Adult Ed

Adult RE Discussion Group – Winter/Spring 2024


These classes will be held on Sunday mornings beginning at 9:00 am in the Board Room or join via Zoom at (572 887 2212).




February 4: Democracy and Its Discontents (Podcast + Discussion)

In the podcast “Democracy and Its Discontents,” news analyst Jack Beatty talks about the frustrations of white working-class Americans and their resulting disillusionment with democracy. He also takes a look at the growing dissatisfaction among young Americans and their decreasing support for democracy. Discussion leader: Jill Hoffmann


February 18: What does prayer/meditation/reflection look like in your life?

In this class we will share the diverse ways that each of us spends “quiet time.” Whether you connect with your inner self, with a higher power, with the interdependent web, try to get out of your mental space altogether, find calm, or open yourself to inspiration, come and tell us about it. These personal discussions connect us to one another in our search for truth and meaning. Discussion leader: Cheryl Parsons


March 3: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

In this class we will start off by reviewing some of the basic history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by drawing upon Michael Scott-Baumann’s recent book–The Shortest History of Israel and Palestine – From Zionism to Intifadas and the Struggle for Peace (prior reading not required). Following that, we’ll have an open discussion on this seemingly intractable, decades-long conflict. Discussion leader: Keith Bittinger


March 17: Understanding People Better

We will look at a number of different ways to open our minds, improve our listening skills, and increase our empathy. We will also discuss the importance of understanding others in an effort to bridge the divides in our society today. Discussion leader: Jill Hoffmann


April 7: US History – Heather Cox Richardson (Video + Discussion)

We will watch segments from several interviews with Heather Cox Richardson, Professor of History at Boston College. She has written many award-winning books about American history, American politics, and the history of the Republican Party through the Trump administration. She says that she is fascinated by the contrast between image and reality in America and especially in politics. In her most recent book, Democracy Awakening, Cox Richardson offers an analysis of how America, historically seen as a “beacon of democracy” is now at a crossroads between preserving democracy and choosing autocracy. Cox Richardson writes a daily newsletter, Letters from an American, that provides a recap of important governmental and political events of the day with references to other historical events. Time will be allotted for discussion. Discussion leader: Cheryl Parsons


April 21: Sufi Meditation – Gratitude

We will discuss Sufi practices that focus on gratitude and then we will be guided in experiencing some of them. Discussion leader: Brian McPherson


May 5: Amend – US Constitution Video Series (Video + Discussion)

We will view then discuss another installment of this informative and highly engaging video series. Discussion leader: Melissa Mattson


May 19: Humanism

One of the six sources of our living tradition is Humanism. In this class we will explore and discuss the history and tenets of Humanism and also consider the historical relationship between Humanism and Unitarian Universalism. Discussion leader: Keith Bittinger.