely ride from home. Mike has been a bicycle rider his whole life, and he introduced Adele to riding when they met in 2005. Through the years of riding they have gained experience to share on all the topics in the outline.

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BOOK GROUP

 

Date:  Thursdays (6 sessions): January 25, February 22, March 22, April 26, May 24, June 28

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Nancy Brickell

Cost: Registration is free and not required

The OUUC Book Group meets the fourth Thursday of the month.  You are invited to join in the discussions, whether for one book or all.  The current selections include fiction and non-fiction titles.

January:  Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer.  In this powerful, meticulously reported history, Jane Mayer shows how a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system.  Ms. Mayer spent five years conducting hundreds of interviews – including with several sources within the network – and scoured public records, private papers, and court proceedings in reporting this book. In a taut and utterly convincing narrative, she traces the byzantine trail of the billions of dollars spent by the network and provides vivid portraits of the colorful figures behind the new American oligarchy.

 

February:  Sighing Woman Tea by Mark Daniel Seiler.  Mystery, poetry, and myth meet in historical wonderland on Green Island, Viridis.  This spellbinding adventure leads you on a journey that winds and bends in a moebius strip of pure delight and sensual imagery.  When the remote island of Viridis is threatened with military take-over and corporate greed, the simple, hard-working residents who are also unusually well-educated, insightful, and at one with their island home, take note with non-violence, tomfoolery and trust in each other.  Enjoy with a cup of tea!

 

March: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award this magnificent tour de force chronicles a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom.  In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.  Cora, who is being pursued by a relentless slave-catcher, embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state. She encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey – hers is an odyssey through time as well as space.

 

April: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.  In a voice more powerful and compassionate than ever before, Elizabeth Strout binds together thirteen rich, luminous narratives through the presence of one larger-than-life, unforgettable character: Olive Kitteridge.  At the edge of the continent, Crosby, Maine, may seem like nowhere, but seen through this brilliant writer’s eyes, it’s in essence the whole world, and the lives that are lived there are filled with all of the grand human drama – desire, despair, jealousy, hope, and love.  Reviewers call this novel perceptive, deeply empathetic, funny, wicked, remorseful and Olive is the axis around which these thirteen complex, relentlessly human narratives spin themselves into a wonderful novel.

May: In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom  by Yeonmi Park.  Yeonmi tells the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea.  Park’s family was loving and close-knit, but life in North Korea was brutal, practically medieval.  The journey was difficult, but she could not have imagined the extent of the hardship to come.  Park, still in her twenties, has lived through experiences that few people of any age will ever know – and most people would never recover from.  She confronts her past with a startling resilience, refusing to be defeated or defined by the circumstances of her former life in North Korea and China.  Today she is a human rights activist working determinedly to bring attention to the oppression taking place in her home country. Her testimony is rare, edifying, and terribly important, and the story she tells is heartbreaking and unimaginable, but never without hope.  Her voice is riveting and dignified.  This is the human spirit at its most indomitable.

June:  Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. This sweeping family saga encompasses seven generations.  In Ghana, Africa two half-sisters are born but never meet and their lives will follow very different paths.  However, their descendants will share a legacy of warfare and the slave trade.  Progressing through 300 years of Ghanaian and American history, the narrative unfolds in a series of concise portraits of each sister’s progeny that capture pivotal moments in each individual’s life.  Yet Gyasi imbues the work with a remarkably seamless feel.  Some reviewers’ comments are as follows:  an inspiration, spectacular, powerful, compelling, illuminating, devastating, luminous, spellbinding, dazzling, magical, powerful, brims with compassion.

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CAKES FOR THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN:

AN ELEVEN SESSION ADULT SEMINAR IN FEMINIST THEALOGY

 

Date:  Mondays (11 sessions): March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21, with the final session on Sunday May 27 (instead of Memorial Day)

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Anna Jones

Note: There is a $5 materials fee per person. Class size limited to 12

 

This new edition of Cakes for the Queen of Heaven by the Rev. Shirley Ann Ranck, Ph.D. was produced in two parts. Volume One introduces the pre-patriarchal Goddesses of prehistoric and early historic times, their early power, and their ultimate loss of power as patriarchy became the established social structure. Volume Two will explore female images and voices in Judaism and Christianity, as well as the oppression of women in patriarchal religions. Finally, we will consider present day forms of feminist spirituality and our hopes for the future.

