UUCC Adult Education Starting October 2011

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia will sponsor four Adult Education programs from 7:00 to 8:30 on the last four Monday evenings this October.  Virtually free for church members and interested community friends, the following programs will be presented at the UUCC Center at 2701 Heyward Street. 

Plus, a fifth experimental program will be offered one Sunday morning each month for a year starting on October 16th.  For details about this Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, read the last program description below.

You may register online http://www.uucolumbia.org or drop by the red-checkered table in the social hall between noon and 12:30 Sundays between now and October 2nd.

Wildlife Photography for Beginners – Presenter: Robert D. Dodson J.D.

This program is designed for beginning photographers or more advanced amateur photographers with an interest in photographing wildlife.  While the program will be centered around wildlife photography, many of the topics that will be covered will be useful to beginning photographers who simply want to learn more about the art of photography.  We will cover a variety of topics including – selecting the right equipment for your budget and interest level; getting the most out of your camera equipment (learn what all those buttons and dials on your camera actually do and how to use them to your advantage); the basics of exposure – using shutter speed, aperture and ISO to your advantage; using your camera’s automatic and manual focus to capture razor sharp images; using tripods, monopods, and beanbags to ensure tack sharp images; composition – framing your subject to create pleasing images; basics of photography editing; ethics of wildlife and nature photography.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own camera equipment, but it is not necessary.  Written notes and material will be provided.

Leadership Training  - Presenter: Peter Kandis

Leadership brings teams of people together who make decisions based on the wisdom of the group.  On the whole, the group will make better decisions than any single individual could make.  This is particularly true because the breadth of field across which decisions must be made.  Diverse leadership teams have the potential to be the strongest.

Strong competent leadership is core to our democratic principles.  Your leadership development committee is always on the lookout for committee chairs, board members and officers.  When you take leadership training you demonstrate that you have the time and the inclination to take on a more committed role in the governance of our congregation.

We need young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight, queer, liberal, conservative, extrovert, introvert, animal eater, vegetarian, or vegan to share your insight about our world.  We need you to pick up the mantle for a while, carry it to the top of the next hill and then to pass it.  This is an excellent way to build a better world, get another sparkling line on your resume, and you might just learn something and have a good time on the way.

The Eightfold Noble Path in Everyday Life – Presenter:  Jessica Kross

Presenter: Jessica Kross has practiced Theravada Buddhist meditation for the past twenty-six years and took Buddhist Precepts in 1991.  She has attended over fifty silent retreats from all three branches of Buddhism and has a mostly daily meditation practice.

Description:  The Eightfold Noble Path can be used in daily life as an ethical guide to a more compassionate life for oneself and by extension those around us.  While traditional Buddhist thought sees the Path as a way to Enlightenment, it can serve all of us in a more immediate seeing of who we are, where we are, and how our own minds work.

UU Vegan Cooking  - Mary Bettuchy, professional cook

Open the door to a healthier lifestyle, both for you and for our planet, Learn how fun and easy vegan cooking can be! This class will teach you how to prepare food that is healthy, ecologically friendly, and delicious.  Each participant will be given a copy of all recipes prepared in the class to take home. A fee of $10 per person will cover the cost of the food we will prepare and eat. Class is limited to 15 participants.

An Innovative Adult Education Program

Perhaps world peace would have a better chance if world religions could identify “common grounds” rather than differences!  

According to Karen Armstrong’s newest book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, some version of the Golden Rule is one of the common grounds in every world religion.  But is it at all realistic for me to live a compassionate life right here and right now? Do I even want to!  For each of the next 12 months a small group of us will discuss and experiment with practicing one of the 12 steps to “a compassionate life.”  “Love your enemy?”   That sounds tough!  “Love your loved ones.”  Is that as easy as it sounds?

This is an experimental group of no more than ten committed individuals who will sign up to start on Sunday morning October 16th and continue through October 2012.  We will meet from 9:15 to 10:45 on third Sundays and still make it to worship after we meet.  Some time late in October 2012, we’ll evaluate how this Sunday morning program and other new ideas worked for us individually as well as for the UUCC congregation at large 

To sign up for this new adventure, register online http://www.uucolumbia.org or drop by the red-checkered table in social hall Sunday morning after worship. 

If you have suggestions, questions, or special interests or needs, email Joyce Brannan at bewelljoyce@gmail.com, and we’ll plan with you in mind.