Adult Spiritual Development

Current/Upcoming Classes

February TED Talks

Those pre-service presentations, so popular in October, are coming back in a new design. We will be screening selected TED Talks (10-20 min max) at 9:00am, then discussing them till 9:50. Many have found these talks to be illuminating and inspiring.

Between now and then we will be choosing titles. If you have seen talks that you would like shown, recent or past,  let us know!  Contact Peter Campbell at [email protected]

Ongoing Classes

Inquirers Class
Have questions? We would love to hear them! Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael holds these informal sessions the first Sunday of the month at 11:30 a.m. so that you can find out more about our faith community. Whether it is your first Sunday or you’ve been around for years, if you have a question about AUUC, Unitarian Universalism, or something along those lines, step into the Minister’s Study and see if you can’t find the answers you seek!

Newcomer Orientations
Newcomers are welcome to attend a 3-hour orientation session lead by Reverend Linda and our leadership. The session provides an overview of Unitarian Universalism and covers specifics about AUUC. Held on Saturday mornings, these sessions are scheduled several times throughout the year. Refreshments and lunch are served and child-care is provided upon request. For more information contact the Congregational Administrator at [email protected].


Past Classes

Book Discussion Class: Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from The Civil War to World War II, by Douglas A. Blackmon

Sundays, 12 noon – 1:30pm 
Three sessions – Jan. 15 & 29Feb. 5

Wall Street Journal bureau chief Blackmon gives a groundbreaking and disturbing account of a sordid chapter in American history—the lease (essentially the sale) of convicts to commercial interests between the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th. Usually, the criminal offense was loosely defined vagrancy or even changing employers without permission. The initial sentence was brutal enough; the actual penalty, reserved almost exclusively for black men, was a form of slavery in one of hundreds of forced labor camps operated by state and county governments, large corporations, small time entrepreneurs and provincial farmers.

Into this history, Blackmon weaves the story of Green Cottenham, who was charged with riding a freight train without a ticket, in 1908 and was sentenced to three months of hard labor for Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad, a subsidiary of U.S. Steel. Cottenham’s sentence was extended an additional three months and six days because he was unable to pay fines then leveraged on criminals.

Blackmon’s book reveals in devastating detail the legal and commercial forces that created this neoslavery along with deeply moving and totally appalling personal testimonies of survivors. While every incident in this book is true, Blackmon writes; “one wishes it were not so.”

Find the book here: 

Mindfulness Meditation 

For those who are interested in discovering or pursuing mindfulness, Mike Heilmann will be offering five, one and a half hour sessions on Monday nights at 730 starting Nov. 7.  Suggested spiritual reading is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and  Where Ever You Go,There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  You may contact Mike at [email protected] or 703 581 2602


Great Books Series: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

This amazing tale of Janie Starks and the love of her life Tea Cake deftly displays black culture in the 1930’s while showing us how someone thrives despite racism, sexism and all manner of obstacles arrayed against her. Originally resisted, even by leaders of the Harlem Renaissance, this novel was reclaimed by none other than Alice Walker and is now regarded as one of the best novels of the 20greatbooks_eyesth Century. The books use of dialect and its tales of violence make it a worthy challenge. 
Join us for this important class, which is part of our year-long Study Action Issue Race in America. 
     Sundays 12-130pm                    or           Tuesdays 7-830pm, 
     Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6                      Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov 1., 8

About Their Eyes Were Watching God

“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.

Use any version of the text you can find – Rev. Scott will be using text available from Amazon . 

Register for a Class

Register online or contact [email protected] to reserve your spot.



About the Adult Spiritual Development Program

AUUC offers a variety of educational opportunities for adults including a series of core spiritual development offerings.

Specific information about course offerings will be posted on this page and in the monthly newsletter, the weekly email (“This Week at Accotink”) and in Order of Service announcements. Contact our Adult Spiritual Development Committee with any questions or suggestions at [email protected]

AUUC “Core” Program

Our “core” area classes are intended to help adult UUs (or other spiritual seekers) enrich their own UU identity, faith development, ethical development, and spiritual development. Whether coming to AUUC as a lifelong UU, from a different faith background, or completely new to organized religion, the core program is designed to assist you in navigating your own spiritual path.

Core Areas

  • UU and AUUC Introduction. “UU 101” – perfect for those new or returning to UUism, or those who just want to brush up on the basics.
  • UU History and Theology. Learn about the evolution of both Unitarian and Universalist thought, and how modern day UUism came to be; identify and articulate your own personal theology.
  • Spiritual Practice. Determine what works to satisfy your own personal spiritual needs so that you can experience reverence and connection.
  • Applied Theology. Learn about putting our values into practice, “living a good life,” social justice, ethics, and public witness.

Other Classes

We offer additional classes to satisfy spiritual and intellectual inquiry, and to deepen and enrich our lives. These “elective” classes vary widely from year to year.

To Register

To register for adult class, click on the button to the right and complete the information requested on the form, in the second screen on this form,you will able able to  select the class you’re registering for.

For more information contact the Congregational Administrator at [email protected].