Spring 2019 Classes

To view our full catalog, click here.


Meditation Mondays: Centering the Week with Dhawn B. Martin

Dates: 2nd and 4th Mondays (Jan. 28, Feb. 11, Feb. 25, Mar. 11, Mar. 25, Apr. 8)

Time: 8-9 a.m.

Tuition: $5 per session; $25 for all six

Register By: Jan. 21

Enrollment: Open

Whether you’ve never meditated or are a transcendental sage, join us for communal meditations. Together we will breathe in new possibilities for how we shape our days, setting intentions that nurture peace, generosity, and compassion. We will open the hour with centering prayer and wisdom literatures from diverse traditions, and then move into the contemplative. Feel free to stop by for part of the time or the entire hour; all are welcome!

Register here.

Jan 28, 2019 – Apr 8, 2019

GREEN '19 Movie Screening--Renewal

Date: Wednesday, Jan, 30

Time: 6:00-8:00 pm


Location: William R. Sinkin Eco Centro. It is located at 1802 North Main Avenue, at the corner of Main Ave. and E. Locust.

Join us for Film Screening of Renewal, described on the webpage as “the first feature-length documentary film to capture the vitality and diversity of today’s religious-environmental activists. From within their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim traditions, Americans are becoming caretakers of the Earth” http://www.renewalproject.net/film).

Register here.

Jan 30, 2019



Intercultural Book Study with Sibi Aydelott

Dates: Four Tuesdays, Feb. 5, 12, 19, and 26

Time: 10:30 a.m.-12 noon

Tuition: $40 before Jan. 29, $45 after

Enrollment: 10 min./12max.

We will discuss the role and ‘place’ of women in Korea, under Japanese occupation, in China, and in Japan through three books and a film. The novels: Daughters of the Dragons by William Andrews; The Tea Girl Of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See; and Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. During the last meeting, we will watch and discuss the film adaptation of Memoirs.

Sibi Aydelott holds a doctoral degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has taught in the United States, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, and Qatar. She has also worked as a Curriculum Consultant. She moved to San Antonio in 2010.

Register here.

Feb 5, 2019 – Feb 26, 2019

Folk Medicines of Antiquity with Frances Evans

Date: Thursday, Feb. 7

Time: 10 a.m.-12 noon

Tuition: $15 before Jan. 31, $20 after

Enrollment: 12 min./35 max.

Interwoven in this discussion will be stories, histories, and insights into the nature of the folk medicines of antiquity.

Frances Evans, an educator, worked in the Northeast Independent School District for 33 years. She served as a classroom teacher, principal, director of special programs, and associate superintendent. Frances became interested in folk medicine while working as a docent at the Institute of Texan Cultures.

Register here.

Feb 7, 2019



The Three M's for Mind Freedom: Tools to Help Ease Everyday Stress with Julie Little

Dates: Three Mondays, Feb. 18, 25, and Mar. 4

Time: 7-9 p.m.

Tuition: $40 before Feb. 11, $45 after

Enrollment: 12 min./35 max.

This class is for busy people who are feeling overwhelmed or burned out and are looking for some practical techniques for everyday use. These techniques can help provide us with a way to ease our minds, live more fully in our bodies, and let go of some of the stressors that cause us problems in our lives. Join us for a break from the everyday, and learn some easy techniques to improve the quality of your life right away!

As a retired public school teacher, Julie Little enjoys teaching classes for adults and coaching people on Wellness and Well-Being. A native Texan, she has traveled and lived in other parts of the world, but San Antonio is home. She is a follower of spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh, and studies meditation and mindfulness with a group here in town. She offers classes on mindfulness and how it adds to our wellness as well as other support classes such as Tai Chi and meditation.

Register here.

Feb 18, 2019 – Mar 4, 2019

GREEN '19--Green Sacred Texts: Part I with Francisco Garcia-Treto and Dhawn Martin

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 19

Time: 7-9 p.m.

Tuition: $10

Register by: Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Exploration of diverse texts that speak to the interdependence of all life. As a first example, we will look into “The Green Bible.”

