Adult Religious Exploration offers members and friends the opportunity to come together for spiritual enrichment, intellectual questioning, and self-exploration. Check out our current and upcoming offerings below!
Online Meditation Sessions – Check ins readings and guided meditations First and third Saturday of the month, 10am-11am
Groupe de croissance spirituelle – Cercle mensuelle qui permet un partage plus profond axé sur l’écoute et l’échange sans discussion Premier jeudi du mois – 13h
Movie Discussion Group – Monthly small group to discuss one or two films
Writer’s Group – Monthly writing exercises and sharing First Friday of the month, 11am-1pm
Fall 2022 Workshops and Opportunities:
The New UU Sunday Mornings in Sept 25-Oct 23, 9am This workshop series introduces newer members of the community to Unitarian Universalism, and to our Fellowship.
Climate Crisis Workshop October 22, 1pm – This is a 3 hour workshop, organized by members of the UUFO in conjunction with Robin Macdonald from “Work that Reconnects”. It will include group activities, teachings and reflections .
The New UU
Sunday mornings, 9am-10:15am, September 25-November 6 October 23 at UUFO
This workshop series introduces newer members of the community to Unitarian Universalism, and to our Fellowship. We will explore Unitarian Universalist approaches to worship, children’s religious education, governance, social justice, and history. Participants will learn more about who we are, where we come from, and how UUFO creates our unique community out of the shared UU values.
Anyone who is new, or feels new, or would like to learn more about our history and culture is welcome to sign up!
email ARE@uufo.org to register!
How to Face the Mess We’re in Together
Saturday October 22, 1-4 pm, UUFO
We live in an extraordinary moment, as we witness tremendous threats to life on Earth. We feel a sense of urgency as well as a longing for positive change.
Faced with ecological, social and political breakdown we can become overwhelmed . How can we consistently stay engaged, resilient, creative, and empowered to act for the healing of our world? We can face the challenges together. Join this workshop and find out how.
This is a 3 hour workshop, organized by members of the UUFO in conjunction with Robin Macdonald from “Work that Reconnects”. It will include group activities, teachings and reflections . We will cover tools and processes to:
connect with people who share similar dreams, and concerns
honour our pain for the world, including ecological grief
turn anxiety, grief and anger into courage, creativity and joy
strengthen a sense of belonging, and feel held within the cycles of life
nourish our capacity to act for positive change
The number of participants will be limited to 12. Registration is required. There is a fee by donation. Please email Fran Mowbray at francesmow97@gmail to register or if you want more information.
Mondays, starting March 7th at 10am (Zoom, for now)!
Is morning a challenge for you? Do you have a routine you follow? Do you start the day to the tune of the snooze button? Chipo Is inviting you to four sessions to share her “Mindful Mornings – Sacred Self Care Activities” and build your own practice to give yourself a more gentle, focussed start to the day. You can do things differently!if you are interested in joining this morning practice contact Chipo Shambare by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 6138788044 or UUFO… Mondays, starting March 7th at 10am (Zoom, for now)!
Braiding Sweetgrass ZOOM Book Club
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. This book club will meet on the third Tuesday of every month from October to May to delve into various chapters of this book, share our own perspectives and increase our understanding of indigenous perspectives towards land and plants.
Themes for Contemplation: Monthly Discussion Circle
Third Sunday of the month at 11:45am (Unless otherwise noted)
This Fall, our Adult Religious Exploration program plans to resume our monthly discussions, building on our Themes for Worship. Once a month, all are welcome to join a casual discussion circle following the service to delve into the theme of the month. Discussion circles are an opportunity for spiritual growth and exploration, for getting to know oneself, and one’s neighbours, and to spend 45 minutes engaging with the monthly theme in an interactive way.
Monthly Themes for Winter 2022:
March: Who Are We as UUs?
Compassionate Communication Spring Workshops
Saturdays, April 23, May 7 1:30-4:00pm
How are you feeling?…..Are you feeling? Why does it matter? Aren’t feelings dangerous?