Anna Jones has facilitated Cakes for the Queen of Heaven five times since attending one of the original trainings for the seminar in Davis, California in 1987.  Anna co-facilitated the seminar at the Olympia UU Congregation with Tana Gann and Diana Finch in 1992. This program has been significantly revised with the more recent program from the UU Women & Religion curriculum (www.uuwr.org; www.cakesforthequeenofheaven.org).

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ENGAGING BEYOND ELECTIONS

 

Date:  Thursdays (2 sessions): April 12 and 19

Time: 10:00 a.m. – noon

Place: OUUC

Leader: Nancy Curtiss

 

Whether you’re a seasoned activist or just realizing that your opinion matters, together we’ll learn some simple, concrete skills for engaging our voices as effective constituent change makers.

Though these times are often confusing, they are opportune for taking value-based actions in our open democracy. After electing representative decision makers, engaged citizens responsibly hold them accountable. We’ll focus on your identified issues while leaning on the RESULTS model developed by Sam Daley Harris. Harris authored Reclaiming Our Democracy: Healing the Break Between People and Government, which, according to President Jimmy Carter “provides a road map for global involvement in planning a better future.”

Warning: activism may be habit forming.

Nancy Curtiss has been an engaged Unitarian Universalist for nearly 50 years, 9 of them at OUUC where she enjoys serving the Faith in Action, Hospitality, and Adult Education committees. She’s a volunteer citizen advocate with RESULTS, and co-leads the Olympia chapter. RESULTS empowers everyday people to use their voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF TAI CHI

 

Dates: Mondays and Fridays (6 sessions): January 22, 26, 29 and February 2, 5 and 9

Time:   10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Place:  OUUC

Leader:  Ellen Wolfhagen

 

Tai Chi is a graceful form of exercise that reduces stress and promotes flexibility and balance through a series of gentle, flowing movements.  It offers the opportunity for gentle physical exercise, stretching, and meditation.  Each posture flows into the next, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.

This class will provide participants with an introduction to some of the fundamentals of Tai Chi movement and breathing.  If you’ve wondered about whether Tai Chi could work for you, here’s your chance to try it!

 

Ellen Wolfhagen has lived in Olympia for 30 years and has done Tai Chi four times a week for the past 18 months.

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GARDENING FOR WILDLIFE

 

Date: Saturday (1 session) May 19

Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon; carpool from OUUC at 8:30 a.m.

Place: Tenino, Sally’s home/garden

Leader: Sally Alhadeff

 

Take a field trip out to the rural part of the county.  Sally Alhadeff will provide you a tour of her garden just outside the town of Tenino, and we will also visit the new Community Garden at Tenino High School.

You will see how Sally uses multiple composting methods to utilize both garden and kitchen waste, a vegetable garden with 3 different types of raised beds and some of the best ways to orient a garden toward providing habitat and housing for native wildlife. Using a combination of native plants, dwarf conifers and ground covers, this garden has something to offer all year round.  Sally will provide handouts on creating your own wildlife-friendly garden.

As a bonus, we will also carpool to the nearby Tenino FFA (Future Farmers of America) Community Garden. Started as a collaboration between the local FFA instructor and two Master Gardener interns, the garden is soon to begin its 4th year. Located in a former parking lot at the Tenino High School, the Community Garden has donated over 3000 pounds of food to the Tenino Food Bank since its inception.

Bring a lunch and something to drink. We’ll carpool from OUUC at 8:30 a.m.

Sally is a Master Gardener who has created a low-maintenance, low waste, Certified Wildlife Habitat garden from an old dairy farm pasture. She and her husband, Bob Sundstrom, enjoy creating habitat for birds and other wildlife.

