Adult RE – Fall 2018

Fall Adult RE Schedule

These classes will be held on Sunday morning’s beginning at 9:00 am in the Board Room.

September 16: Reason and Happiness

Many have come to Unitarian Universalism feeling that the religion of their youth never quite captured their heart or their mind.  They enthusiastically embrace UU’s focus on rationality, science, and questioning.  For some UUs intellectual doubts about traditional religious beliefs have resulted in a deep sense of loss.  But reason and science raise questions and challenges not just for traditional religions.  Is reason a help or a hindrance to finding happiness and joy in life?  Does the search for truth conflict with the search for meaning?  How do we find a balance for our need to be rational and our deep desire to lead happy, meaningful, and fulfilling lives? Keith Bittinger will lead the discussion.



September 30: Atheism and the Meaning of Life

For the atheist, there is no supernatural or transcendent realm that imbues reality with inherent worth and meaning.  All that exists is the universe, which is made up of matter and is governed by natural laws.  Life itself consists solely of matter and has arisen through natural, impersonal processes.  Given this view of reality, do our lives have meaning?  In this class we’ll discuss various ways in which atheists think our lives do indeed have meaning. Keith Bittinger will lead the discussion.

October 14:  Religion as Virus

On the individual level, a religion is a set of interlocking memes that occupies a person’s mind space and behaves like a virus infection. It enters into the mind from outside, from another “infected” human or video or printed matter. It has been evolving for thousands of years, in the minds of those it “infected” before, slowly becoming very, very good at reproducing itself. We will talk about how people choose, or don’t choose, the ideas they permit to reside in their mind space. Joseph Osborne will lead the discussion.

October 28: The Church of Reality and Michael Dowd

Michael Dowd is an itinerant preacher who travels the US with his wife, science writer Connie Barlow, preaching reality based religion.  Their creation story is Big History, starting at the Big Bang. Their scripture is Evidence, the best available, about what actually is. Their Theology is Ecology: the only responsible way to live is to take loving care of the Earth. Their church is the Church of Reality, a website. We will explore this movement. Joseph Osborne will lead the discussion.

November 11: Reincarnation

In this class we will review the evidence for reincarnation that comes from the hundreds of documented cases of young children who have spontaneous detailed memories of past lives, especially from children born with birth marks or birth defects that correspond to wounds or injuries purported to have been suffered by the previous personality. We will also look at the use of past life therapy to resolve deep psychiatric problems that are resistant to more conventional treatment. Don Hoffman will lead the discussion.





November 25: Christian Origins Revisited

Was Jesus an historical figure whose life was later mythologized, or was he a mythological figure whose life was later historicized? In this class we will continue our exploration of this question by looking at the letters of Paul and at the 333 Old Testament “prophesies” that were allegedly fulfilled in the life of Jesus. Don Hoffman will lead the discussion.

December 9 and December 23: A Matter of Faith and Belief

For our two meetings in December our discussions will highlight two books: Emmanuel Carrere’s The Kingdom and Bart Ehrman’s TheTriumph of Christianity. However, reading these books is not a prerequisite for attending the classes and participating in the discussions. With the help of these recent works we will survey the New Testament writings of Paul and Luke and the early growth and development of Christianity. Both Carrere and Ehrman started as Christians, but now consider themselves agnostic, and yet both are still fascinated by the Christian story.  With the help of these two authors we will take a new look at this most interesting and fascinating story that has affected and continues to affect so many. Rich Bronakoski will lead the discussions.


And…New this Year in Adult RE:

The Long Strange Trip   Rev. Kathy Ellis will lead this six session DVD Unitarian,  Universalist and Unitarian Universalist history series.  How did we get here? Ground your Unitarian Universalism with knowledge of our past.  We’ll watch a film and talk about it.  Attend one or all six. Bring snacks to share if you like. Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 in the Board Room.   Contact Emily Crutcher if you require childcare.

September 25             In the Beginning

October 9                  The Birth of Unitarianism

October 23                 American Unitarianism

November 6               Universalism

November 20             Evolution

December 4               The Hundred Year Waltz






Listening to Our Lives  Rev. Kathy Ellis will lead this nine session adult spiritual development group. This small group is all about the perennial religious topics. Participants will grow in spirit and fellowship through focusing on questions about Inspiration, God, Community, Suffering and Death, Cultivating a Spiritual Practice, and Living our Gifts. We will meet on Wednesday evenings: September 26, October 3, 17, 24, November 7, 4, 28 and December 5 and 12.  Please register with Pam in the office or 717/249-8944. This is a small group limited to 12 people and attendance at all sessions is important.  Contact Emily Crutcher if you require childcare.  Questions? Ask Kathy. 717-385-5432.

Ingathering                                Course Overview          September 26

& Introduction


Hearing the Call                        Inspiration                    October 3


What I Have Been Given,

What I Have to Give                   Gifts                             October 17


The Gate Opens to the Path        Choosing a                   October 24

                                                  Spiritual Practice                                       


The Shelter of Each Other          Beloved Community     November  7

The Problem of Pain                  Suffering                      November 14


At the Close of the Day               Death                           November  28


The Name Beyond All Names      God                             December 5


Making Wide the Way                Salvation                      December 12

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