Get to Know Us at a Welcome Class!

Would you like to sit down and talk with church leaders and newcomers to learn more about our congregation and ask questions? Are you familiar with our community but want to get more involved? Are you considering membership at our church? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," consider taking a Welcome or Membership class. Sign up at the Activities Table during Sunday morning coffee hours (after each worship service), or contact the church office.

Welcome and Membership Classes

Welcome to Unitarian Universalism covers a brief history of our faith and the non-creedal tradition. If there isn’t a creed, what do we believe? Whether you’re new to Unitarian Universalism or a longtime member, you are welcome to attend this UU overview.

Sunday, May 3, 2015, 2:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 2, 2015, 11:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Exploring UUCGL provides a deeper understanding of our particular UU congregation with an opportunity to get to know others exploring our faith as well as leaders in several areas of congregational life. The Membership Committee facilitates conversations with staff and some committee and group leaders. This class will start you thinking about your own faith journey, talents, and interests while presenting opportunities for involvement at UUCGL and explaining how the congregation conducts business and makes decisions. This class is perfect for those who have taken the Welcome class and for Unitarian Universalists who come from another church and want to learn about UUCGL.

Tuesdays, June 2 and 9, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Taking the Leap is for those who have decided to commit to UUCGL as members. Our Senior Minister, the Rev. Kathryn Bert, will lead discussion and ceremony as new members join the church in covenant. If you haven't taken the Welcome and Exploring classes, please speak to Rev. Kathryn before registering.

Thursday, April 16, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 16, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Religious Education for Children and Families

Registration is now open for Chalice Seekers Day Camp, June 15 - 19, for 1st - 6th graders. Use the links below to find out more and register.

It's also time for families to buy their tickets for this year's Passover Seder on Saturday, April 4. Please make your reservations by Wednesday, April 1.

Sunday Religious Education Sessions

Religious Education (RE) registration forms are available here and at the church. Annual registration is required for participation in RE.

Infant/Toddler Childcare: 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
(10:00 - 11:30 a.m. for single services)

A child may have her or his first church experience here. The nursery is staffed by paid providers and is a warm and welcoming place. We hope each child develops a sense of belonging.

Preschool (9:15 service only)

Our preschool program is drawn from classic UU curricula. It provides children with opportunities to grow in their sense of trust and caring and to develop a self-identity and a sense of connectedness with all of life. They learn about our congregation and religious tradition as they discover and express their own uniqueness.

Kindergarten - 6th Grade (both services)

Elementary-aged children experience workshop rotations. Based on the theory that learning occurs in different ways, children participate in a variety of workshops that relate to our churchwide monthly themes. Each theme is explored through art, games, drama, science, video, nature, music, storytelling, cooking, or language arts.

In April, we’ll have two workshops on salvation. In the popular culture, some people believe that Jesus brought salvation to humankind. As Unitarian Universalists, we believe that could be one way to view Jesus of Nazareth but not the only way. In “The Life and Lessons of Jesus,” we’ll hear the story of Jesus from a Unitarian Universalist perspective and consider his lessons of love, kindness, and forgiveness. We’ll also consider our 7th Principle, respect for the interdependent web of all existence and that caring for the Earth is as an act of justice and goodness.

The Kindergarten - 6th grade Social Action fundraisers for this year were a big success! The children learned about the Esther Coalition and children with disabilities while they made many individual pizzas and organized for the rummage sale. Many thanks to the children and all the parents and adults who contributed pizza ingredients and to those who brought in gently used things for the rummage sale. We couldn't have done it without your help!

Middle School - High School (11:15 service only)

This year, our 7th and 8th graders experience the Coming of Age program, marking the transition from childhood to youth. We have sixteen amazing youth participating this year. Our gracious and generous facilitators are Michael Daeschlein, Matt Jason, Gretchen McClellan-VanArsdale, and Marge Weldon. Mindy Wilson is serving as the communications person. These volunteers will spend ample time and energy in guiding these youth in the next leg of their formation of becoming Unitarian Universalists. Thank you!

