Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, Indiana Seeking the Spirit | Building Community | Changing the World
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Lifespan RE

  • Lifespan Religious Education

    We believe that faith formation is a lifelong process.  Religious Education (RE) provides a structure to intentionally focus on spiritual growth, UU identity development, and values-based social change for children, youth, and adults.

    • We stand for social justice. 
    • We are welcoming and inclusive to all.
    • We accept you wherever you are on your faith journey.
    • We care for our earth.
    • We nurture one another.

    For children, basic religious education experiences are available on Sunday mornings during most worship services.  Children participate in the first part of worship with their families, typically leaving with their teachers after the Time for All Ages.  At this time we offer three choices for children:  Childcare in Room 108 (ages 0 – 3), Spirit Play in Room 105 (ages 4-6) and Kids’ Club in Room 208 (ages 7-12).

    In addition, we periodically offer electives for children and youth that focus on specific themes and topics.  To learn more about religious education opportunities for children and youth, please see this page.

    Adult religious education is offered at various times throughout the year, focusing on many aspects of spiritual and religious growth.  For a complete listing of current programs, please see this page.

    If you have questions or ideas you’d like to share, or you’d like to be involved with our RE programming, contact Stephanie Kimball, Director of Lifespan Religious Education (kimball@uubloomington.org).

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  • Values and Vision

    Religious education is about faith development:  honing the skills, understandings, and practices that help us all live more fully as Unitarian Universalists. We strive to offer programming that parallels UUCB’s congregational mission of Seeking the Spirit, Building Community, and Changing the World. 

    Religious Education (RE) programming occurs in many forms: classes, seminars, circles or workshops that may be one-time events or ongoing programs; congregational reads; book groups; film viewings; discussions; drop-in meetings; publications; blog posts/essays on website; and/or videos.

    Seeking the Spirit:  Connecting with our Spiritual Selves

    As UUs, we come from many different religious and spiritual traditions, from Christianity to atheism. Some of us carry wounds from earlier experiences in religious communities, which we may need to work to heal.  No matter where we are in our spiritual journeys, we can continue to explore fundamental questions:

    • Where do each of us find the Spirit of Love and Mystery that some people call God?
    • How can we deepen our connection with that within ourselves? 
    • What skills, habits, and practices can we build that ground, center, and build clarity and resilience? 
    • How do we cultivate our spiritual connections to the natural world? 
    • What wounds, fears, and myths keep us from wholeness?
    • How have people around the globe and throughout history understood themselves as spiritual beings, sustaining and sustained by religious traditions?

    Building Community:  UU Identity & Faith Development

    In our congregation, we build community each time we engage with one another through worship, educational programming, Chalice Circles, committee and task force work, and all the other things that make up our congregational life together.  Religious Education examines the foundations of this community:  What is it that brings us together? Who are we as a community, and what do we stand for? How do we as individuals fit into this community?  How have our beliefs, as individuals, as a congregation, and as a denomination, evolved over time?

    Here are some questions we address in each of several areas of UU identity and faith development:

    Principles/Promises, Sources and Theology

    • What are the values that we, as Unitarian Universalists, hold in common? What is the basis of our faith, and what does that mean for us in relation with each other?


    • How and why did our theology evolve as it did? Who are key figures in our history?

    Personal Credo/Spiritual Journey:

    • What do I believe?  How did I arrive at these beliefs?  How can I explain it to people outside of the denomination, when they ask?

    Finding a Place in UUCB: 

    • Where do I belong? How do I get involved, or expand my involvement?

    Changing the World:  Social Justice

    While the work of Changing the World may take place primarily through our SJ task forces, Religious Education is concerned with understanding injustices in their historical and cultural contexts, reflecting on our own lives, and exploring frameworks for effective change.  This foundational work is necessary as we seek to avoid inadvertently replicating or bolstering the very structures we wish to dismantle. 

    Here are some of the questions we consider as we educate ourselves about changing the world:

    • Historical View:  How have systems of oppression evolved and been sustained throughout history? 
    • Cultural View:  What are the cultural expressions of injustice; how are racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, etc. baked into our culture (schools, government policies, legal system, economic system, entertainment, etc)?
    • Personal View: Identifying and dismantling our own internalized systems of oppression around race, gender, sexuality, class, etc.  Learn new ways to be with respect to each. 
    • Theoretical View: What is our moral/ethical responsibility to act? What kind of action is called for? How are we accountable?  Why do we pursue social justice through our church, vs. other organizations? What are some theories of social change?  Can we envision a more just world?

