Past Fora in 2007 | Past Fora in 2008 | Past Fora in 2009 | Current & Future Fora

Past Fora in 2007 at
Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church

“There was something about driving to work every day and you go past the ruins of the forum and think, God, you know, these people actually walked the Earth.
-- Lindsay Duncan, actress who played Servilia of the Junii in the 2005 HBO-BBC series Rome.

Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church (TVUUC) in Knoxville, Tennessee, usually complements its Sunday morning worship services with a "forum" on various topics. In 2007, there were 44 fora, all of which are described below. Click here for information on the current forum and on future fora.

Click here for the home page of the church website.
Click here for a sample newsletter.
Click here for information on all past fora in 2008 at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.
Click here for information on all past fora in 2009 at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.

Sunday, January 7, 2007: Forum at 10:00 AM -- "From Free Sprit to Spirtual Slavery." Speaker: Dr. Neil Greenberg, UT Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Chair of the University Studies Program, and TVUUC member. Freedom! from what? to do what? This forum will examine the forces than constrain us and our efforts to liberate ourselves from them. How do the laws of nature and those of man empower or limit us? What is the meaning of the paradox that "freedom is not free"? What is an acceptable cost of freedom--can we get a bargain? Can we reconcile freedom with justice? Religion has a unique role inmediating the tensions implicit there. [FYI Dr. Greenburg presented 23 fora at TVUUC from 2001 to 2007. Click here for more information on this forum. Click here for more information on Dr. Greenberg's previous fora.]

Sunday, January 28, 2007: Forum at 10:00 AM -- "Kilowatt Ours." This forum features the film "Kilowatt Ours" (38 minutes) and discussion led by Rev. Doug Hunt, courtesy of Interfaith Power & Light. The viewers will journey from the coalmines of West Virginia to the wind farm at nearby Buffalo Mountain to solar powered houses and schools in Tennessee and Florida. Join us in this quest to understand the real cost of energy and explore the options available for production of more efficient and clean energy. TVUUC's Environmental Concerns Committee, which is sponsoring this forum, will again have the customized totebags available for a donation of $10 per bag. Designed as part of the Committee's efforts to encourage re-cycling, the totebags are attractive, carry an important [sic] [FYI "Kilowatt Ours" is a film by Jeff Barrie of Nashville, TN.]

Sunday, February 4, 2007: Forum at 10:00 AM -- "Heifer Project International." Speaker: Brenda Logan, (ret.) Director of Christian Education, Master's degree in Religious Education. Since 1944, HIP helped almost five million families in 128 countries and many poor counties in the USA move away from poverty toward self-reliance. Instead of providing people with a non-renewable source of food, Heifer International provides a "living gift" of an animal and extensive earth-friendly farming practices. The family's health and standard of living improves [sic] by the many benefits their animal can provide--milk, eggs, wool, fertilizer, honey etc. These families repay Heifer Project by passing on one or more of their animal's off-spring to other families in need, and from them to another family. Like a hearty trio of rabbits, a gift multiplies throughout the community. (Did you know that in five years a trio of rabbits can produce a million rabbits?)

Sunday, February 18, 2007: Forum at 10:00 AM -- "Pill Popping." Speaker: Dr. Michael Betz, Professor Emeritus of Sociology. Americans often turn to prescription drugs to sleep, to perk up, to unwind, to lose weight, to alleviate heartburn and headaches, and to counter depression. In 2001, physicians in the USA wrote over 3 billion prescriptions at a cost of over $180 million [sic]. (And a couple of years ago, Sue Vaughan read that East Tennessee has the most medication prescriptions of any place in the nation!) Yet adverse reactions to drugs are the fourth leading cause of death. Dr. Betz will analyze why prescribed medications are not the best solution, and will discuss the growing trend in herbal therapies and other alternative heath promotions. Dr. Micael Betz has taught Sociology of Heath Care at UT for 26 years, and has written a book on the rise of complementary and alternative threrapies From Doctoring to Healing. Click here for information on Dr. Betz' book "Enriching Health: Pathways to Complementary Therapies."]

