Our Mission

We offer opportunities for members and friends to explore and to grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, to learn from and to strengthen their connection with each other and the world.


Through our ASD program, we offer a variety of classes, small group ministries, meditation, meaningful movies, discussions, and  events designed to support and enhance the life-long spiritual exploration of our members.  Our offerings encourage participants to open their minds and hearts to new understandings, to share their diverse experiences with one another, and to engage in compassionate action outside of the congregation.  We invite you to join us in the pursuit of our congregational mission: To inspire joy and justice in an imperfect world. 

Teens and Young Adults are most welcome to join any of our programs. We all benefit from interaction across the generations.

In the past we have offered programs and discussion around many topics such as:

  • Aging in Wisdom and Grace
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Memoir Writing as Spiritual Practice
  • Writing One’s Ethical Will
  • Deep Listening 
  • Conversations that Promote Peace
  • Systemic Injustice 
  • Theology in Our Everyday Lives 

Watch this space and the weekly newsletter for updates and new offerings as they come online!

Have an idea for an offering?  Please share your idea with asd@uumarin.org


Spring / Summer 2024


UU Marin Common Read Summer 2024

This is the cover of the book entitled Compassionate Converestions.

The Adult Spiritual Development Team is offering an opportunity for a shared experience to our UU church community.  After discussion and consultation with the Healthy Congregations Team and our Social Justice Team, we have decided upon a book, Compassionate Conversations. 

We invite you to read the book over the summer and then join in discussions we will offer in September about the book and to discuss how we might embrace deeper, harder conversations about important topics that can help us move forward together.

As we grow and learn together as a UU community, we often discover that our different life experiences have led us to different world views and different opinions at times. How do we hold our own truths while also opening ourselves to greater understanding and connection?  We all know that it takes work. The book offers some practical suggestions and can help us engage in those difficult conversations, which we might otherwise choose to avoid.  Some leaders tell us that change and growth will necessarily involve conflict. How can we be better at conflict?  How can we engage in healthy conflict?  This book offers some practical suggestions that can serve as a starting point.

The book is available at the UUA bookstore here.  It is also available on Amazon here  in paperback, Kindle, and in Audible.  Kindle apps are available on most mobile devices and your computer if you’d prefer to read the book in that format. Currently the book is offered at a cheaper price on Amazon, equivalent to a bulk order at the UUA bookstore.  That might change. We would like for everyone to be able to read this book regardless of cost.  We will make some books available for free or reduced cost.

If you want ASD to order a book for you, please email us at asd@uumarin.org by June 2 at the Congregational Meeting.   Please put Common Read in the title of the email.


Summertime Meaningful Movie Series

Third Fridays at 6 pm

Some of you may know that our own Rich Panter is a former documentary filmmaker.  You may have seen his documentary, Divining the Divine at our retreat! He has produced several award-winning films. This summer, we welcome Rich and three of his documentaries at UU Marin.  We will be following the format of our other Meaningful Movies, offering popcorn and drinks at 6 pm, starting the movie at 6:30, and offering a discussion and Q and A after each film. 

Join us on Friday, June 21st at 6 pm for

The Snowbird Cherokees

This film by Rich Panter explores the daily lives and culture of the Native-American community of Cherokees in western North Carolina, while looking into their history as they managed to avoid the 1838 forced march of the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma. Some awards this documentary has received include:  Best of Show/1st Place, and Best Documentary produced by a Non-Indian,  American Indian Film & Video Competition, Red Earth Festival, Oklahoma City, OK.


Meditation

We have two meditation groups, one that meets online each Tuesday afternoon and one that meets in person each Saturday morning in the Clara Barton Room.

shoreline of a large lake

Still Waters is an ongoing, silent worship/meditation group held on Tuesdays from 4:15-5:00 pm on Zoom.  Each Zoom gathering provides opportunities for silent meditation, quiet reflection, and sharing. A poem or religious text is read, followed by 15 minutes of silence. We then have an opportunity to voice any insights. Rinse and repeat for the second half! For more information contact stillwaters@uumarin.org  

Still Waters Zoom link: 
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86538666898
Meeting ID: 865 3866 6898       
Phone: 669 444 9171

cutout of a person in a meditative position inside a lotus blossom circle

Spirit Journey We meet in person each Saturday morning. Our approach is eclectic utilizing various practices from Buddhism, Hinduism, Mystical Christianity and more. If you are interested in learning to meditate or already have a practice and would like to meditate in a group, please join us. We will include your ideas in our practice. We often start our meditations with singing bowls, bells and a gong. We occasionally start with a guided meditation as well.
Shared facilitation; Contact Pamela Vantress and Kate Hudson at asd@uumarin.org with any questions or to sign up.

We meet each Saturday at 10:00 AM in the Clara Barton room.


Small Group Ministries – Winter 2024

Small-group ministry is intentional, lay-led small groups that deepen and expand the ministry of a congregation. Two key focuses are Intimacy, or building community and deepening relationships, and ultimacy, or the opportunity for deeper spiritual exploration and search for meaning.

—From the UUA

paper dolls holding hands in a circle



The Newcomers Circle of Trust is for members and friends who have recently begun attending or just joined. This group will meet twice a month for 3 months to discuss themes related to why and how we participate in a religious community. It will follow a Circle of Trust model developed by the Quaker, Parker Palmer, in which deep listening is practiced, and no attempt is made to advise or fix one another.

Facilitator: Dave Hudson; Contact nmcot@uumarin.org with questions or to sign up. 
Dates and times: 2nd and 4th Sundays, from January 14th- March 28th 12:15 – 1:30; Childcare will be provided.