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IN OTHER WORDS: TRANSLATING AND RECLAIMING RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE

 

Date: Tuesdays (4 sessions): February 6, 13, 20 and 27

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Rev. Eric Posa

 

Even in the religiously diverse climate of the Pacific Northwest, the most common vocabulary for expressing religious and spiritual concepts is associated with the Christian tradition, in which Unitarian Universalism has its roots. Many liberal religious people reject traditional Christian understandings of these concepts. Completely dismissing that vocabulary altogether, though, limits our ability to convey new meanings that may be heard by others in our community. It can also limit our own reflections on religious meanings to be found anew in the familiar language.

This 8-unit class (2 one-hour units per session) will focus on ways we can use more traditional terminology as a springboard to find and express liberal religious concepts. We’ll start with an introductory unit on articulating a “language of reverence”, then examine closely 7 different concepts, and how they can convey meanings that vary from more orthodox theologies.

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INTRODUCTION TO LOVEINGKINDNESS MEDITATION: A VALENTINE’S CELEBRATION

 

Date: Sunday (1 session) February 11

Time: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Jude Rozhon

 

Lovingkindness Meditation (metta) is a practice that teaches us how to cultivate forgiveness, kindness, open-hearted friendship and love toward ourselves and toward others. Originating in the Buddhist meditation traditions, metta practice has come to the West in recent decades, and is now used by people of all backgrounds and affiliations to open the heart and develop patience, compassion and acceptance. It has the capacity to heal, soften, and regenerate body, mind and spirit.

This afternoon workshop will introduce various techniques of Lovingkindness Meditation. Since metta is a happiness practice, we can relax and sit comfortably in chairs – no special postures are required. There will be handouts to support your continuing practice.

Jude Rozhon has been practicing Lovingkindness in the Buddhist tradition for over four decades, training particularly in the intensive Burmese style; practicing meditation in complete silence 14 hours daily on three-month retreats. She has taught Lovingkindness Meditation for 25 years, particularly in women’s groups, junior college settings, and for the last 15 years at Catherine Place (founded by the Dominican Sisters) in Tacoma. She also taught metta meditation classes at the Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Tacoma. Each year she offers a Women’s Weekend Lovingkindness Retreat at Cloud Mountain Center here in Washington State.

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INTROVERTS ARE AWESOME

 

Dates: Mondays (2 sessions): March 5 and 12

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Gary Worthington

 

Studies have shown that half or more of all people in Western societies are introverts. Yet, extroverts tend to get most of the attention and are frequently assumed to be role models of how we should all be.

In recent years, several popular books have extolled the virtues of introverts, such as their creative contributions to the arts, businesses, and society. The books offer many suggestions on how introverts can best cope in a milieu that often seems not to value their need for quiet and for time by themselves.

In this class we’ll discuss some of the lessons from these books and also draw from our own experiences for insights on how to live more comfortably in a society that seems dominated by the extrovert ideal. We’ll give each other tips for situations such as how to engage in small talk with strangers at coffee hours and at parties; how to get along with family and friends who don’t seem to understand our need to often be alone; how to speak before large groups when we’d prefer to sit quietly in the back; and how best to contribute in meetings or gatherings when others who are more verbal are dominating the conversation.

 

Although the class is intended for introverts, extroverts are also welcome and may learn something about the introverts in their lives.

Participants may find it helpful, though not required, to read one or more of these books prior to taking the class:

  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain (2012)
  • The Irresistible Introvert: Harness the Power of Quiet Charisma in a Loud World, by Michaela Chung (2016)
  • Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength, by Laurie Helgoe (2008)
  • The Awakened Introvert: Practical Mindfulness Skills to Help You Maximize Your Strengths & Thrive in a Loud & Crazy World, by Arnie Kozak (2015)

 

Gary Worthington is an introvert who feels he has at last become comfortable with being one, most of the time. A longtime member of OUUC, he has led Our Place in the Cosmos, Building Your Own Theology, Spiritual Perspectives on Time, and Control of Our Lives classes. He and his wife Sandra have facilitated OUUC Covenant Groups for twelve years.

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ISLAM AND THE QUR’AN

 

Dates: Thursdays (4 sessions): March 1, 8, 15, and 22

Time:  7:00-9:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: The Reverend Carol McKinley

 

Universally revered as holy scripture by Muslims around the world, the Qur’an provides the guide to living fundamental to the Muslim way of life.  Thomas Cleary’s translation offers an introductory selection of readings that presents the essence of the Qur’an in an accessible way.  Discussion of the life of Mohammed and the history of Islam will place this sacred text in context with the other Abrahamic religions, Judaism and Christianity.   Members of the Islamic Center of Olympia will join us for this class.