Fran and Nick will offer their next set of Compassionate Communication Workshops on Saturday April 23 and May 7. Each session will consist of exercises and practice of the concepts presented. This is not a repeat of previous workshops. Everyone is welcome. We’ll meet in the Sanctuary from 1:30-4 pm . Register now: ARE@u33v7
History of Racism in Canada Workshop
March 12 – Saturday, 2-4pm
This winter/spring, when we are comfortable organizing another in-person workshop, Maurice Cabana-Proulx will be facilitating a new workshop, The History of Racism in Canada
Thursday, June 17 & Wednesday June 23, 10am This two-part workshop offered by Fran Mowbray and Nick LePan will explore insights they have gained over the past 14 years of studying Compassionate Communication. This workshop is full.
Summer Sundays: “TEDTalk Coffee Hour”
Our Summer Sundays take a break from full worship services, but once a month we invite you back into our Zoom Sanctuary to watch a video together, followed by a thoughtful and engaging discussion.
July 11, 2021: No-God
August 8, 2021: Reverence for Weird Things
Themes for Contemplation: Monthly Discussion Circle
First Sunday of the month at 12pm (Unless otherwise noted)
This Fall, our Adult Religious Exploration program will build on our now-familiar Themes for Worship. Once a month, all are welcome to join a casual discussion circle following the service to delve into the theme of the month. Discussion circles are an opportunity for spiritual growth and exploration, for getting to know oneself, and one’s neighbours, and to spend 45 minutes engaging with the monthly theme in an interactive way.
February 2nd : Black History Month | How has your understanding of history been influenced and shaped by the different histories of people of colour? Has your connection to this annual recognition of people of African heritage changed over time?
March 8th* : Inclusion| How do you actively include people in your community? What does it mean to be radically inclusive? Do we need to step outside our comfort zones, in order to better include a greater diversity of people and experiences into our circle?
April 5th: Earth | One of our Unitarian Sources for theological inquiry is “Earth-centred traditions.” What Earth-centred traditions or practices do you hold up as sources of wisdom in your life? How do you connect to the Earth? How has your relationship to our planet changed over time?
May 3rd: Joy | What brings you joy? How do you bring joy to others? What role does joy play in your search for meaning, and spiritual fulfillment? How do you balance joy with compassion for others, grief, working for justice, and difficult times?
Writing Your Spiritual Autobiography
Saturday afternoons 1-3pm February 15, 22, 29, March 14, 28, April 4
This course will focus on writing as a means of focusing on one’s spiritual journey. Early sessions will include exercises to evoke settings, insights, feelings, etc. from our pasts, and some writing time.
Most of the READING, which we will do during our time together, will be from OUR OWN WRITINGS. We will be sharing meaningful and “sacred” experiences in our lives, so that being seen and heard becomes important, rather than receiving criticism or praise.
We will also read from Dan Wakefield’s THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE, and various other texts that explore writing as a means of focusing on one’s spiritual journey. We will occasionally read from examples of this type of writing, so please bring your favourite writers or passages.
February 15: Session One: Introduction | Write Childhood Experience
March 14: Session Four: Read Friend/Mentor Experience | Make Road Map
April 4: Sessions Five & Six: Read Spiritual Autobiographies (1pm-5pm)
Articulating Y(OUR) UU Faith Workshop
Saturday, January 25th 10am-12pm
Our “Faith Tradition” is one that is theologically diverse, which gets confusing when people get curious about us. Our unique approach to religion can also result in some difficult questions from those who have yet to experience the warmth of our spiritual community.
Have you ever had the uncomfortable experience of trying to answer questions about being a Unitarian Universalist, from friends, colleagues, even family? It’s so common to come away from these interactions feeling like you didn’t quite say what you meant.
This two hour workshop will explore some of the common misconceptions about Unitarians, how to answer those awkward questions, and prompt participants to practice their own version of a UU “Elevator Speech.” Challenge: Explain what it means to be Unitarian before the elevator reaches the 6th floor. Whether you’ve been struggling with articulating your faith for decades, or have just started joining our UU worship services, there will be room to explore and deepen your own understanding of what it means to be part of this community.
