The Corruption of Our Democracy – A UU Congregational Study Action Issue

The Congregational Study Action Issue (CSAI) for 2016-2020 on “The Corruption of Our Democracy” challenges us to reconsider how we understand, participate and engage in democratic living. It is a call to envision our role as a faith community to promote a societal ethos that affirms dignity for all, that takes responsibility for the human role in ecological disaster, and an openness to
rethink our use of political power and production of wealth.

This CSAI also asks us to consider how the legal notion of corporate personhood, which grants political participation to corporate entities as citizens, corrodes our cherished democratic process as it opens it up to be unduly influenced by
corporate interest. A vibrant democracy depends on the full participation of citizens as caretakers of our shared living, in deep affirmation of our interconnectivity. To safeguard this liberty, we should reflect on the consequences of corporate personhood and the call to take action to eliminate this legal category.

A serious look at the current state of our democracy also demands that we look at how the accumulation of wealth and political power in the history of the United States has been based on structural racism, patriarchy, environmental degradation for economic production, the increased militarization of society, and other oppressions.

8 sessions: first session, with movie, Sunday afternoon, Jan. 29 – then every other Friday evening (with two exceptions) Feb. 10 – May 19. Sponsored by the Denominational Affairs Committee. Each session will be facilitated by a different UUMAN member – among them Brian Kohn, Jen Saltzman, Lnda Etheridge, Kate and Dave Hudson, Holly and Richard Polich.

See Dave Hudson for more information, 404-358-2408,


Conscious Aging

In this 8 week program developed over four years with extensive research and testing by the Institute of Noetic Science, participants will

  • explore unexamined, self-limiting beliefs and assumptions about aging and learn to make better choices about how to age more consciously;
  • develop the skills of self-compassion to cope more effectively with the stresses found in aging;
  • discover what has given meaning to your life and enrich your intentions for a healthy aging process;
  • identify and heal regrets, sufferings, and negative self-concepts that may have kept you from more fully appreciating yourself and the life you have lived;
  • minimize any feelings of isolation you may be feeling and deepen your relationship with the world around you;
  • learn to manage your fears and those of your loved ones in the presence of death through the transformative power of surrender and acceptance and
  • cultivate a personal roadmap for your own aging journey by deepening your spiritual life and learning to make each moment matter.

Workbook required: Conscious Aging, Cultivate Wisdom, Connect with Others, Celebrate Life (A self-reflection and Conversation Circles Guide) – Cost: $40

Eight sessions of 2 hours each – Monday evenings, 7:00-9:00, Fellowship Hall, Jan. 23,30; Feb. 6,20,27;March 6,20,27

About the facilitator: Donna J. Melcher served as Executive Program Manager for International Business Machines (IBM), a multi-national technology and consulting organization for thirty years. Alongside this corporate track and raising a fantastic son, Donna continuously invested her time in exploring the awakening of consciousness (personally and globally) and helping others in their healing path.

Donna is an ordained minister with the Center for Sacred Studies in California which focuses on supporting indigenous ways of being and praying and has led and has participated in many circles and ceremonies celebrating the passage into the wisdom years.  Now retired, Donna has turned her focus to the third chapter of Life.  A Conscious Aging Facilitator through the Institute of Noetic Science (, she teaches workshops, leads ceremony and offers support for those elders wishing to live their wisdom years in expansion and wonder.


Wrestling with God

Fall/Winter 2016-17, 8 workshops, beginning Nov. 13, Sunday afternoons, 12:15-2:00.Using Tom Owen-Towle’s 2003 book, Wrestling with God: A Unitarian Universalist Guide for Skeptics and Believers, this class explores the relevance to UUs of the notion of God in the 21st century. Here’s how the author introduces his work: “My life-journey has been one extended wrestling match with God–evolving from an early mindless embrace to categorical rejection, then gradually yet resolutely proceeding toward my current status as a questioning believer or trustful agnostic. I have emerged a theological hybrid who chooses to juggle life tensions concerning the Holy. However unorthodox my spiritual condition may appear to mainline scrutiny, I proudly reside in the middle realm, straddling the three A’s:  atheism, agnosticism and affirmatism, simultaneously.”

Dave Hudson, 404-358-2408,