Text:  The Essential Koran: The Heart of Islam, translated and presented by Thomas Cleary.

The Reverend Carol McKinley is an affiliated community minister at OUUC and serves as the Accountable Person for our Faith in Action Ministry.

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MEMBERSHIP CLASSES

 

Date: Sundays (3 sessions): February 4, 11 and 18

Time: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. with lunch served 12:30 – 1:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: various OUUC staff and members

 

For those who are new to Unitarian Universalism, the following three classes are required for membership. For the greatest benefit, participants are encouraged to take the classes in order. If you are a long-time member, you may discover or deepen your understanding of what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist. Classes will offer ample opportunities for discussion and reflection. A more detailed description for each class will be posted on the OUUC website closer to class start dates. Classes will address the following:

  1. Belief: What do UUs believe?
  2. Behaviors: How do UU’s behave in the world to make it a better place for all?
  3. Belonging: Who belongs here and how do we work/play together to build community?

 

In order to provide the best possible membership class experience, we need a minimum of 8 registrants for each class. This number (or more) allows for a rich discussion among participants. We aim to create a cohort that will have the opportunity to become well acquainted over the course of the three classes, and to enjoy each other’s support and friendship as potential new members of the congregation. Membership class registrations must be submitted at least one week prior to the scheduled classes.

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MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID

 

Date: Saturday (1 session) January 27

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Brooke Amyx

Class size minimum: 25 participants; Maximum: 30

Note: Registration is required, but there is no registration fee

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour, evidence-based course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis. This course provides basic information on mental health disorders, warning signs, strategies for action, and where to turn for help. MHFA has a strong focus on recovery and resiliency, believing that individuals who experience mental health conditions can and do get better. Participants learn a 5 step action plan.

This course is free to our community thanks to a Providence St. Joseph Health grant.  MHFA was created in 2001 by Betty Kitchener, a nurse specializing in health education, and Anthony Jorm, a mental health literacy professor. Further information about Mental Health First Aid can be found at https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/cs/take-a-course/what-you-learn/

Brooke Amyx is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and Chemical Dependency Professional. She has been facilitating Mental Health First Aid courses since 2014. Brooke’s recent work has involved supporting people who are incarcerated in accessing mental health and substance use services while transitioning out.  Witnessing the injustices and harm of institutional racism within our jail system has led to a racial equity focus and a drive for continued learning.  Brooke loves facilitating MHFA and bringing people together to de-stigmatize and increase understanding of mental health.

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PATHWAYS TO HAPPINESS

 

Date: Monday (1 session) February 12

Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Anatha Attar

 

All faith traditions ask us to love, to forgive and to serve, but we can only do this effectively if we are happy, and not just occasionally but consistently. This class will explore the two main portals to inner happiness, and several practices, which, if engaged in regularly, will bring you greater joy throughout your life. This class is participatory; there will be time for reflection, writing and sharing as well as applying these new practices in class. Bring a journal and pen.

Anatha Attar, M.A.C. is a certified Washington State Counselor and Coach for the Creative Life. She is a speaker, educator, artist and author of two books to inspire your creative journey. She has a passion for helping people grow a more creative, inspired and fulfilling life. Visit her at attarcoaching.com

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PLANT-BASED EATING FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH

 

Date:   Thursday (1 session) April 5

Time:  7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leaders: Ann Yeo and Kim Danke

 

Our food choices make a difference to both our personal health and the health of our planet. We will review the evidence pertaining to plant-based eating and optimal health – at the personal and global levels. Then we will explore how to incorporate plant-based nutritional guidelines into our lives in a simple, satisfying, economical way.

Ann Yeo, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in nursing, is OUUC’s Parish Nurse.  A vegetarian for 20 years, she is delighted that more and more mainstream health-care providers – including Kaiser Permanente – now recommend plant-based eating for optimal health.