Sunday, February 25, 2007: Forum at 10:00 AM -- "Order Out of Chaos." Speaker: Dr. Thomas Hood, Professor Emeritus, UT Dept. of Sociology. What do panics, sports riots, lynch mobs, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have in common? Collective violence, rumors, public opinion, fashion behavior, and social movements make up a special area of study in sociology. Dr. Hood will discuss what these diverse fields have in common and what sociologists have contributed to understanding the appropriate reponse to the disorganization caused by disaster, collective violence, and large social change. Prof Hood taught at UT for over 38 years and has servd as Executive Officer of the Society for the Study of Social Problems since 1991.

Sunday, March 11, 2007: Forum at 10:00 AM -- "Believers Around The World." Carolyn Franks and Reid Franks, who spent five months last year independentely traveling around the world, write: "Throughout our trip, especially in the third world areas, we found believers of all types, people who found meaning in their lives supplied by the faith into which they cultures had placed them. We will share with you our experiences of the commitment of Indonesians to both their current and their historial faiths, a Balinese Hindu cremation, the Buddhist faith that sustains Cambodians as they move forward from the Pol Pot era into their future, India's reverence for the Ganges River, Kenyan Protestantism, and Egypt's rich and diverse religious past. We will show pictures illustrating many of these topics. [sic] [Click here for the audio of an interview of Col. Franks by Mark D. Harmon.]

Sunday, March 25, 2007: Forum at 10:00 AM -- "Choosing Our Candidate for the UUA Board (Part 1)." The Thomas Jefferson District, to which TVUUC belongs, has one seat on the Unitarian Universalist Board of Trustees. This year there are three candidates for this position. We will be having a congregational meeting on April 15th so that all church members can vote on these candidates. As a congregation we have 10 votes which can be approtioned among the 3 candidates. As this forum, we will show a video of the candidates making presentations and answering questions from an audience. Please attend so you can made an informed decision.

Sunday, April 8, 2007: Forum at 10:00 AM -- "Choosing Our Candidate for the UUA Board (Part 2)." Your second opportunity to learn about the candidates who wish to represent our district on the UUA Board. This is the first contested election in a long time, so come find out what the issues are and prepare to make an informed vote at the Congregational Meeting on Sunday, April 15, at 10 AM.

Sunday, April 22, 2007: Forum at 10:00 AM -- An Earth Day forum featuring two presentations. "Global climate changes require all of us to make changes in our lives to counter and ultimately reverse them ... changes are implemented to reduce our ecologial footprint while making our lives more meaninghful." Quality of life and sustainability are inextricably linked, and these presentations will explore how we can make our community move sustainable.

"Community Gardens at Beardsley Farm" by Sabrina DeVault, Farm Manager, Beardsley Community Farm.

"Transforming Suburbia, One House at a Time." by Professor Don Huisingh, Senior Scientist in Sustainable Development, and Jo Huisingh, discussion to follow. [FYI, The Huisinghs have a solar powered house in Knoxville, which is the largest residential power provider to TVA's Green Power Switch. Don Huisingh is Editor-In-Chief, Journal of Cleaner Production.]

Sunday, May 6, 2007: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Recycle!" In anticipation of the 2nd Annual Homeowner Secure Paper Colleciton at TVUUC on May 12, the Environmental Concerns Committee is sponsoring the forum on May 6 to address your recycling needs. Katie Swick, Education Program Manager for the Knoxville Recycling Coalition will present the forum and answer your questions. Area residents can bring personal documents on May 12 from 9 AM to 3 PM, such as tax, medical and business records, for secure disposal free of charge. All materials will be taken to Rock-Tenn Recycling for desstruction and recycling. Dick Trowbridge, who is coordinating the recycling project for TVUUC for the Enviromental Committee, will brief you on the proposal and how you can help make it effective.

