Religious Exploration for Adults

First Parish offers several religious exploration opportunities for adults.

Building Your Own Theology

Where do our beliefs fit in the construct of world religions? What do we each individually believe and how are we able to articulate our beliefs with one another?

The author of this Adult Religious Exploration course, Richard Gilbert, shares:

The quest for ‘spirituality,’ however differently it is defined, has become a major influence in our Unitarian Universalist world…

DH Lawrence once wrote, “Whatever the queer little word ‘god’ means, it means something we can none of us quite get away from, or at; something connected with our deepest explosions.’ I believe that religious exploration is a life-span process of building our own theology and harnessing those ‘deepest explosions…”

If you have ever wondered why bad things happen to good people, if creation is a ‘cosmic fluke’ or how Unitarian Universalists can behave virtuously without heaven and hell, then you are in danger of falling into theology. Somehow we have it in our heads that it is “unUnitarian Universalist” to “do theology,” because that is what the orthodox do; and we are, if truth be known, heretics. Heresy, while commonly understood as a deviation from orthodox belief, originally meant choice–the heretic is one who both dissents and chooses.

UUs are very definitely happy Heretics. We choose to do ‘theology’ in a liberal religious mode. But if we are living, breathing, hurting, laughing. crying, questing human beings, it impossible not to be theologians.

How do UUs do theology? I submit it is a different “doing” from conventional methods. We do theology, not to become divine, as someone suggested, but to become more human.

Each session of the course lasts for approximately 10 meetings. The session for spring 2020 begins on February 8th, with meetings on alternate Saturday evenings. Please contact the minister () for more information.

Reiki I & II

Reiki is a completely safe and powerful hands-on technique to improve one’s health and the health of friends and family. This healing system is guided by divine love and wisdom. It will allow you to discover deeper connections, have a more positive outlook, become more healthy, and grow more intuitive. You will be less inhibited, find it easier to do the things you really want to do, and become more of the person you were meant to be.

Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty is a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher. After taking Reiki II in Glastonbury, England, in 1999, she experienced a major healing that changed her life and led to her call in Unitarian Universalist ministry. “Reiki has changed my life in incredible ways,” she says, “and I encourage anyone who is on a path of self discovery to add this practice to their life.” Please check out the Reiki website and the lineage as well as the descriptions of Reiki. There are no special skills or abilities required to take a class, just willingness—and an open heart and mind.

Spirituality Book Group

Once each month, this group meets to discuss books and other matters regarding spirituality and personal growth.

To see a sampling of past readings, please click here.


On the third Sunday of each month, the Religious Exploration Salon meets to discuss various topics using a format called Bohm dialogue. The group sits in a circle with a “talking stick” in the center. When a participant feels moved to speak, they pick up the stick and share their thoughts openly while the rest of the group listens attentively with an open mind. After they are done, the stick is replaced and everyone thinks quietly for a while, until someone else feels moved to speak and the process repeats.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts, feelings, or intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute. 

For more information, or to see past topics of discussion, please click here.