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  • For Children & Youth
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  • For Adults
    • Chalice Logo, Green, 200x200 Program Philosophy
    • RE for RE image 2023-24 Adult Religious Education Prospectus

      Here is a listing of Adult Religious Education offerings for the 2023-24 church year:


      Online registration is available at the link above, or contact the office at 332-3695, office@uubloomington.org.

      Creative Expressions: “Making Things” as Possible Paths to Spiritual, Psychological, and Emotional Growth

      This class will explore the creative process through drawing, painting, and collage using a variety of materials. Entering “creative flow” often involves a shift in consciousness from verbal thought and expression to non-verbal “thinking in images,” which may share some of the same characteristics as meditation or prayer. This class will invite participants to experience themselves in new ways and open themselves to personal growth. No drawing or painting experience necessary. Facilitated by Jeanne Myers. Meets in Fellowship Hall, every other Saturday from September 16 to November 11, 2023, from 11am to 12:15pm (except Nov. 11, when the time will be 12 - 1:30pm). Open to 12 participants, ages 17+

      Listening In: A Circle for Spiritual Deepening

      This class invites individual spiritual exploration and deepening, in the context of community. Participants commit to attend regularly; choose a daily spiritual practice; engage with provided resources between sessions; meet monthly with a spiritual director; and honor the group’s covenants. Facilitated by Denise Breeden-Ost and Angi Sullivan. Meets in person at UUCB on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month, 6:30 – 8:30, starting September 26 and continuing through April (no class Dec. 26). Registration deadline: September 19.

      Book Discussion Group: Poverty, By America

      Matthew Desmond writes, “To understand the causes of poverty, we must look beyond the poor, which makes this a book about poverty that is not just about the poor. Instead, it’s a book about how the other half lives, about how some lives are made small so others may grow.” He reveals that a system maintains poverty and some people benefit from that system, and that the reality is often not what we have been told. The Bloomington Multi-Faith Alliance Faith for Racial Equity committee (BMA F4RE) will offer a book read this fall of Matthew Desmond’s “Poverty, by America” with a community capstone event being planned for the afternoon of Sunday, October 29th. Multiple faith communities will be leading book groups that will meet at different times and in different modalities; they are open to all. Ruth Aydt will facilitate on behalf of UUCB, meeting Tuesdays from 5:30-6:30 on Zoom on Aug 15, Aug 29, Sept 12, Sept 19, Oct 10, and Oct 17. For information on other groups/times please visit our website.

      Credo-Building Workshop

      What do you believe, not just in your head but in your life?

      According to James Luther Adams’ pragmatic theory of meaning, theology is “meaningful” only insofar as it affects actual practice. The question is “what difference to our practice and to our expectations it will make to believe this rather than that.” As Unitarian Universalists, we formulate our belief statements in terms of credo (“I believe”) not creed (“we believe”). Our stories are among our sacred texts, and we are responsible for developing our own beliefs in light of our own experience and conscience.

      This workshop is designed to help participants figure out what they believe about some theological questions (such as the meaning of life and death; the nature of human beings, and our place in the universe). Readings, conversation, writing, reflecting, sharing, etc. Facilitated by Rev. Connie Grant. Tuesdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, September 12, 19 & 26; October 3, 10 & 17 Min. 6, max. 18.

      Indigenous Studies Working Group

      This group will meet on a regular basis to learn together through readings, videos, and other resources. We may opt to take field trips or engage guest speakers. Our aim will be to gain a greater understanding of the experiences, both past and present, of the Indigenous peoples native to this area. We will share what we learn with the congregation as appropriate, along with calls to action. Facilitated by Stephanie Kimball. Meeting dates and times to be determined by the participants.

      Forgotten Christianities: Diversity of Belief & Practices Among Early Christians

      Over the past century, archaeological discoveries and scholarly research have revealed a remarkable diversity of beliefs and ideas about Jesus and his teachings prior to the establishment of Christianity as the Imperial religion of the Roman Empire. For example, some early groups asserted that Jesus was not a god-man, but was fully human (like the Unitarians), or that salvation was ultimately given to all (like the Universalists). Some groups believed that the god of the Gospels was different from the god of the Tanakh (Hebrew Old Testament), or that the creator of the world was an evil deity. Elaine Pagels makes an intriguing case for a feminine entity, “God the Mother”, as one variant conception of god in some Christian communities.  Our reading and discussion group will explore the rich and very diverse religious world that arose in the first centuries after the life of Jesus. Facilitated by Brian O’Donnell. Enrollment limited to 12. Meets on Zoom on five Wednesdays, Oct 11 - Nov 8, 4-5:30pm.

      A Journey through Unitarian Universalist History

      Have you ever wondered how the Unitarian Universalist church evolved? Where this way of doing church came from and who the leaders and founders of the Unitarian and Universalist movements in Europe and North America were? Come find out in this one-day workshop led by Stuart Yoak. Saturday, March 2, 10am - 3pm. Please register.