Join the SoL Center and the Sinkin Eco Centro in this year of mindful practices that celebrate the beauty of our world and the amazing transformations that can occur when we work together.

Francisco Garcia-Treto is an Emeritus Professor of Religion from Trinity University. He joined the Trinity Faculty in 1966 and retired as the J.F.R. King Professor of Religion in 2006. He earned a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Philosophy degree from Maryville College, and a Masters of Divinity and Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has written numerous articles on biblical interpretation (in both English and Spanish), is particularly interested in minority (Latino/a or Hispanic) interpretation.

Register here.

Feb 19, 2019



Buddhism's Guide for Ethical Living: The Boddhisatva Precepts with Thomas Bruner

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 20

Time: 7-9 p.m.

Tuition: $15 before Feb. 13, $20 after

Enrollment: 12 min./35 max.

Buddhism isn’t just about meditation - it’s about moving through the world in an ethical and moral manner. The Precepts are Buddhism’s guide for a principled life. Learn about the 16 Buddhist precepts, with an emphasis on the 10 grave precepts.

A San Antonio native, Thomas Bruner has traveled from CEO of a start-up in Texas, to Vice President with the nation’s largest humanitarian organization in Washington, D.C., to consultant helping businesses and organizations do great work through Bruner Strategies. He is a senior lay disciple at Dharma Rain Zen Center in Portland, Oregon – one of the country’s leading Soto Zen Buddhist temples. He became a Buddhist in 2003 and took the late Kyogen Carlson, Sensei, as his teacher in 2006. Bruner spent 2014 living and working at Dharma Rain as a postulant while discerning the possibility of ordaining as a monk.

Register here.

Feb 20, 2019

Voicing the Soul: Spiritual Poetry with Bonnie Lyons

Dates: Two Thursdays, Feb. 21 and 28

Time: 1-3 p.m.

Tuition: $25 before Feb. 14, $30 after

Enrollment: 12 min./35 max.

Whether to celebrate our joy or to find comfort in times of grief and hopelessness, we turn to spiritual poetry for the words to express our deepest feelings. The twenty-third psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd,” is certainly one of the best-known spiritual poems, but there are many others. Some of these great spiritual poems, such as Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Sun,” are Christian, some like the biblical psalms are Jewish. Some are from other cultures, such as Rumi’s marvelous 13th century work, which, surprisingly, has become among the most popular poetry of the 21st century. Our two most famous early American poets, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, wrote spiritual poetry. The body of spiritual poetry is vast and comes from many cultures, places and time-periods. You may know the poems of Hildegard of Bingen, but what about Lao–tzu and Wu-men? And of course, spiritual poems, such as Marge Piercy’s “The Art of Blessing the Day,” are written today. In this class we’ll read and discuss a selection of spiritual poems both for their spiritual content and as works of art.

Bonnie Lyons retired in May 2014 with emeritus status from the University of Texas in San Antonio. She has taught and lectured in Greece, Italy, Spain, Israel, and England. During her long career she has published eight books: Call It Sleep, Passion and Craft, two full-length books of poetry: In Other Words (which contains 40 monologues spoken by women in the Hebrew scriptures) and Bedrock, plus three chapbooks: Hineni, Meanwhile, and So Far . Her most recent book, WOW: Wonderful Old Women, contains interviews with 13 amazing San Antonio women eighty years and older.

Register here.

Feb 21, 2019 – Feb 28, 2019



Honoring Our Children by Nurturing the Development of the Whole Child and Reflecting on Ourselves as Parents, Grandparents, or Caregivers with Cindi Catlin-Gaskins 

Dates: Two Fridays, Mar. 8 and 22, and One Saturday, Mar. 30

Times: 8:15-9:45 a.m. on Fridays; 10-11:30 a.m. on Saturday

Tuition: $30 by Mar. 1, $35 after (Scholarships available; childcare available for UPCC enrolled children only)

Enrollment: 4 min./20 max.

