Adult Religious Education

We offer three main types of adult programs at Wildflower.

Drop-in classes and groups require no long-term commitment. Come as you like to any sessions.

Closed groups and classes require sign-up in advance and a commitment to attend most sessions. These groups depend on connections between participants to create deep, exploratory experiences, and they run for a fixed term.

Finally, ongoing groups don’t require sign-up and run indefinitely, but group members prefer that you make a commitment to attend several sessions.

Check this website for upcoming groups and classes.

Why Adult Programs?

By taking our classes and joining our groups, we hope you will:

  • explore Unitarian Universalism and other religious and spiritual traditions
  • connect in dialogue with others to understand our differences and appreciate diverse cultures
  • explore avenues for your personal spiritual growth
  • develop an increased awareness of current social justice issues
  • create a sense of community within small groups focused on projects or common interests

Register for Classes and Groups

To register, send an email to adultprograms@wildflowerchurch.org with your name, your phone number, and the class or group you want to join. Or stop by the Adult Programs table in the Community Room and sign up on paper.

Brief Course & Group Schedule

Click the title of a course or group to read more about it.

The World Future We Need

ongoing

Monthly, third Sunday evenings

Discuss technology, morality, cooperation, and growth in the world’s future

Young Adults Group

ongoing

join Facebook group for meeting times

Connect with other young adults at Wildflower & beyond

Food for Thought

drop-in, Sunday mornings

second and fourth Sunday mornings

TED Talk discussion group

Spiritual Growth and Sharing

group formation in progress

Deep Sharing spiritual growth opportunities

Buddhism and Meditation Exploration Group

ongoing, Sunday mornings

First and third Sunday. Offered every Sunday beginning in September

Explore Buddhist teachings and practices in a UU context

Spiritual Pilgrims

ongoing

second and fourth Friday evenings

Meet in a member’s home to discuss, share, meditate, and support

Yoga for Health and Relaxation

drop-in

Tuesday mornings

Gentle yoga for all ages, certified instructor

Engaging the Sacred in Art

ongoing

fourth Tuesday evenings

Consider art as a spiritual practice with other artists

Conversation Café

drop-in

midday third Saturdays

Meet at an Austin library to discuss compelling questions

Wildflower Choir

ongoing

most Wednesday evenings

If you love to sing, lift your voice with our community

Arts and Crafts Group

10:30 am Saturdays in the Fall

Bring your own projects to knit, draw, create, etc.

Capoeira Angola with Patrick Olsen

drop-in

July 9 and August 13 at 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm 

Participants will learn rhythms on percussion instruments and Capoeira movements.

Literary Women In Action

drop-in

First Sunday at 5 pm in classroom 1

Literary Women In Action harness the power of research and narrative to promote social justice and progressive change.

Laughter Yoga

drop-in

Second Friday at 7:15 pm – WILDFLOWER COMMUNITY ROOM

Come join us and help spread the love, joy, acceptance, and peace through laughter!

The World Future We Need

Ongoing: Monthly, third Sundays, 6:30-8:30pm, Wildflower Community Room

Facilitator: Mike Ignatowski

This is the most interesting and important time to be alive in the history of the human race! Mike Ignatowski works in the tech industry and has given many lectures on emerging technology and social trends. Starting this fall, he will host an educational and provocative series of monthly meetings at Wildflower exploring many interesting issues related to the future of our society. Sample topics will include: “Big History and Big Future”, technology and unemployment, the evolution of increased cooperation, growth and sustainability, our moral instincts, and the implications of artificial intelligence and synthetic biology.

The meeting format will include a presentation followed by a group discussion. The meetings are intended to be very educational, so there is no need for prior knowledge or preparation for any of these meetings. The monthly topic will be posted prior to each meeting, and people are invited to attend any or all of the meetings as their schedule and interests permit.

Food for Thought

Drop-in: second and fourth Sunday mornings, 9:30-10:45am, Faith Parlor

Facilitators: Mike Ignatowski & Gerry King

Mike Ignatowski and Gerry King facilitate this ongoing class that offers opportunities for spirited and stimulating conversation around inspiring and evocative TED talks with the addition of coffee and morning munchies. Join others to explore a variety of topics that touch our lives, spur the deepening of our spirituality, and help us inquire into how we want to show up in the world. Come when you can and bring something to contribute to the morning sustenance.

Buddhism and Meditation Exploration Group

Ongoing group: First and third Sunday. Offered every Sunday beginning in September.

9:30-11am, Classroom 2

Facilitators: Daniel Butler and Michael Heinich

This group is for anyone wanting to explore, discuss, try, or ponder Buddhism and meditation practices in a Unitarian Universalist context. Childcare is provided.

Are YOU a Young-ish Adult? – Young Adult Group

Drop-in: Join the Facebook group 

Facilitators: Ali Free and Ethan Deichler

Young adulthood is a formative, scary, and exciting time. Being part of a UU community can provide essential support during the time of discernment and growth between the ages of 18 and 35. We’ve formed a new group to help young adults at Wildflower connect with each other more deeply. Join the Facebook group or email list by emailing Ali and Ethan above to hear about gatherings.