Sunday, May 13, 2007: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Introduction to Feng Shui." Our speaker, Monica Castenada, writes "Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese Art of Space Arrangement which draws knowledge from Nature and Universal Laws in order to produce environments that promote Wealth, Health, Love and Happiness. The term Feng Shui means literally ' Wind and Water,' the forces that shape the landscape. It is pronounced 'Feng Schwy' and it refers to a set of rules in the Chinese philosophy that govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to patterns related to the universal laws, as expressed in the natural world." More information at Monica's practice, Feng Shui For Us.

From this point forward, all fora are under the responsibility of TVUUC's new Forum Committee.

Sunday, May 20, 2007: No Forum -- Congregational Meeting.

Sunday, May 27, 2007: Triple Forum at 11:15 AM -- "How do You Want Your Body Treated When You Die?" Why pay thousands for funeral services which you don't want and which aren't required by law? Either learn your rights -- or end up double wrapped in an expensive coffin and vault oozing embalming chemicals into the environment. Presented by Jenny Arthur of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of East Tennessee and the TVUUC staff.

Sunday, May 27, 2007: Triple Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Everything I Think I Know About Local Politics and Government." In other words, everything you thought you didn't want to hear or know about local politics and government. Presented by Mark D. Harmon, Associate Professor in UT's School of Journalism, a North Hills resident, radio host, blogger, and Knox County commissioner since August 2006. Click here for Mark's campaign website.

Sunday, May 27, 2007: Triple Forum at 11:15 AM -- "The Environmental Movement is a Big Fat Fraud!" Or so argues radical environmentalist Justin Green. What's more: He thinks he can convince you that the environmental movement is a big waste of your time and energy. Green is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Political Science at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

Sunday, June 3, 2007: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "What’s Ahead for Gay and Lesbian Adoption?" June is Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. At this forum, a panel of gay and lesbian parents living in Knoxville will take a timely look at local and national adoption rights, upcoming legislative battles, and alternative parenting options. The discussion will be moderated by Tina McMillan who headed TVUUC's Marriage Equality Task Force during last year's fight against the constitutional amendment which now bans gay marriage in Tennessee. Tina was born in Knoxville, has a degree in communications from the University of Tennessee, and is a specialist in CranioSacral therapy."

Sunday, June 10, 2007: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Blues, the Family, the Holocaust, and Renewed Love: The Poems of Marilyn Kallet." Professor Marilyn Kallet is the author of twelve books -- including poetry, translations, anthologies, and criticism -- was director of the creative writing program at UT for seventeen years, and was elected to the East Tennessee Literary Hall of Fame in Poetry in 2006. "Poetry is what I do," she says, "it enriches my life at every turn." And share her poetry is what she'll do at this forum, with selected readings from "Circe, After Hours," "How to Get Heat Without Fire," "Jack the Healing Cat," "The Moveable Nest: A Mother/Daughter Companion," and other works.

Sunday, June 17, 2007: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Violence is the American Way -- So What's the Big Deal About Virginia Tech?" Discussion led by Charles (Chaz or Doug) Barber, music director of Unity Church of Knoxville, shape note singer, member of the popular jazz duo "Two's Company," teacher at Roane State Community College, former member of TVUUC, and grand nephew of famed Knoxville architect Charles Irving Barber [1887-1962]. A cogent expression of Mr. Barber's personal views on violence in America was published in Metro Pulse on April 26.

Sunday, June 24, 2007: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "How to Celebrate the Summer Solstice (Whether or Not Your Neighbors Think You Are Pagans)." June 21 is the longest day of the year, but Pagan celebrations of the Summer Solstice center on June 24. Eleanor Peplow will tell us how ancient Pagans saw the world so differently and conclude by explaining how to have a midsummer celebration in your own back yard. A pharmacist by profession, Eleanor has lived in Arizona, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, and Nigeria. She first came to TVUUC in April 2003 when Rev. Chris Buice held a public meeting in support of the Pagen family of India Tracy, the 14-year old Union County girl who was bullied when she refused to attend Christian revival meetings at her public school. Eleanor has been attending TVUUC -- and studying Pagans and Druids -- ever since.