Classes – Spring 2024

Memoir Writing as Spiritual Practice In six consecutive weekly gatherings, we will take time to notice and celebrate the magic in our lives. We will dare to reach deep within, to touch – gently, respectfully, thoughtfully – a lived experience – to travel deep into its emotional core, and, with whatever words arrive, to bring back to life that one magical moment in time. Some remembered moments will bring laughter, some, tears. Some will spring back to life eagerly; some may need to be coaxed back into the light. You will marvel at your courage, and smile at your folly. And you will come to see more clearly how the warp and weft of your lived moments have woven and continue to weave together the colors and the textures of your one unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable, precious life. Learn more about this class here.

Facilitator: Ann Carden. This class has begun. Contact soulmatters_th@uumarin.org with any questions.


Continuing Small Ministry Groups for 23-24

Some may still have space. Use contact info to learn more:

Soul Matters is a theme-based, facilitated, small-group ministry. 8-10 participants commit to meeting monthly for 10 months to develop stronger connections with each other and engage in deep listening to their inner voice and to one another. Packets are provided each month to all participants allowing for exploration into a spiritual theme such as forgiveness. Learn more here. New Groups formed in September. Three groups are forming this fall. All groups that have space will welcome new participants midstream.

First Thursdays, 7:30-9:00 facilitated by Ann Carden on Zoom. Contact soulmatters_th@uumarin.org

Fourth Wednesdays, 1:00-3:00 facilitated by Janice Prochaska in person. Contact soulmatters_w@uumarin.org

Fourth Fridays, at 10:00 facilitated by Joan Smith on Zoom. Contact soulmatters_f@uumarin.org


colorful polished rocks on a sandy beach

The Small Group Ministry is a covenantal group that meets monthly for 9 months. Participants are limited to 7 members, have committed to attending each and every meeting, and to develop their covenant together in the first and second sessions.  All participants have the opportunity to share their perspectives, tell their stories, and engage in deep listening.  Complete confidentiality is  held.  This group began meeting in November 2023.  
Facilitator: Jim Harrison; Contact sgm@uumarin.org


Classes, Fall 2023

These classes have ended

Foundations of Unitarian Universalism is a three-week class that explores the history of our heretical faith. We’ll trace our roots in radical protestant Christianity through the revolutionary era of Transcendentalism and the 20th-century arc of Humanism… to our pluralistic and multi-cultural present. This class is a great way to really explore and define your Unitarian Universalist identity and place YOUR personal spiritual journey in the context of centuries worth of seekers, iconoclasts, and revolutionaries. You won’t want to miss this! October 22nd, Nov. 5th, Nov. 19th, 5:30 – 7 pm, potluck dinner and drinks.

Facilitator: Rev. Cory Wells Lovell; Contact revcory@uumarin.org


Global Spiritual Evolution is a class focused on the evolution of world religions. John Young, UU Marin member and retired UU Minister will be leading a course based on his book, Nurture Your Spiritual Path: Exploring the Rainbow of Belief. You may purchase the book at Amazon Books (paperback for $14 or Kindle for $10), and our Adult Spiritual Development Team will also have several copies on sale on October 1 during the Committee Fair for $14. His only requirement for attendance is to read the chapters covered in advance of the sessions attended since questions and discussion will be a major part of each class.

Facilitator: Rev. John Young; Contact: asd@uumarin.org
Noon to 1:30 pm Sundays


Meaningful Movies 23-24

drawing of a bag of popcorn and a movie reel

We show movies in the Fireside Room four times a year.. Some movies have been full-length feature films and some are documentaries. We hope these showings can be both fun, social events, and also  provocative ones that send you away thinking, and learning, perhaps even considering actions to take.  We serve popcorn and drinks beforehand and offer time for discussion afterward.  Join us!


In April 2024, we showed SEEKING ASYLUM, an award-winning feature documentary that bears witness to the endless deterrents migrants face when petitioning for asylum in the United States. After the movie we offered a special feature: representatives from Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) joined us to share the difficulties that undocumented youth face right here in Marin!  

February 2024 We showed the full-length feature film from
2019, Dark Waters, with Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway and
Tim Robbins about a corporate environmental defense attorney
(Mark Ruffalo) who risks his career and his family when he
takes action against the powerful chemical corporation, which
is hiding a dark secret. Based on a True Story.

November 2023: We showed Coming Home; The Making of Little Bird. In honor of Native American Heritage Month and to recognize our new Land Acknowledgement for the Coast Miwok People, we showed this documentary about the making of the PBS series, Little Bird, that concerns the removal of indigenous children from their families in Saskatchewan.  This also occurred in Northern California.

July 2023: We showed Just Mercy, a feature-length film based on the memoir by Bryan Stevenson, about his life as a Harvard-trained lawyer seeking justice in Alabama. 


Conversations

 A Gender Conversation Does the use of pronouns confound you? Do you wonder what all the letters LGBTQIA++ stand for? What’s the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity? Has your child told you they do not identify as a boy or a girl?  Join us in Fellowship Hall on Sunday, January 21, 2024, 2:00-4:00 pm, for a safe conversation about all these topics and those that are pressing on you.

Facilitator: Lolma Olson, a friend of TransHeartline. Come with an open mind and heart. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Need Childcare? Contact Kate Hudson at  asd@uumarin.org


Coming Attractions — Fall 2024

ONGO: Returning in early fall 2024 will be an offering that is both a “class” and a small group ministry in which the facilitation is shared by willing participants. The group will meet for 12 sessions weekly or biweekly and learn to practice deep listening and embody peaceful nonviolence through mindfulness meditation, forgiveness, gratitude, journaling, and Non-Violent Communication (NVC) practices. A manual provides ample guidance and support and can be ordered online. (If cost is a concern, we have a few extra copies.) Participants commit to attend ten of twelve sessions. Learn more about Ongo here.

Contact asd@uumarin.org with questions or to let us know of your interest.