First Session: Celebrating Multiple Intelligences

Through an exploration of child development and multiple intelligences, we will deepen our understanding and appreciation for our child’s unique “gifts.” We will reflect on our own multiple intelligences and their role in our approach to caring for and guiding children in today’s world.

Second Session: Deepening Spiritual Connections with Our Children and in Our Families

Through the formational lens of spiritual practices for children of all ages, we will explore children’s spiritual development and ways to deepen our children’s and our families’ sense of “awe”, connection to nature, and the awareness of the well-being of others in the local or larger community.

Third Session/Fieldtrip: Exploring Awe-some Nature and Art with Children

This outing to Chris Park on the edge of downtown will give families a chance to spend time together and dis-cover a sense of “awe,” with their child as they explore this park with its focus on beautiful simplicity in nature and art (http://www.chrispark.org/index.php)

With a BS in psychology and a MA in early childhood education, Cindi Catlin-Gaskins has been working with young children and families for close to 40 years. She has been with the University Presbyterian Children’s Center since 1982 and the director of the program since 1989. Cindi is an adjunct professor in the early childhood studies department at San Antonio College. As a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Bexar County since 2010, Cindi has also worked with foster families and children removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect.

Register here.

Mar 8, 2019 – Mar 30, 2019

GREEN '19--Green Sacred Texts: Part II

Date: Tuesday, Mar. 19

Time: 7-9 p.m.; $10

Tuition: $10

Register by: Mar. 12

We continue looking at texts from diverse traditions that call attention to the sanctity of

and relation between all life.

Join the SoL Center and the Sinkin Eco Centro in this year of mindful practices that celebrate the beauty of our world and the amazing transformations that can occur when we work together.

Register here.

Mar 19, 2019



When the Powers that Be Co-Opt Sacred Texts: Dinner and Conversation with Rev. Andries Coetzee

Date: Wednesday, Mar. 20

Time: 6-8:30 p.m.

Tuition: $20 before Mar. 13, $25 after

Enrollment: 12 min./35 max.

A favorite often manipulated text used by those in power to subject peoples, territories, and ideas is Romans 13. Take as an example, verses 1-2: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” In this gathering we will discuss the meanings of the text and how different powers have used one primary interpretation of Romans 13 to subjects others. Join us for a vegetarian meal and conversation.

Andries (Dries) Coetzee was born the youngest of four children in the rural town of Ceres, South Africa. After serving a year of mandatory military service, he went on to study Theology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, where he earned BD and MA degrees. He has served PCUSA churches in Houston, Texas, Bloomington, Minnesota, and Wooster, Ohio. Dries was honored in 2016 with the Lydia Thompson Humanitarian Award and in 2017 as a co-recipient of the Person of the Year award from the Wooster/Orrville NAACP. Dries currently serves as head pastor at University Presbyterian Church, San Antonio.

Register here.

Mar 20, 2019

Things to Know Before You Go with Jean Nation

Date: Tuesday, Apr. 2

Time: 7-9 p.m.

Tuition: Free

Register by: Mar. 25

Enrollment: Open

Many people of all walks of life have given their opinion of what makes a “good death.” And truth be told each person’s death is as unique as the lives that came before—shaped by attitudes, physical conditions, medical treatments and the people involved. Those that seem to have the most peace, emotionally and spiritually, are those who planned for the event, with actual written directives. Those who have taken the time and made the effort to think about their deaths are more apt to retain some control and say-so in their final months or days of life. We will be discussing your funeral IQ, having a good death, common funeral myths, advanced care planning, making a bucket list and the specifics about the FCA and benefits of membership.

Jean Nation is the current President of the San Antonio FCA Chapter, past president 2013-2016, 2009-2012, Treasurer 2017, and member since 2008. Jean retired as US Army Lieutenant Colonel and registered nurse after 40 years of service. She holds a MPA in Public Administration and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Register here.

Apr 2, 2019



Screening and Discussion of "Lindy Lou, Juror Number 2" with Kristin Houlé

Date: Tuesday, Apr. 9

Time: 7-9 p.m.

