First Unitarian Society in Newton

Adult Religious Education

Adult Religious Education


Adult Religious Education Addresses the Spirit, Heart, and Mind.

The mission of the Society’s Adult Religious Education program is to support adults in their spiritual journeys through a variety of programs and experiences that address the spirit, the heart, and the mind. In our liberal religious tradition, life-long learning is critical both to spiritual and intellectual development and to social action. Review course offerings for spring 2011.

Offerings Change with the Interests of the Society.

Following a tradition of openness, the adult program welcomes change and embraces diversity. The curriculum varies from year to year, responding to shifting needs in the Society community, the Unitarian Universalist denomination, and the world at large. Offerings fall into four distinct, yet overlapping, categories that capture/reflect the mission here at FUSN. Except for some workshops presented by guest leaders, all activities are free.

  • Liberal Religious Traditions: These courses help congregants gain a deeper understanding of liberal religious traditions as manifested in history and shared religious practice. These courses and activities help participants answer questions of identity: Who are we? How have we come to be who we are? What is our story? What do we stand for?
  • Faith and Doubt: Theology and World Religions: These courses and activities explore other faiths—their histories and evolutions, their tenets and texts, their practices and rituals. The crucial questions in this area are about religious neighbors and shared history: Who are our neighbors? What can we learn from them? How can we remain connected to them? Who are we? What is our history? Our future?
  • Faith and Practice: Social Justice and Social Action: These activities help participants understand how change and healing can happen and how they can be agents of change. Workshops address the questions: How can I help? How can I alleviate pain and suffering? How can I make the world a safer and more just place? How can I advocate for systemic change, for change that transforms the world? How must I change my life?
  • Spiritual Practice and the Inner Life: These are introductions to or supports for forms of spiritual practice—prayer, meditation, reflection, compassion, peaceableness, charity, mindfulness, and the disciplines of the arts (music, movement, poetry, etc.) These practices address questions like: How can I be in the world? How do I experience the world? How can I worship? How must I listen? How can I best express my experience of the world?

Offerings Fit Adults’ Varied Schedules and Levels of Interest.

Time: Weekday evenings at 7:30 PM have been the times of choice. There are some daytime activities, Sunday activities before and after the worship service, and some day-long workshops, usually on Saturdays.

Size: Workshops vary in size depending on content, format, and the specifications of the teachers or facilitators. Most run from 5 to 15 people. Some have size limits; others have none.

Format of Offerings: Different class formats and expectations allow participants to match their available time and level of interest and commitment.

Teachers and Facilitators: Teachers include staff members and guests who have some special expertise, but the majority are volunteer members of FUSN. Their expertise, knowledge, talents, and gracious labor are a great gift, a blessing to all.

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