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SIMPLY PRAY

 

Date: Tuesdays (2 sessions): January 23 and 30

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Sara Lewis

 

Have you ever been put on the spot, asked to say a prayer or grace before a meal? Do you wish you had a spiritual practice to turn to in times of grief, fear, or distress? Prayer is an ancient spiritual practice, but not one that many Unitarian Universalists find easy or natural. This class will ask, “why pray?” and reframe the idea of what prayer is for Unitarian Universalists. We will also practice praying out loud, writing our own prayers, and making our prayer beads and learning a UU prayer bead practice.

Adults, elders, families, children, and youth are all welcome to join this class.

Sara Lewis is the Director of Lifespan Religious Education at OUUC.

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SPIRITUALITY AND RECOVERY

 

Date: Thursday (one session) May 3

Time: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Dave Verbon

 

Is recovery from addiction also a spiritual experience or just a clinical/biological process?

This class will explore the spiritual experience that every individual finds in recovery, whatever that might mean uniquely to each of them. Many people avoid recovery via 12-step programs because they believe that the programs require a religious doctrine (which it does not). Recovery and spirituality is a far more transcendent experience that should allow anyone, regardless of their beliefs, to progress toward a successful path of recovery. We have more possibility inside of us than we may know.

It will also create an interactive experience for every class member, focusing on what each of them would bring if they were creating a recovery experience for themselves — not just for addiction recovery, but perhaps also in other challenges they are facing in life. A Q and A session will wrap up the class.

This will be one session, three hours long. There will be instructor presentation, group discussion, group interaction, and personal writing, which can be voluntarily shared by the members of the class, if they wish. This is not a therapy group, but we will respect confidentiality.

Dave Verbon earned a BA in Communications-Journalism from the University of Washington.  During his 16-year career in journalism, Dave worked for a number of newspapers, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.  He was Vice President of Marketing for multiple hotel-casinos in Las Vegas for nearly two decades.  A career change came when he realized the impact his casino work was having on the lives of compulsive gamblers and their families.  Dave and his wife Toni formed their own company, HelpYourself, Inc., to create programs on addiction education.  They have taught seminars on addiction and recovery and produced an educational DVD, “Breaking Free – Drawing the Line with the Addict in Your Life.”  Dave was a founder and has served as chair of the OUUC Addiction and Recovery Ministry for five years.

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TRAVEL THAT TRANSFORMS LIVES

 

Dates: Tuesdays (4 sessions): March 6, 13, 20 and 27

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Facilitator: Rick Brandt-Kreutz

1)  EIGHT OUUC MEMBERS AND FRIENDS VISIT RUSSIA (March 6)

Eight OUUC members and friends who love to travel visited Russia in August and September 2017. We went by foot, private vehicle, and on a Viking river cruise. We were all open to learning about the current Russia, cutting through stereotypes, and having fun. Our presentation will include a quick and dirty overview of Russian history (Eric and Kathryn) with impressions of how Russia’s past may affect present attitudes. One guide said to us “We can see and generally know what is happening in the present, but our past is constantly changing.” Russia has a history of hard knocks. Paul and Susan traveled independently from the others and will share photos accompanied by a medley of contemporary Russian music. Paul rediscovered a language he had learned long ago in a land he had always wanted to see. Susan loved the architecture and nesting dolls! Cheryl and Selden will share people, lake, and river pictures and talk about some surprises in visiting Russia. They will bring some show and tell from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and smaller towns. Carol and Glen will chime in with their own musings. You don’t want to miss our show!

Presenters and discussants will include Paul Bakke, Susan Bakke, Selden Hall, Cheryl Hanks, Glen Hubbard, Carol Williams, Eric Ness, and Kathryn Ness.