 

Spiritual Growth and Sharing

Contact us to find ways to explore spiritual growth practices relevant to people with a variety of spiritual beliefs and traditions. Currently we have one Deep Sharing Spiritual Growth group that is closed. We are interested in growing another group and having a Facebook group. Email adultprograms@wildflowerchurch.org to sign up for the next Spiritual Growth Workshop to be held on January 29 from 1:30-3:30 pm.

Yoga for Health and Relaxation

Drop-in: Tuesday mornings, 9:00-10:00am, Community Room, Next class on Jan 3, 2017

Facilitator: Katherine Winge

Are you curious to explore yoga or would you like to continue doing so in the company of your fellow Wildflowers? Hester Denniston is a certified yoga instructor who will facilitate a ‘gentle’ yoga class. Donations are gratefully accepted.

Spiritual Pilgrims

Ongoing group: second and fourth Fridays, 6:30-8:30pm, Faye Maxwell’s home

Facilitator: Faye Maxwell at 512.362.8585

This group supports members on their spiritual journeys through the discussion of selected books, sharing, and a period of meditation.

Engaging the Sacred in Art Group

Fourth Tuesday evenings, 7-9pm, Community Room

Facilitator: Sheila Rae

This is a new group for artists and aspiring artists to network regarding our past and current creations, support other’s work without judgments, and consider the notion of art as a deep spiritual practice. Some activities that we will explore are sharing our inspirations, discussing particular art media, brainstorming to give each other ideas and suggestions for how a certain theme could be expressed, picking artists each has found to be inspiring, exchanging tools, canvases, boards, brushes, etc. and connecting to the sacred. Come experience this new group to get to know other Wildflower artists who want to expand their love of art to include others.

Wildflower Choir

Ongoing group: most Wednesday nights, 7:30pm, Community Room

Director: Elke Baitis

Anyone who loves to sing is welcome to join the choir. We are very fortunate to have a gifted pianist and choir director, Elke Baitis, as well as the fifteen members who make up the choir. We are truly musically blessed! The choir does not rehearse during June and July.

Arts and Crafts Group

Ongoing group: Saturdays in the Fall, 10:30 am, Frances Osborne’s home 

Facilitator: Frances Osborne

We are a group of hobbyists interested in handcrafts and homemade art. We knit, draw, create, scrapbook, etc. according to our own whims and delights. Join us and bring your own arts and crafts projects to the meetings.

Conversation Café

Drop-in: Third Saturdays, 10:30am-11:30am, Austin Public Library, Hampton Branch

Facilitator: Mike Ignatowski at 512.467.4725

Wildflowers and the general public are invited to join this Conversation Café for meaningful conversation around compelling questions. Everyone is welcome. Come just once or many times. There are no books to read, no assignments, and no dues.

Laughter Yoga

Drop-in Second Friday at 7:15 pm
Wildflower Community Room

As a kid, you laughed 400 times a day and now it’s down to just 15 times a day! What happened? What is Laughter Yoga? This class will be facilitated by Steve Alchus, LCSW, in English and Spanish as needed and is for people of ALL abilities.

  • No tricks, no tickling and no jokes.
  • Laughter increases your energy. It stimulates the brain!
  • Laughter can relieve stress.
  • Laughter can lower blood pressure.
  • Laughter can also improve your immune system!

Laughter and happiness are contagious. When one person becomes happier, it affects all of the persons around them. When many people in a community meet one another and laugh together, it creates an atmosphere of love, peace, joy and acceptance where creativity can thrive, forgiveness and acceptance and cooperation are standard, and people can support one another through easy and difficult times. So come join us and help spread the love, joy, acceptance, and peace through laughter!

Contact: Michelle Matula, mematula@gmail.com(832)754-8689

Capoeira Angola with Patrick Olsen

Drop-in July 9 and August 13 at 3 pm to 5:30 pm
Wildflower Community Room

Capoeira Angola is a mental, physical, philosophical, communal, cultural, and liberating practice.  Participants will learn rhythms on percussion instruments; songs in Portuguese; history and philosophy; and Capoeira movements, of course!

This is a monthly opportunity to engage youth & families in cultural enrichment and facilitated discussions around creating more equitable and socially just and responsible communities. All Wildflowers and community members are welcome to attend.

Contact adultprograms@wildflowerchurch.org for more information.

 

Literary Women in Action

Drop in Second Sunday of each month
Classroom 1

Literary Women In Action is a group of writers, educators, and publishing professionals who harness the power of research and narrative to promote social justice and progressive change. We encourage women to claim their voice and to effectively write editorials, blogs and testimonials, as well as to lobby, protest, and contribute to daily actions. Come join us if you’d like to learn more!

Director of Religious Education

Penny Burnette, dre@wildflowerchurch.org

Penny has been a member of Wildflower Church since 2001, when she joined the Children’s Religious Education Committee and served as a teacher. Since that time she has served as the chair of the Fun & Fellowship and the Childcare committees. In 2003, she became a co-chair and then chair of the Children's Religious Education committee. She began working as the Director of Religious Education in June, 2005. She is a member of the Liberal Religious Educator’s Association (LREDA) and has attended five modules of the Renaissance Program for professional religious educators and two LREDA conferences. She has three children — Aaron, Jacob and Nathan.