      OWL (Our Whole Lives) for Adults

      Over the course of 12 sessions, the Adult Our Whole Lives Program explores sexuality issues for adults of all ages using values, communication skills and spirituality as starting points. The OWL program helps participants build an understanding of healthy sexual relationships, affirm diversity and accept and affirm their own sexuality throughout their lives. Our Whole Lives presents sexuality as a good, creative force with enormous potential to enrich as well as to generate life. Facilitated by Abby Gitlitz and Matt Stonecipher. POSTPONED UNTIL SEPTEMBER

      Poetry as Spiritual Practice

      Are you interested in exploring new ways to engage in spiritual practice? Do you want to delve into what spiritual practice is or could be for you? Do you simply love poetry and want to have an opportunity to share your love with others and in doing so deepen that appreciation? Do you write poetry and want to share your work and your reasons for writing poetry with others? These, and perhaps others, are good reasons to join this course.

      A series of five meetings will focus on sharing poems that the participants bring to the group. The first meeting will give participants a chance to talk about what "spiritual practice" means to them and about why they joined the course. Literary analysis is NOT the purpose of the course; rather, practice in experiencing poetry as a vehicle for spiritual practice is the goal. Facilitated by Linda Pickle. Enrollment limited to 7. Meets in person or on Zoom, five times on Monday evenings, 7-8:30 pm beginning March 25 and ending May 13.

      “Do the Work” Racial Justice Education Group

      This informal discussion group will gather on Zoom to talk about what we learn as we make our way through the Do The Work Activity Book by W. Kamau Bell & Kate Schatz. This is an informal, drop-in event; no need to attend every session. But please register, so we can send you the details (the Zoom link, what pages we’ll focus on, which Sundays we’ll meet, etc.) Meets on Sundays at 4pm. Facilitated by participants in the 2023 Legacy Museum trip.

      What Do Unitarian Universalists Argue About?

      This will be a discussion of selected readings by Unitarian Universalism authors and theologians. Some of the readings will focus on how early UUs in America as they defined and constructed this new way of doing church and some of the readings will focus on challenges that are facing UU churches today. Facilitated by Stuart Yoak. Meets in person or on Zoom, on dates TBD, 7-9:00pm for 5 weeks, in the spring.

      The Inner Work of Age

      In the words of Connie Zweig, “Aging is our next frontier - a physical, emotional, moral, cognitive and spiritual frontier. Its mysteries and its terrors need to be faced consciously and mindfully, and this book offers the inner tools we need to do just that. We can only truly reinvent late life from the inside out.” Together, we will work through Zweig’s book The Inner Work of Age: From Role to Soul, taking time to do the work ourselves and support each other in the process. Facilitated by Stephanie Kimball. Meets on 14 Wednesdays from 10am-noon starting on January 12. Registration required.

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  • "For the hanged and beaten..." sign Racial Justice Education

    We invite you on a journey to remember, to learn, to change, and to act. There are many ways to join us, wherever you are:

    • Sign up now for Beloved Conversations: Within, an online program with Meadville Lombard Theological School. The sliding scale cost starts at $300 and you may request financial assistance when you register. Financial support may also be available through UUCB if your ML request for assistance is denied.
    • Join us on Sunday afternoons at 4pm on Zoom to do the work together, following the Do The Work Activity Book by W. Kamau Bell & Kate Schatz. This is an informal, drop-in event; no need to attend every session. But please register, so we can send you the details (the Zoom link, what pages we’ll focus on, which Sundays we’ll meet, etc.)
    • Join the Community Read of Poverty, By America written by Matthew Desmond. Ruth Aydt of the Racial Justice Task Force will be leading a book discussion on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 on Zoom; you are also welcome to join discussions hosted by other congregations, and some groups will welcome people who join after the initial meeting. For details see this document.
    • Join the Indigenous Studies Working Group.
    • Join the Racial Justice Task Force, either through Church Center or by contacting Ruth Aydt (aydt@icloud.com).
    • Join the Hope for Prisoners Task Force, either through Church Center or by contacting Deb Fish (schoolofdfish@gmail.com).
    • Fill out our survey to express your interest in a pilgrimage to the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama in 2024 or 2025, and/or other possible journeys.
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  • UUCB Library

    We are in the process of creating an online catalog of our UUCB library materials.  This enables patrons to browse our collection, read reviews, reserve materials, check due dates, and more.

    To access our library, visit: uubloomington.org/library

    You may search for a particular item, or browse a genre.  To log in, click on the “person” icon in the top right corner, and enter your information.

