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

FRED: Fellowship, Religious Education, Dinner

sign-up requested

Thursday, November 2, 5:30-7:30 pm

We will have potluck dinner with a combined worship with education and crafts.

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.

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

Capoeira Angola with Patrick Olsen

drop-in

Oct 8 at 3:00 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.

Transgender Discussion

sign-up requested

Oct 8, 1:30pm

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be transgender? Stephanie Michele Johnson, Faith Presbyterian member, will give a presentation about herself and about being a transgender woman.

Multicultural Leadership Development Program

sign-up required

September 24, October 19, November 9, January 14

Whether you are already acting in a leadership role or thinking about ways to activate the leadership within, this program is for you

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Multicultural Leadership Development Program

Sign-up Required

Led by Dee Adams, Steve Brooks, Skye Howell & Paula Vaughan

    • Session 1 (3 hours)  – Sunday, September 24, 2-5pm

 

  • Session 2 (2 hours) – Thursday, October 19, 6:30-8:30pm
  • Session 3 (2 hours) – Thursday, November 9, 6:30-8:30pm
  • Session 4 (3 hours) – Sunday, January 14, 2-5pm

Whether you are already acting in a leadership role or thinking about ways to activate the leadership within, this program is for you.  Together we will explore the importance of self-awareness, spiritual grounding, adopting a multi-cultural/anti- racist and generational lens, systems and picture thinking to serving as a leader. We will focus on building skills for establishing healthy relationships with others – effective communication, collaborative problem solving, dealing constructively with conflict, and generative approaches to change.

Four practice workshops (optional):  Two weeks after each session, an opportunity to practice newly learned skills, or discuss how you experienced using these skills will be provided.  These sessions will be participant led with a resource person available to answer questions and offer additional support.

Sign-up in the Wildflower Community Room or email adultprograms@wildflowerchurch.org

FRED: FELLOWSHIP, RELIGIOUS EDUCATION, DINNER & WORSHIP

Sign-up requested, not required Second Tuesday of each month, 5:45 PM – 7:30 PM

WILDFLOWER COMMUNITY ROOM

We engage in spiritual practices to stretch us out of our comfort zones to enact changes within our deepest selves, within our souls. We are able to understand ourselves better, which leads to growth and change. The ultimate goal of spiritual growth is to find a more loving way to interact with yourself, your family, your community and the world. Join us as we explore some ways to stretch our bodies and minds through yoga, meditation, singing, and even galaxy slime.

All are invited – please join us! This will be a multi-generational, very child friendly event for children and adults. We will have potluck dinner with a combined worship with education and crafts.

The potluck will begin at 5:30 pm. Please bring a dish to share and consider child-pleasing food such as pizza, chicken nuggets, fruit, etc.

RSVP to adultprograms@wildflowerchurch.org

TRANSGENDER DISCUSSION

Sign-up encouraged, drop-ins welcome OCTOBER 8, 1:30-3:00 PM

WILDFLOWER COMMUNITY ROOM

LED BY STEPHANIE MICHELE JOHNSON

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be transgender?

Stephanie Michele Johnson, Faith Presbyterian member, will give a presentation about herself and about being a transgender woman. She will provide her background, history of being transgender, and her own transitioning journey.  Stephanie will cover transgender terminology, myths about transgender individuals, and define “Gender Dysphonia” and WPATH.

Stephanie is a transgender woman who resides in Austin. In 2015 and 2016, she was the featured speaker for the Veteran Affairs Pride Month. This was Stephanie’s first time of presenting herself as a female at her place of employment Stephanie is an active member of Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT). Stephanie is involved with Austin’s Book Writers Roulette, Austin Safe Place, VA LBGT EEO, Austin Women’s Community Center and the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. Stephanie in her spare time is an Avon representative.

RSVP to adultprograms@wildflowerchurch.org

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.