Adult Religious Education: Current Offerings

Workshop: “Body-based Practices for Building Community”

In early December, First Unitarian member Kathryn Fearnside, and community member Mindy Grossberg held a gathering called Preparing the Ground, a 2-hour workshop focused on body based practices that help nurture community. Through embodiment and improv exercises we explored grounding, resourcing, and connecting, and what happens within our bodies and nervous systems as we seek to work together toward a more just and loving world.

Now, we invite you to continue this inquiry through a four-part series focused on deepening our understanding of the major principles and benefits of embodied practices- including improvisation and play-and its role in creating connectivity, safety and spaciousness in our individual and collective nervous system. Our hope is to explore body-based practices that offer a more grounded, playful and bottom-up approach to our work in community. To register, email Rev. Bob at blavallee@uuabq.org.

Dates are: February 6 and 20, and March 6 and 13, 2 pm to 5 pm

About the Facilitators:

After receiving a BA in Religious Studies from UC Berkeley, Kathryn Fearnside worked in community health promotion across the southwest, including leading wilderness therapy programs, managing women’s health clinics, and practicing and teaching massage and natural therapeutics. She received a BS in nursing from the University of New Mexico in 2009, eventually becoming certified in health coaching and diabetes care and education. She currently teaches physiology to massage students, runs a holistic nursing practice, and is a student and teacher of various forms of embodied meditation and movement practice including dance, yoga, qi gong, Breema Bodywork, Action Theater, and The Embodied Presence Process.

For over twenty years, Mindy Grossberg combined her commitment to improvisation and play, community building and collaborative art-making to guide her socially-engaged work in community-based art studio. Currently, Mindy is co-facilitating mindfulness based skills to support individuals struggling with emotional dysregulation and teaching Action Theater, a body based form of physical improvisation. Her recent inquiry sits at the intersection of creativity, physical improvisation and the nervous system and its role in dismantling both internal and external barriers that keep us separated from ourselves and one another. This exploration is especially rich when it is playful and informed by the body.

From June of 2020 through June of 2021, Kathryn and Mindy facilitated a year long anti-racist study and practice group centered on the book My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem. Mindy and Kathryn continue to collaborate in processing their own racialized trauma. They have brought their years of experience in community health settings and studying and teaching embodiment practices to their community to help support others to do the painful, difficult work of healing racialized trauma.

Sunday Explorations

Bring your tea or coffee and join us at 10:00 on Sundays!
Meeting ID: 842 4289 2753/Passcode: 041625

Our February theme is “Widening the Circle.”
February 6: Adapting to Change.
Widening the Circle includes engaging with perspectives, cultures, philosophies, and the people who express them. What is your response when these different ways of being confront you? Albert Einstein wrote: “Our task must be to free ourselves … by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” We will consider excerpts of Einstein’s writings on this topic.
Angela Merkert, facilitator.

February 13: Affirming Differences.
Desmond Tutu said, “Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.” What is required of us to practice this realization? How does Unitarian Universalism support our practice?
Angela Merkert, facilitator.

February 20: Living in Community; Defining Our Communities.
Parker Palmer says that “In a true community we will not choose our companions,…our companions will be given to us by grace.” How wide is the circle of your community and how has it widened and/or narrowed over the years? Let’s consider the social influences that influenced your selection of community(ies) to engage.
Angela Merkert, facilitator.

February 27: “Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age.”
This book by Sanjay Gupta, MD, a neurosurgeon and commentator on CNN, will be our excellent book for the next series of classes.“Whether you’re concerned about memory loss or want to boost your mental acuity, this book presents the latest science in accessible language.”
Ron Friederich, MD, facilitator.