On alternating years, 7th and 8th graders gain the knowledge, values, and skills to lead sexually healthy and responsible lives with the help of Our Whole Lives (OWL), a comprehensive sexuality education program. Contact Teresa Putnam, Director of Lifespan Faith Development, for more information. To maintain a trusting environment, class is closed after the first few sessions. For newcomers, the religious educator will happily find another area of the church where youth can participate.

The high school youth engage throughout each year in learning experiences, worship, community building, social action projects for both the church and the larger community, and fun. They create a much-anticipated worship service each year with the leadership of the Teens on the Committee of UU Leadership (ToCUUL). This year, the youth presented Three Little Birds, a celebration of optimism, at both services on March 15.

Classes and Workshops for Adults+

There are many opportunities to renew your creativity, mind, and body at UUCGL. Teachers and facilitators include members of the congregation as well as members of the larger community, and everyone is welcome to sign up. The activities listed below are suitable for adults as well as interested youth, unless otherwise noted.

The Tao and Everyday Life
First Saturdays, 11:00 a.m.
(drop-ins welcome)

For four weeks earlier this year, a group of folks met to explore the Tao Te Ching. We discussed some of the brief chapters in the Tao and how its meaning can influence our life perspective. It was such fun that the group is continuing. Anyone is welcome to join or drop in to The Tao and Everyday Life, a discussion group for those interested in exploring the Tao Te Ching and allowing it to inform your daily life. Bring any translation of the book, or download a free version from the internet. Contact Teresa Putnam with questions.

American Sign Language Self-Study 
Thursdays, March 19 - May 28, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
(drop-ins welcome)

A basic knowledge of ASL is required for this class. This will be a class-led study group with an ASL student interpreter available to help and guide. The goal of this class is to increase ASL vocabulary and grammar skills.

Basic Sign 
Thursdays, April 2 - May 28, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
ASL student interpreter teacher

This class will learn the ASL Alphabet, basic iconic signs, and basic ASL communication skills.

The Axial Age: When the Gods Grew Up
Wednesdays, April 8 - 29, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Mark Reimers
book purchase required: The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong

From about 1200 BCE to 400 BCE, new technologies, social arrangements, and global trade brought upheaval to the traditional societies of southern Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. Many of the greatest religious thinkers of our world formulated responses to this turmoil, drawing on the best of their traditions but radically rewriting them. Most of the ideas of modern religion date to this period: heaven, hell, individual destiny, service as sacrifice, and a religious basis for ethics. In these classes, we will try to look through the eyes of the great sages at their world in upheaval; we will discuss the major transitions in religious ideas in the eastern Mediterranean, in India, and in China, and what they have brought to religion as we know it today. We will use Karen Armstrong's book The Great Transformation. Participants are asked to read the first chapter of the book before the first class.

Birding for Beginners: When Seconds Matter
Lise Schools, outdoor educator, designer, and Audubon volunteer
Wednesday, April 29, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. (indoor workshop)
Saturday, May 2, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (outdoor field practice)

This two-part workshop includes a two-hour indoor technique session and two hours in the field at a local birding area. The emphasis is on characteristics to identify in the few seconds a bird is in view. Training will also focus on print and electronic field guide options and optical equipment use. If you own or can borrow binoculars and/or field guides, bring them to the workshop. The field day will require moderate walking.

Lise Schools has been a professional outdoor educator for over 30 years for agencies including the Forest Service and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. She currently owns Interpretive Ideas, a company that designs educational materials for natural resource agencies. Lise started birding with her father when she was four years old and has conducted birding trips and outings for her job and as a volunteer for Audubon chapters.

Register at church during coffee hours on Sunday mornings, or contact the church office. Scholarships are available for classes with fees, and childcare and accessibility needs can be arranged. Fees can be paid by check, cash, or online here. Please contact the facilitator of a class or the church office if you have questions or want to sign up within 10 days of the first class.