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  • Childcare

    Childcare is available in Room 108 on Sunday mornings typically from 9:30am to 12:00pm, and until 2 or 3pm by advance request. If childcare is needed for meetings, classes, or other church-related events, please make a request at least 2 weeks in advance and we will do our best to arrange it.  The more lead time given, the more likely it is that we will be able to find staff available! Please use this form to request childcare.  

    Sunday Mornings

    Infants and young children have several options on Sunday Mornings:

    • attend service with their parents
    • find a calm and quiet place in the nursery (Room 104) where there is a live feed of the service and room for them to play while parents are in close proximity
    • explore Childcare in Room 108

    We have a caring and attentive childcare team who are here on Sunday mornings to provide care for infants-3 years old.  Our vetted and trained childcare team is made up of youth who have grown up in this congregation, adults who have utilized childcare for their own kids, and young adults who are friends of this church and support our mission and vision.  Stories, music, and lots of play!  Parents and Caregivers are asked to sign their child in and out of childcare and introduce themselves and their child(ren) to the staff.

    Childcare typically opens 45 minutes before the start of the first service, and continues until 30 minutes past the end of children’s religious education classes.

    Typical Hours for Sundays with Two Services:  8:30am – 1:00pm

    Typical Hours for Sundays with One Service:   9:30am – 12:00pm

    FYI: Parents and Caregivers, there are diaper changing stations in Room 104 and Room 108. Rocking chairs are also available in both rooms for more comfortable spaces for feeding your infants. In 108, there is a monitor where you can view the service. There is a family bathroom near the courtyard doors, and another in the hallway opposite the Childcare room which contains step stools and small child-size toilet rings for your convenience.

    Parents' Night Out

    Approximately once a month, we offer Parents' Night Out: parents may drop drop their child(ren) off from 5:30 - 8:30pm for playtime, stories, movies, and crafts. Suggested donation is $30 per child (pay as you're able) and registration is required. Watch the Friday Update for dates, and email Stephanie Kimball (kimball@uubloomington.org) for more information.

    Meet our Childcare Team

    Oscar McDermott-Sipe

    Tiffany Walton

    Luna Crespo

    Join our Team!

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  • Get Involved

    Register for Events

    Registration for RE offerings is done through our database which can be accessed online or via the Church Center mobile app (Android version)  (Apple version)

    Volunteers needed in Religious Education!

    Religious education is an important factor for families seeking a spiritual home, and is key to keeping new members engaged. Please support the UUCB community by helping to ensure robust program offerings for children and youth.

    You choose how you’d like to be involved: with children, youth or adults? just once, or on a regular basis? On a Sunday morning during service, or at another time? As a lead teacher or an assistant? Helping to create a curriculum, or being handed a lesson?

    Training and support will be provided. Volunteering can be a great way to further your own religious education and to get to know a variety of people in our church community!

    If you’d like to offer your time and/or expertise, please fill out this quick form or email Stephanie Kimball (kimball@uubloomington.org).

    Call for Adult Religious Education Proposals

    Adult religious education includes a wide range of topics: UU identity, Theology & Religion, Spiritual Growth and Practices, Anti-Oppression work, Social Justice, and Unitarian Universalism in Life. If you would like to lead a workshop, mini-series, semester-long course, or other program, please use this form to submit your proposal. Proposals will be accepted any time, but priority will be given to those received by May 1 for the following church year (September - May).

    Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Curriculum

    Part of our response to the recent loss of reproductive rights in this country is to increase our commitment to lifespan sexuality education. Now more than ever, it is imperative that all people have the knowledge and skills to develop healthy relationships, make informed decisions, and know what options and resources are available to them.

    Our Whole Lives sexuality education (OWL) is a comprehensive, lifespan program that offers age-appropriate, reliable information about sexuality, reproduction, relationships, consent, and more. Such education is one key component in avoiding unwanted pregnancies and supporting people making informed decisions about their bodies and their lives.

    Thanks to a generous grant from the Reproductive Justice Task Force, we are now able to double our training opportunities for new OWL facilitators. The task force will also be helping recruit new trainers, and develop outreach to the community as new courses are offered.

    If you would like to be part of our OWL facilitation team, please contact us as soon as possible, as trainings are filling up quickly! Our congregation will pay for all our facilitators’ trainings.


    If you don’t have time to volunteer but would like to contribute, please consider making or increasing a pledge to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington. Contact the church office (admin@uubloomington.org) for more information.

    Wanted:  Used iPads

    As children’s religious education programming switches to a new check-in procedure, we are in need of a few iPads capable of running iOS 12 or above. Please contact us if you have one to donate!

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  • Religious Education Development Teams

    These teams collaborate with the Director of Lifespan Religious Education to vision, plan, and implement religious education programming at UUCB.

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