Spirit in Practice: A Conversation at Eliot Chapel


Inquirer Series  
Begins Monday, March 8
7:00 – 8:00 pm via Zoom 
If you are new to Eliot Chapel, new to Unitarian Universalism, or wanting to deepen your understanding of Unitarian Universalism, this is the class for you. This 3-part series, held Mondays beginning March 8, includes sessions on Unitarian Universalist history and theology, UU religious education and spiritual development, how we worship, take care of each other and serve our community, and what it means to be a member of this congregation. All sessions will be held on Zoom. Sign up here or on Realm now!
Adult RE: Spirit in Practice
Shortly after the COVID-19 lockdown began, Eliot’s Adult Education: Spirit in Practice Team developed a continuing series of Zoom offerings to provide opportunities to engage with others in our church community with a focus on spiritual practices. 

Eliot Connects: Rohr
Second & fourth Wednesdays 
4:00 to 5:15 pm
Our group  has met twice a month since May to discuss our various spiritual truths in response to reading The Universal Christ by Father Richard Rohr, a Franciscan Priest.  The group strives to create a safe space for each of us to grow. We share, raise questions, and support each other. We have decided to go forward with each member taking a turn in providing a reading or other piece of media as a jumping off point for discussion that week.  The emphasis is on how to make the spiritual applicable in our everyday lives. "Humor is seeing the irony in life," (Deepak Chopra).  We do laugh! If you’d like to join us please contact one of us: Karen Beargie, Karen Gender, Dan Dreyfus, Peter Wilson.  

Eliot Connects: Meditation Practice with Jeanne Kloeckner
1st Wednesdays
7 to 8:30 pm
This drop-in session will promote creating and holding space for the quiet stillness within as a form of self-care during our ‘safer-at-home’ time. We will share a centering topic each week that will provide a foundational base for our meditation practice and our discussion. Sign up to receive the group login information.
Eliot Connects: You’ve Got A Friend with Mary Meihaus  
This drop-in session will promote the premise of Carole King’s song, “You’ve Got A Friend.” Mary has chosen a centering topic each week that will purpose our discussion and help us get through these troubled times. Together, we will come out of the other end of this better for the journey. Drop in and join Eliot friends for an uplifting discussion. Sign up to receive the group login information.
Nature: Reverence & Reason 
Begins Wednesday, November 18
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Nature writers, and scientists in their popular writings, often speak of their subjects with awe, wonder, fascination, gratitude, and reverence, emotions typically associated with religions. Understandings of the Big Bang, the quantum realm, and evolution have enhanced nature-centered spiritualities and “respect for the interdependent web of existence” (the UU 7th Principle). This series of six sessions will explore the new scientific story of creation in the context of religious naturalism, a fruitful set of practices and principles compatible with the diverse worldviews found at Eliot Chapel. The sessions will be facilitated by Ted Lau, long-time UU, physics degree holder, and group facilitator on the Adult Spirituality Task Force. Sessions will be via Zoom on Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30 pm beginning November 18. See below for what each session will cover. Sign-up is closed for this offering. 
Session/Date Topic Description 
(each session includes an opening, reflection sharing round, and closing)
1: 11/18/2020

Creation / Big Bang

Science: how the observable universe came to be.  Source of the atoms in our bodies.

Deepening: Star stuff guided meditation.  

Ritual: Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address.

2: 12/2/2020 Evolution of Life

Science: emergence, levels of organization, information loops. 

Deepening: Experiences with evolutionary memory (Jean Houston).   

Hymn: There is Grandeur

3: 12/16/2020 Religious Naturalism

Religion: The Great Story as a scientific creation story; naturalism as a religion. 

Religious emotions, language of reverence.  

Hymn: Blue Boat Home

4: 1/3/2021 The Quantum Realm

Science: how the quantum realm differs from everyday experience, Newton’s universe

Deepening: Quantum realm guided meditation (Alan Lightman)

Ritual: Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address.

5:1/27/2021 Some Limit Questions

Science – philosophy – religion: Why is the universe so finely-tuned to sentient life (the Anthropic Principle)? Why are the laws of nature transparent to human reason?

6: 2/10/2021 Recap, Parking Lot Items, Next Steps

Reflection on, and celebration of, our journey together. 



Setting Ourselves Up to Flourish
Using the practice of mindfulness to capitalize on our individual character strengths
Thursdays, January 14 – February 25, 7:00-8:30 pm
In this seven-week class, we will grow our understanding of the synergy between mindfulness and character strengths by focusing on ways to cultivate our personal signature strengths, and ways to promote connection with and use of a strength-based perspective to assist ourselves to flourish as we open the new year. Class size is limited; please check your schedule assuring your ability to attend prior to registering.
Prior to the first class, please take the free online character strength survey at VIA institute on Character: www.viacharacter.org/survey/account/register. Print your character strength profile and bring to the first class, or if printing isn’t possible, write down your signature strengths (your top five).
Sign up on Realm today.
Eliot Chapel member Jeanne Kloeckner is an occupational therapist, mindfulness
instructor, and yoga teacher in private practice (jeannekloeckner.com).