Tuition: Free

Register By: Apr. 2

Enrollment: Open

"Lindy Lou: Juror Number 2" is a documentary film by Florent Vassault. For 20 years, Lindy has lived with unbearable guilt. Committed to fulfilling her civic duty, Lindy sat with 11 other people on a jury that handed down the death penalty to a Mississippi man convicted of a double homicide. An overwhelming feeling of regret compels Lindy to track down her fellow jurors to discuss their own experiences both during and after the trial. A conservative, religious woman from the South, she tackles this topic with humor, an open mind, and sincere curiosity. This event is a collaboration with the award-winning documentary series POV (www.pbs.org/pov). Join us for a fascinating examination of an often-overlooked perspective on the death penalty. (http://www.pbs.org/pov/lindylou/) The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP) is a statewide, grassroots organization working to end the death penalty in Texas. We engage in outreach, education, and advocacy to raise awareness of death penalty issues and promote a political/cultural climate that accepts alternatives to capital punishment. TCADP works to reduce death sentences and executions until the death penalty is abolished, and to build common ground around opposition to the death penalty.

Kristin Houlé, involved with human rights and death penalty movements since 1995, has served as the Executive Director of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP) since 2008. From 2007-2008 she was a Soros Justice Fellow and conducted research and public education around the intersection of the death penalty and severe mental illness in Texas. She served for five years as the Program Associate for Amnesty International USA's Program to Abolish the Death Penalty. Kristin graduated from the University of Kentucky and resides in Austin, Texas.

Register here.

Apr 9, 2019

Cosmic Mass with Matthew Fox

The Cosmic Mass is a ritual celebration process which combines elements of ecstatic dance, guided meditation and sacred ritual, based on the Four Directions of the Earth (North/Via Negativa; East/Via Creativa; South/Via Positiva, West/Via Transformativa). This process is inspired by the international phenomenon of dance raves, but is also firmly grounded in the findings of leading-edge, contemporary science, as well as the ancient indigenous beliefs and the age-old contemplative faith traditions of the East and West. 

WHEN: Sunday, April 28, 2019, 6:30pm – Doors open and 7:00pm – Start Time

WHERE: Whitley Theological Center (285 Oblate Drive, San Antonio, TX 78216)

TICKETS: $25 in advance, $30 at door

REGISTER: https://www.celebrationcircle.org/

Apr 28, 2019



Ebru (Water Marbling) with Nihal Sonmez

Date: Three Thursdays, May 9, 16, and 23

Time: 6:30-8 p.m.

Tuition: $40 before May 1, $45 after

Enrollment: 12 min./35 max.

Ebru, often referred to as the “dance of color on water,” is an authentic Turkish art that has been considered a spiritual art for centuries. This unique art form is produced by sprinkling color pigments into thickened water and utilizes special brushes to create various designs that are then transferred onto a sheet of paper or other surface. Believed to have been invented in the thirteenth century Turkistan, ebru then spread to China, India and Persia, and Anatolia. Seljuk and Ottoman calligraphers and artists used marbling to decorate books, imperial decrees, official documents. New techniques were perfected in the process and Turkey remained the center of marbling for many centuries. In this class we will explore a variety of techniques that participants will use to create their own masterpieces.

Born in Turkey, Nihal Sonmez has lived in San Antonio for the last year and a half. Love for every line, color, and image that she came across has been with her since childhood. She graduated from Gazi University, Department of Fine Arts, and has also earned two master’s degrees, one from Gazi University Institute of Fine Arts and the other from Ankara University in Museum Education. She was taught Ebru (Turkish Traditional Arts) at Bulent Ecevit University in Turkey as a Lecturer at a Traditional Art Department. In recent years, she has become interested in the field of Islamic Art, which inspired her research and study of Preservation Islamic Art. Now she is working on her third master's degree in Preservation of Cultural Heritage Division. She believes that developing an authentic perspective and better understanding of the world is only possible by art, as it embodies an international language.

Register here.

May 9, 2019 – May 23, 2019