We are excited to announce that First Unitarian has engaged renowned UU minister, scholar, and congregational consultant the Rev. Dr. Thandeka for a church-wide program of congregational discernment and empowerment. Thandeka will be with us from September 28 to October 7. She will be bringing us a custom-made version of her Love Beyond Belief™ program. Most recently, she offered the eight-day program at the 1,500-member First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin, and the 2,000-member All Souls Unitarian Church of Tulsa.

You’ll find information below on her Monday, October 1, presentation entitled “Got Race?” (to which the public is invited) and the Friday-Saturday, October 5-6 workshop, “Love Beyond Belief: Practicing the Heart of Our Faith” (for which the whole congregation is invited to register).

Thandeka trademarked the words “Love Beyond Belief” to describe her open-hearted, non-creedal and non-doctrinal approach, which uses insights from affective neuroscience to help participants know unconditional love. As her program proposal states:

In the language of theism, the experience of love beyond belief can be described as an experience of God. In the language of Humanism, the experience of love beyond belief can be described as a flash of insight and understanding bringing humanity together. These experiences mark the beginning of wholeness in our broken lives.

“Got Race?” traces the history of racial identity-formation in America, showing how racial identities were “invented” in America to keep both blacks and whites in their place. The presentation provides an alternative to shame- and blame-based anti-racism programs.

Thandeka’s new book, Love Beyond Belief: Finding the Access Point to Spiritual Awareness, is now available for purchase at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Westar Institute (www. westarinstitute.org/store/love-beyond-belief).

Thandeka is a force of nature – an experience not to be missed!


Thandeka’s Consultation Schedule

Saturday, September 29, 9:00a – 5:00p
Ministry and Music Teams Workshop
All who are involved in worship planning are invited for a day of reflection on the foundation of our worship. Lunch will be served.

Sunday, September 30, 12 – 1:30p
Ministry and music teams will meet after the worship service to assess the time of worship, based on learnings and ideas from the Saturday workshop. Lunch will be served.

Monday, October 1, 6:00–9:00p
Public lecture, “Got Race?”
This theme explores the history of racial identity formation in the United States. This lecture is open to the public and we are encouraged to invite everyone we know. Let us know if you work in or frequent a public place and would like a poster to display.

Tuesday, October 2, 1:00p
Meeting with church staff

Tuesday, October 2, 7:00–9:00p
Production Meeting with Ministry and Music teams for October 7 service.

Wednesday, October 3, 7:00 – 9:00p
Meeting with Prudential Committee

Thursday, October 4, 5:00–9:00p
Meetings with other church committees

Friday, October 5, 6:30 – 9:30p
Saturday, October 6, 9:30 – 4:30p
Laity Workshop:  Practicing the Heart of Our Unitarian Universalist Faith
This faith development workshop, led by the Rev. Dr. Thandeka, is for congregation leaders and laity, designed to develop a deeper sense of who we are as Unitarian Universalists and gain an expanded sense of what we can do together.

This is a foundational event and you will want to attend both sessions. If you are not able to attend both, please plan to attend the session which fits with your schedule – it is better to experience one rather than none! Refreshments, light supper, and lunch will be served.

Reservations are required for this Laity Workshop!
Please contact Administrator Nancy Forsstrom (admin@firstunitarianprov.org or 421-7970)
and let her know how many people will be attending each session.

Sunday, October 7, 12:00–2:00p
Assessment meeting with Ministry and Music Teams