Sunday, July 1, 2007: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Why Humanitarians Challenge the U.S. Embargo of Cuba." On July 8, TVUUC will shelter some of the "Pastors for Peace" who deliver medical, material, and humanitarian aid to Cuba every year in deliberate defiance of the official U.S. trade embargo. Last year, our own Bob Grimac found a way around the embargo to visit Cuba and to meet with ordinary Cubans. At this forum, Bob will draw from his own experience in Cuba to tell us why "Pastors for Peace" and their parent organization -- the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) -- believe the U.S. embargo is cruel and immoral. Bob needs no introduction since he is a long-time TVUUC member and activist for peace and many other humanitarian causes in East Tennessee.

Sunday, July 8, 2007: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "UU General Assembly As If You Were There." Chris, Rosie, and four others from TVUUC attended the UU General Assembly in Portland, Oregon, June 20-24. At this forum, our lay delegation will tell us what happened at GA and will facilitate a discussion of some of the issues and spiritual bonds which connect TVUUC to the larger world of Unitarian Universalism. Erven, Enora, and Elandria Williams are long-time members of TVUUC. Erven is a TVA project specialist and chairs TVUUC's Denominational Affairs Committee. Elandria directs the "Seeds of Fire" youth program at the Highlander Research and Education Center. Gene Burr, AIA, AICP, is an urban planner, chair of TVUUC's Environmental Concerns Committee, and member of the UUA Accessibilities Committee.

Sunday, July 15, 2007: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi." Gandhi is arguably the most important political and religious leader of the 20th Century, but what is his legacy nearly 60 years after his assassination? Ted Lollis researched statues of Gandhi for the article on "peace monuments" around the world which he wrote for the four-volume Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace. Earlier this years, he and Schera Chadwick sought Gandhi's legacy in eight different cities in India, including six cities in the company of Arun Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma. Ted has has been an army officer, a geologist, a map store owner, a geographic analyst, and a Foreign Service Officer. He has lived and worked in eight foreign countries, most recently as U.S. Consul General in Bordeaux, France.

Sunday, July 22, 2007: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "What Makes Music, Art -- and Life -- Beautiful." Cary Masters will demonstrate how great music and great art create beauty by making opposites: Light and dark, high and low, motion and rest, something and nothing. And how -- through the examination of beautiful music -- we discover how to make our lives beautiful. Cary has degrees from the Berklee College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and Adelphi University. He was a performing musician (pedal steel guitar and guitar), songwriter/composer, producer, and educator before moving to Knoxville and becoming a social worker. His wife Vicki is TVUUC's Director of Music.

Sunday, July 29, 2007: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "From the Tower of Babel to English and Back Again." The Tower of Babel has bothered Eleanor Peplow ever since she was a Baptist girl in Arkansas. Why does the Bible put the story smack in the middle of Noah's genealogy? Why didn't God's people build a tower that would promote a common language and bring them closer to Him? Why do we still not have a common language? Why do some languages die while others thrive? What a long, strange trip our languages have taken ever since the Tower of Babel. Eleanor is a retired pharmacist who presented a recent Forum on the Summer Solstice and Paganism.

Sunday, August 5, 2007: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Relevance of Hiroshima Today." Tomorrow is the 62nd anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb, and the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA) is in the midst of its annual protest at the Y-12 nuclear plant. Ralph Hutchison is a Presbyterian minister, coordinates OREPA, and has just returned from a trip to Japan where he helped celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order and met with the mayor of Hiroshima, among other things. Ralph presented fora at TVUUC in 1999 and 2001. This time, he will describe encouraging new signs that the world may be facing up to the threat of nuclear weapons at long last.