 

2)  TRAVELS ON THE ERIE CANAL, with Emily Ray and Jim Lengenfelder (March 13)

Emily and Jim will present their travels on the Erie Canal, constructed about 200 years ago and at the time, the largest construction project IN THE WORLD.  The builders faced some unusual problems, and invented solutions as the work progressed. Initially, the backers sought funding from a reluctant Congress and from President Madison, who vetoed the idea.  New York State led by Gov. DeWitt Clinton decided to go it alone.  Tolls paid off the entire cost of construction in 10 years. The canal was enlarged twice through the years.  Eventually railroads and highways made it obsolete as a means of transporting goods and people. Concurrent with the canal construction was an outpouring of religious fervor.  All manner of preachers and prognosticators sprang up including William Miller, who had calculated the end of the world in a precise way, and Joseph Smith, translator of the Book of Mormon. Emily says, “I learned songs about the Erie Canal in grade school, but not a whole lot more.  Out of curiosity I have asked high schoolers and middle schoolers what they know about it and they all tell me, ‘nothing!'”  Come hear about this important era in American history that should be remembered and shared into the future.

Emily Ray and Jim Lengenfelder are retired state employees, Emily from environmental work and Jim from social services. Jaunts abroad have taken them to Ethiopia and the Seychelle Islands, among more exotic destinations. Barging is a way they combine travel on water, historical studies, sociability with friends and family, and plenty of walking at stops along the way. The Erie Canal adventure of 2016 was their first attempt to go barging in the US after memorable barge trips in Europe and Canada.

 

3)  THE GEEZERS’ GREAT CANADIAN BIKE ADVENTURE OF 2017: QUEBEC, NOVA SCOTIA AND CAPE BRETON BY BIKE, with Kelly and Mary Ann Thompson, Joe Joy and Susan Southwick, and Mark Swanson and Ilona Hruska (March 20)

In Sept of 2017, six retired friends from OUUC set off for a bike trip through Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton Island in maritime Canada.  Over 500 miles and six weeks later, they returned home – still friends – still open to new adventures – and full of stories of the road.

Susan Southwick and Joe Joy are longtime OUUC members who are avid bike commuters and outdoor enthusiasts. They’ve cycle-toured with the Thompsons and others on several routes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia.

Mark Swanson and Ilona Hruska just moved from Olympia to Durango, Colorado to be closer to bright sun and long hikes.  They rode a tandem bike on this adventure.

Kelly and Mary Ann Thompson live on their boat in downtown Olympia, and have shared bike rides across the North America, Europe, and Cuba.  Regarding bike routes they are occasionally mistaken, but never unsure.

4)  ENGLAND: A PILGRIMAGE THROUGH TIME, with Gary and Sandra Worthington (March 27)

In June of 2017 Gary and Sandra explored England and Wales for four weeks, their sixth time in the UK.  Often lost on back roads, they sought out spiritually related sites, including lesser-known prehistoric stone circles and monoliths, sacred wells and groves, small parish churches dating from Saxon times (as early as 670 AD) and Norman and Knights Templar times (c. 1100s), a forest of ancient yew trees, prehistoric burial mounds, and magnificent cathedrals (c. 1100s – 1200s) that took generations to complete.

They visited historic science-related sites such as Isaac Newton’s home (with its apple tree said to have inspired his laws of gravity and motion), the Royal Observatory in Greenwich (responsible for many astronomical tables and navigational and time standards, and the location of the prime meridian), and Bletchley Park (where early computers were developed and used in cracking “unbreakable” German codes during World War II).

Between these destinations they stayed in farmhouse B&Bs and thoroughly enjoyed long hikes and drives through the lush English countryside, as well as impressive stately homes and art museums.

The talk will be illustrated with numerous slides.

Gary has led the OUUC classes Our Place in the Cosmos, Building Your Own Theology, Spiritual Perspectives on Time, and Control of Our Lives. He and Sandra have facilitated OUUC Covenant Circle groups for twelve years. Their previous travel destinations included, among others, South America, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Southeast Asia, Japan, and most European countries. Their many trips to India aided in background for Gary’s historical novels set in India.

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THE UU COMMON READ

 

Date: Thursdays (3 sessions): January 25, February 1 and 8

Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: The Rev. Carol McKinley

 

The challenge and the opportunity of this moment in Unitarian Universalism and in the broader U.S. American society are compelling. Unitarian Universalists must be prepared and willing to look inward, examining, exploring, and acting to dismantle white supremacy culture in our association, in our congregations and groups, and in ourselves.  At the same time, we must be prepared and willing to look outward and act to lift up Unitarian Universalist values in the political and civic challenges of our time.  This year, UU Common Read will consider two books: one offers help with the inner work of today’s Unitarian Universalism, and the other provides a vision and guidance for advancing justice-making in the public square.