Deep Listening Workshop
Saturday, October 26th 1pm-4pm
What does it mean to listen deeply? To be fully present for one another? Spirit, mind, and heart are offered the opportunity to expand in the spaces offered by silence, and the safe space held open to one another through a listening ear. In this three-hour workshop, Rev. Ellen Bell will introduce participants to the process and practice of Deep Listening.
Advanced Care Planning Workshop
Saturday, November 30th, 9:30am-12:30pm
This workshop focuses on what you will need to consider and what steps to take to prepare for the possibility of losing the capacity to make decisions around your personal health care before or near the end of your life. It is designed to help you clarify who to select as your representative for personal care and what that representative needs to know about your wishes when you can no longer express them.
There will be a Powerpoint presentation with the opportunity to discuss issues in small groups and to ask questions. Printed copies of the Powerpoint presentation will be available for $2.
Refreshments including coffee, tea and water will be available.
PRESENTERS: Your workshop facilitators are volunteers with the Ottawa chapter of Dying with Dignity.
Getting to Know UU: Workshops Exploring our Unitarian Universalist Experience
Workshops: Sundays at 12:30pm
Workshop 1: Postponed to February 3 Direct Experience—Sourcing the Spirit This workshop will be an exploration of the Six Sources of Unitarian Universalism, and an opportunity to reflect on our own experiences, how they have shaped our beliefs, and brought us together in this religious community.
Workshop 2: March 3 Faith in the Covenant— Exploring Our Sacred Promises This workshop will be an exploration of the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism, and the foundation of shared values, shared covenant, and the promises (both explicit and implicit) we make to one another, which characterize this unique religious tradition.
Workshop 3: April 14 Worth-ship—Serving the Spirit This Workshop will be an exploration of Unitarian Universalism in practice, and the rituals, and practices that characterize worship services both among UUs, and specific to our local religious community. We will explore the question: “If Unitarian Universalists don’t worship a particular deity, the what do we worship?” and delve into what practices are meaningful to each of us.
All are welcome at any or all of these three Unitarian Universalist-themed workshops coming up in Winter/Spring 2019!
Bring something to eat (there will be snacks, but not a full lunch provided), and stick around after the service to delve a little deeper into our shared faith tradition.
An Introduction to the Interfaith Journey
Every other Saturday 10am-12pm, March 9, 23, April 6
As Unitarian Universalists, one of our sources of inspiration and guidance is the “wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.” We are also influenced by Jewish, Christian, humanist and earth-centred traditions. For 3 bi-weekly Saturdays (March 9th, 23rd and April 6th), Evangeline will lead us in an overview of current interfaith frameworks and practices, such as integral theory, stages and styles of spiritual development, and interspirituality. We will have lectures, videos and engaging discussions, plus an opportunity to explore some of your questions about a faith tradition you are interested in. Limit of 15 to maximize group discussion and learning. Please sign up using the form below by February 28, 2019.
Registration is now closed for this course
Nurturing Reverence For the Earth: Organic Gardening 101
Saturday, April 20, 10am-12pm with Pat Lucey
As our 2019 gardening season approaches, Pat is here to support everyone who aspires to actively promote our Unitarian Seventh Principle (Respect for the Interdependent Web of Life) by growing plants in a healthy living soil. On Saturday morning, April 20th, she will be sharing her years of organic gardening experience with you in a two-hour workshop. She will give a presentation on best practices for organic gardening, including soil management, composting, optimal garden planning, starting your own plants, and keeping your plants healthy and productive the organic way.
There will be ample time for your questions about your own gardening plans for 2019, and we will all share our gardening wisdom with one another. Please join us in celebrating our Seventh Principle together at the start of our 2019 gardening year!
Pat Lucey is an organic gardener who regularly teaches gardening workshops for Canadian Organic Growers, and at other special events such as local Seedy Saturdays, and Transition Cornwall’s “Incredible Edibles” garden festival.