Sunday, August 12, 2007: Forum at 10:00 AM -- "When Your Feet Feel Good, You Feel Good." Learn how foot problems can affect your health. And how health problems can affect your feet. Find ways to alleviate ailments and to improve your sports and work performance. Presented by Britton Leitch and Alex Seen, Certified Pedorthists at Foot Solutions on Kingston Pike. (Pedorthics is the study of footwear and supplemental devices for footwear; including orthoses, prostheses, shoe modifications, shoe fitting and shoe fabrication.)

Sunday, August 19, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Understanding Investments." TVUUC members Barbara and Greg McKendry will host a 50 minute DVD teaching the difference between stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CD's, annuities, and telling where we can get the very best return on our hard-earned money. The DVD is part of the 13 week long Financial Peace University developed by financial guru and nationally syndicated radio host David Ramsey. The McKendrys are Financial Peace graduates and will facilitate another series of Financial Peace classes at TVUUC beginning in January 2008. More information about the classes will be available at the forum.

Sunday, August 26, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Hurricane Katrina: What Went Right And What Went Wrong." When Hurricane Katrina roared ashore two years ago today, its human toll would have been far less had Mayor Nagan and the Louisiana media heeded the warnings of Brendan Loy, a 23-year old law student in South Bend, Indiana. Immediately after the storm, Loy's predictions were acclaimed by the New York Times and Washington Post, and his web log (blog) became one of the most frequently linked-to websites of all times. Loy recently graduated from Notre Dame University and moved to Knoxville. He will tell us how he scooped the nation in 2005 and how the mainstream media and government continue to fail the people of New Orleans.

Sunday, September 2, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Marriage Equality in Massachusetts." Beacon Press authors Patricia Gozemba and Karen Kahn will show an emotional, ten-minute video of more than 100 photographs taken by photojournalist (and UU World contributor) Marilyn Humphries. Then share the personal and political story of how same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts in 2004. Their newly published book -- "Courting Equality: A Documentary History of America's First Legal Same-Sex Marriages" -- will be available for review and for autographs. Unitarian Universalists, UU congregations, and the UUA are featured in many of the photographs and appear throughout the book.

Sunday, September 9, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Ramadan in East Tennessee." This week will mark both the sixth anniversary of 9/11 and the beginning of the Muslim month of Ramadan. To learn more about Islam -- and about the Muslim Community of Knoxville (MCK) -- we have invited Noman Zaheer (a naturalized American of Pakistani descent) from the local "Masjid Annoor" (Mosque of Light) to discuss Ramadan and to describe his own pilgrimage to Mecca. Whether you attend this forum or not, please click here for a touching description of Ramadan as observed in East Tennessee. The arrow on the compass rose above points toward the Kabah in Mecca and therefore indicates the direction which Muslims face when praying in Knoxville.

Sunday, September 16, 2007: Double Forum at 10:05 AM -- "What's New in the Labor Movement?" The labor movement created the middle class here and abroad, but only nine percent of American workers belong to unions today. Tom Smith will describe ways in which organized labor is working to reenergize itself -- internationally, around the nation, and in Knoxville. Tom is President of United Campus Workers-Communications Workers of America -- the union for the staff and faculty of the University of Tennessee. Formerly, he was active in UT's Progressive Student Alliance, and he still works within Jobs With Justice of East Tennessee to help bring about social and economic justice outside the walls of academe.

Sunday, September 16, 2007: Double Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Future Needs of the TVUUC Building." The Building Needs Task Force invites all interested TVUUC'ers to attend a special forum to discuss the TVUUC Building. According to task force leader Alan Moore, "We want to obtain some input from the congregation about their opinions about changes in the building -- large or small -- that would improve its functionality, and/or would be needed when we achieve our stated goal of reaching 600 members." Please find additional information on an inside page of this newsletter.

Sunday, September 23, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "The Culture of Peace." Peace movements across the centuries and around the world -- and how we can replace our culture of violence with a culture of peace -- as seen by one of the world's leading experts on the history of peace, non-violence, and the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Peter Van Den Dungen was born in Holland and has taught for many years in the world's largest department of peace studies in Bradford, England. He also founded and still heads the International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP) whose last four conferences were held at the European Peace University in Stadtschlaining (Austria), in Osaka and Kyoto (Japan), in Diksmuide (Belgium), and in Guernica (Spain).