 

  1. Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema, conveys the stories and insights of a number of Unitarian Universalist religious leaders of color as they explore how racial identity is made both visible and invisible in Unitarian Universalist communities.
  2. Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen, lifts up the importance of democracy itself. It examines the anti-democracy movement that led to the Trump presidency, then offers a vision and call to action to save the democracy we thought we had and to take our civic life to a place it has never been.

 

Class participants should read at least one, if not both books. Carol suggests prioritizing Daring Democracy. A few copies are available through the OUUC library.

The Reverend Carol McKinley is an affiliated community minister at OUUC. She recently retired as Coordinator of Washington State UU Voices for Justice, our state legislative advocacy organization.

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UU THEOLOGY: A HOUSE FOR HOPE

 

Date: Tuesdays (7 sessions): April 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Sara Lewis

 

Unitarian Universalists and other religious liberals have a strong tradition of social justice action in the world, but may not appreciate that these actions are rooted in a rich heritage of progressive theology. Using the book, A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-first Century by John Buehrens and Rebecca Ann Parker, this class will explore the big questions theology asks, the answers that others have found, and how theological understandings impact the way we live our lives and understand our world.

Participants will need a copy of the book (which can be purchased or borrowed through the Director of Religious Education or the church library), and should read the Introduction and the 1st chapter before Session One.

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VOICE CLASS

 

Dates:  Saturdays

Time:  10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Place:  OUUC (occasionally other venues; check before you come)

Costs:  $10 for printing sheet music used in class. The fee will be waived if it creates a hardship.

Leader:  Troy Arnold Fisher

Note:  Registration is required, but there is no registration fee.

During our hour and thirty minutes together we work on posture, scientific theories of breathing and ear training, but that’s not all. We sing a variety of songs, ranging from high to low, ballad to scat. We sing together, braving to sing duets and solos! It’s a chance to sing your heart out!  Come and join the fun. All levels of talent are welcome. For further information or to check venues, contact Bobbe Murray at bobbemm@gmail.com.

Troy Arnold Fisher is OUUC Music Director.

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WHITE? by Robin DiAngelo

 

Date: Mondays (3 sessions): January 29, February 5 and 12

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Tom Womeldorff

 

The Evergreen State College faculty member Tom Womeldorff will facilitate three sessions to discuss Robin DiAngelo’s book, as we consider how each of us can implement the ideas she introduced in her January 21 presentation at OUUC.  Some copies of What Does It Mean to Be White? are available to borrow from the OUUC library.

Tom Womeldorff teaches cultural studies, language and communication at TESC, and has frequently facilitated community discussions on understanding and addressing the dynamics of racism.  Tom received his PhD in economics from American University.

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“WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY” – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ESTATE PLANNING

 

Date: Thursday (1 session) March 15

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Place: OUUC

Leader: Lauren Pitman and Andrea Huff

 

Do you have a will? Do you need a will? (The answer to that question should be “yes.”) Are you thinking of revising or updating your will?

Local estate planning attorneys Lauren Pitman and Andrea Huff of Bauer, Pitman, Snyder and Huff (Lifetime Legal) will provide information about and answer questions on estate planning.

Topics will include why estate planning is important; how to prepare for an estate planning appointment; means of transferring or controlling assets, including creation of trusts; charitable bequests; things to look out for in your estate plan; and preparing other estate planning documents. A representative from the OUUC Endowment Committee will briefly talk about the OUUC Endowment and how to include OUUC in estate plans.

Bring your questions.

Lauren A. Pitman and Andrea Huff are members of Bauer, Pitman, Snyder, and Huff (Lifetime Legal, PLLC). Their practice emphasizes estate planning and related matters. Among their professional associations, they both are members of the Elder Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association.

Lauren has served on the Executive Board for Senior Action Network of Thurston and Lewis Counties, and the Executive Committee for South Puget Sound Estate Planning Council.  She is currently the President of the Board of Directors of the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia. Andrea has served on the Endowment Committee of the Mason General Hospital Foundation.

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