The Mill Creek Adult Religious Exploration Program exists to awaken us to the power of love by using the richness of stories to encourage one another in an ongoing process of spiritual growth.
Faith Like A River
Do you love history? Unitarian Universalism has a long history that shapes our current identity. History is often viewed as a linear progression where events follow events and actions occur in reaction. But history is not straightforward. This program guides you to explore the dynamic course of Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist history—the people, ideas, and movements that have shaped our faith heritage.
This series will be divided into 5 four-part sections to be held over the course of the year, with three in the spring and two in the fall. Topics include UU Identity, Diverse Community, Institutionalism, Freedom of Belief, and Prophets and Social Justice.
The introductory session will be held at the beginning of each section. This is a drop-in discussion held Sundays from 9-10:15 am. No registration or commitment is necessary. Facilitators will rotate.
Section One: UU Identity (Reason as a Religious Source, Covenant, Polity) January 28-February 18
Section Two: Diverse Community (Religious Tolerance, Globalization, Multiculturalism) April 8-April 29
Section Three: Institutionalism (Unitarianism, Universalism, Consolidation) May 13- June 10
For more information, contact Karen Rege at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Waking Up White
As James Baldwin says, “If I love you, I have to make you conscious of things you don’t see.” This is one of the ways we awaken to love. Waking Up White is a four-week workshop to be held all the Sundays in March from 12:00pm-2:00pm. In the series, we will explore our experience of growing up white and entering into a society where the privilege and experience of being white is part of a story of being only partly awake. This will be a deep and challenging workshop, but will be framed by reflections on our common read of Debby Irving’s book, Waking Up White.
We will provide a simple lunch for you in conjunction with the workshop. For our first session on March 4, please let Mary know so she can provide adequate food. Also, you will need to have read chapters one and two. These are short and very readable, but will provide the basis for our conversations.
The workshop will be facilitated by Mary Higgins. Attendance at all four sessions is requested so we can build a community of confidence and depth. If you have questions, please contact Mary at email@example.com.
Shared Pulpit Workshop
You have a story. Each of our stories is part of a larger narrative of being human in this world, in this time. One of the most powerful spiritual practices we have is in the sharing of our stories and reflecting on the ways those stories awaken us to love, illuminate our humanity, connect us to the holy and ineffable — and common — experience of life.
We invite you to join Rev. Greg for a Shared Pulpit Workshop, which will guide you in developing your story into a sermon and worship experience that you may share with the congregation.
Using a series of small group meetings, this program aims to deepen connection and trust among you — the seeking minds and caring hearts of Mill Creek. The workshop contains advice, tools, and a process designed to equip you to be even more skilled, confident leaders (because anyone brave and curious enough to share their journey publicly with a congregation is, in fact, a leader). Along the way, you’ll discover your authentic voice by writing a sermon to deliver to the congregation.
This program is pulpit-and-pew tested, producing dozens of graduates who report that it transformed their relationship to their congregation and to Unitarian Universalism. As a participant, you don’t need to think of yourself as a writer. You don’t have to know what you want to say. You don’t even need to be a visible leader in your congregation. As you and five to seven others navigate your way through the eight sessions — under the guidance of Rev. Greg — you are invited to do three things:
#1 Commit your time and energy to the program — including doing the required writing between sessions.
#2 Create and uphold a group covenant so that those in your group can risk being vulnerable
#3 Trust that the first two steps will reveal your voice and truth.
The workshop will meet on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Tentative dates are March 3, March 17, March 31, April 14, April 28, May 12, June 2, June 9.
World Religions Through Their Scripture – Part One: Religious Literacy
Join us for an experiment in connection as we begin a multi-part series on world religions. This introductory session will help you learn tools to better understand how religions function in human affairs and to interact constructively with peers from diverse religions, worldviews, regions of the world, experiences, and perspectives. The new format offers a combination of a free four-week course online with Diane Moore, director of the Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School, and an in-person discussion with members of the Mill Creek team at a local coffee shop.
Dates will be mid-March through early April. Times to be determined by participants. Details are forthcoming as they become available.
If you are interested in participating, please contact either Rev. Greg (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Karen Rege (email@example.com) by February 28th so we can provide you with a link to registration for the online course.
Listening to Our Lives
This class is designed for those who wish to engage seriously and open-heartedly with the perennial religious topics such as: inspiration, God, community, suffering, death, spiritual practice, living our gifts, and salvation. Rev. Greg will lead the group meeting on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 – 9:00 pm beginning February 21 through April 18. Enrollment is limited to a minimum of 8, maximum of 12 participants who commit to attending all nine sessions.
Please contact Rev. Greg to sign up, or if you have questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read what past attendees have said about this class:
“I signed up for the Listening to our Lives class to do something about the creeping emptiness of retirement and the loss of a clear purpose which my mother’s care provided. The class created a safe and trusting space for me to listen to my inner voice, in the quietness of a beloved community. It was designed to slip us into deeper inner work with the help of carefully selected readings, homework and class discussions. I still reach out to the class notes I made and the reading materials as I continue this very rewarding work.”
“Attending this class has been the most impactful thing I’ve done since joining UUSMC 25+ years ago. The self-reflection, discussion, and sharing within our group has helped me progress in leaps and bounds on my spiritual journey. I have a deeper sense of the “why” of church for me and a beloved community which I cherish.”
Theology Through the Lens
Join Rev. Greg for a seven-part course that explores traditional theological categories through photographic assignments and reflections. Based on a curriculum developed by Rev. Laurie Stuart, we will use Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker’s works, “Under Construction: Knowing and Transforming Our Unitarian Universalist Theological House” and “A House for Hope” to ground ourselves in the theological claims of Unitarian Universalism.
But the real work of this course is to creatively connect heady theology with photographic imagery. For example, what does soteriology look like in our everyday life? To answer that, we have to know what soteriology references, and then creatively think about how that idea manifests in our world. Dr. Parker uses the metaphor of a house, so we will prompt participants to capture images that illustrate what we think of as our theological foundation, our church, our salvation, our theology of where we come from and where we are going, how we are called to embrace our neighbors and how we speak about our sense of the elemental forces that permeate our lives.
You do not need to consider yourself a photographer, or even particularly creative to participate. You need not consider yourself a theologian to participate. All that is required is a curious, adventurous heart and something to take photographs with.
Dates for the class are still being worked out, but we expect to begin in mid-April. Contact Rev. Greg if you’re interested, email@example.com.