Sunday, September 30, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Exceptional Orchestra." Cary Masters, Vicki Masters, and Kim Kredich will introduce the "Exceptional Orchestra," an innovative musical project which Kim founded in Richmond, Virginia, and is now bringing to Knoxville. The project will debut at TVUUC in January 2008 and culminate in the performance of a new jazz ensemble piece written by Cary expressly for children and youth of ALL physical and emotional abilities. Vicki is TVUUC's director of music, and her husband Cary is the beloved composer of "Chaos in the Kingdom" performed at TVUUC on August 5. A former music director at Richmond, Kim Kredich will also show a short DVD of her last "Exceptional Orchestra."

Sunday, October 7, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "China Since the Industrial Revolution." Intrepid TVUUC'er Faye Joyce will show slides and talk about ancient and modern China. Faye saw both during her recent trip and has some original observations to make. She will discuss China, both old and new, and point out cultural differences between China and America. Faye was a teacher, social worker, and investigator in Appalachia before retiring in 2005. Since her trip to China, Faye has traveled with the Education Development United Foundation to visited church education systems in southern Africa -- most likely gathering material for a future forum!

Sunday, October 14, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "A Scientific Look at the Process of Meditation." A PowerPoint presentation and discussion led by "Dadaji" (Sanskrit for "Respected Brother") Acharya Shuddhatmananda Avt, a Tantric monk from Orissa in eastern India, who has practiced Ananda Marga (Sanskrit for "Path of Bliss") meditation for 21 years. Ananda margiis (followers of AM) use meditation, asanas ("yoga postures"), spiritual gatherings, and social service to achieve their psycho-spiritual potential for a healthy and balanced life. Dadaji Shuddhatmananda has just returned to the US from doing relief work in Mexico. He also teaches yoga and vegetarian cooking. Also see Wikipedia articles on Ananda Marga and Tantra yoga for more information.

Sunday, October 21, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "How Would You Change the UU Purposes and Principles?" What do you think of the UU "Purposes and Principles" (often referred to simply as "The Seven Principles")? Is something missing? Has something grown out-of-date? A UUA Commission on Appraisal is soliciting input from UU's across the country, and the "Church News" of September 23 asked TVUUC'ers to email suggestions to At this forum, Rev. Chris Buice will share his views and ask for yours. Maybe TVUUC will propose a change or two to UUA. Please note that this forum was previously announced for October 28 but has been moved up one week. Click here to review the current Principles. Click here for some historical background.

Sunday, October 28, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Rev. Chris Buice's Sabbatical in 2008 and 2009." The entire congregation is urged to atttend this forum about the two-part sabbatical which our minister is planning to take in 2008 and 2009. What do we want while Chrris is absent:: A temporary minister for the entire time, or lay services, or a combination of both? How will our caring needs be covered? How will the sabbatical benefit TVUUC? What can we do to ensure that it benefits Chris personally? This forum will be based in part on replies to the questionnaire distributed on October 21. Discussion will be led by the Sabbatical Committee. NB: The forum will take place in the sanctuary -- not in the Lizzie Crozier French room.

Sunday, November 4, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Is Democracy for Everyone?" The Bush administration's thinks everyone wants to live as we do and that we can easily transfer our democracy to other countries. But, according to Justin Green, a viable democracy requires three pre-conditions: A civic culture, horizontal as opposed to vertical political cleavages, and a supportive social structure. He will explain these terms and demonstrate why the lack of any one of them prevents democracy -- or causes it to function very badly. A member of TVUUC, Green is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Political Science at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

Sunday, November 11, 2007, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Northern Ireland: Torn in Two (And Together Again?)" TVUUC member John Bohstedt will talk about "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland, the peace process that began in 1981, and the Good Friday (Belfast) agreement of 1998 which brought a "paradoxical peace" between Catholics and Protestants. Discussion may focus on what it takes to create conditions in which both sides are able to compromise their differences. At UTK John teaches the history of modern Britain and Ireland and of riots and revolutions in Western Europe and the United States.

Sunday, November 18, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Native American Spirituality" November is National American Indian Heritage Month, and TVUUC welcomes Watagui Archie Russ, who will discuss the spirituality of Native Americans from a traditional Native perspective and tell us something about the various groups who live in Tennessee today. An enrolled member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in Manistee, Michigan, Watagui has lived in East Tennessee for 25 years, has been associated with various Native American organizations, and is currently Director of Research and Development for the Traditional Native Survival and Cultural Center, Inc. (TNSCC), in New Tazewell, TN.

Sunday, November 25, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Can Knox County Have a Responsive Government?" Mark D. Harmon presented a forum six months ago, but a lot has happened since then. So Mark is returning to help us sort it all out: What's the meaning of the lawsuit by the Knoxville News Sentinel? Where does it leave the Open Meetings Act (sunshine law)? What are the positions of the different county commissioners? Will there be a special election? Can Knox County ever have a responsive government? To remind, Mark is an Associate Professor in UT's School of Journalism, a North Hills resident, TVUUC member, radio host, blogger, and Knox County Commissioner since August 2006

Sunday, December 2: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Speaking Up for Abused and Neglected Children" December is Universal Human Rights Month, and Carolyn Doty, executive director of CASA of East Tennessee, will speak about some of the human rights work which needs to be done right here at home. Knox County places more than 500 children in foster care every year, and the rate of child abuse and neglect increased 24% in just one year. A judge must decide what happens to each child in foster care, and this is where CASA comes in. CASA stands for "Court Appointed Special Advocates" for children. CASA volunteers are specially trained to speak up for children and work alongside attorneys and social workers as officers of the court. Ms. Doty consulted for more than 20 years on health and environmental issues, worked for the National Library of Medicine, and served on the CASA board before accepting her current position.

Sunday, December 9, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "A protest of Japanese removal and incarceration during World War II" In recognition of Pearl Harbor Day (December 7), UT Professor and TVUUC member Jeff Kovac will present a paper he wrote based on a manuscript of his father-in-law, the late Charles Davis. Davis was a Consciencious Objector (CO) in Cascade Locks, Oregon, when he and the other men of Civilian Public Service Camp 21 mounted one of the few sustained protests against the federal government's incarceration of Japanese citizens and aliens during World War II. Click here to see the complete paper entitled "Confrontation at the Locks: A protest of Japanese removal and incarcration during World War II." (Charles Davis is standing in the 1942 photograph shown above.)

Sunday, December 16, 2007: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Readers' Theater: Become a Star in Sixty Minutes!" Eleanor Peplow is an experienced actress (e.g. Children of a Lesser God) and director (e.g. Run for Your Wife). She will show us how it's done -- with the help of willing volunteers. Come one. Come all. Today's forum requires Aspirant Actors (of all ages) and an Appreciative Audience (of all ages). You'll receive a program at the door. Eleanor will conduct auditions, cast 5-6 volunteers, and direct rehersals. Then the cast will perform the play's world premiere! "Readers' Theatre" is one step beyond doing it on the radio but lots more fun! You won't know who the stars are, what the play is, or how it ends unless you come. Fun is guaranteed for all. Stars will be born.

Sunday, December 23, 2007: No Forum -- Sunday Closest to Christmas.

Sunday, December 30, 2007: No Forum -- Sunday Closest to New Years.

"If I should ever decide in the future to discuss my deep Christian beliefs
and condemnation and sinfulness, I would use another forum besides Playboy."
-- President Jimmy Carter (b. 1924), repenting for
the “lust in his heart” remark he made to Playboy Magazine.

Please email any comments or questions to geovisual at

Click here for information on the current forum.
Click here for a sample newsletter (PDF format, 341 kb).
Click here for the home page of the church website.
Click here to see The Forum in 2008 at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.