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Past Fora in 2010 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.
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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 3, 2010: No Forum -- Sunday Closest to New Years Day.
Sunday, January 10, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "TVUUC's Long Range Plan: "Charting the Course" 2010-1015.” Led by congregation president Grier Novinger and members of the Long Range Planning Committee (Alan Moore, Frony Ward, Sara Jacobus, Dick Trowbridge, and Judy Ann Langston), this forum is for open discussion and information gathering and will be held in the sanctuary. The draft Long Range Plan (LRP) can be found on the TVUUC website. All members of the congregation are urged read the draft and to attend the forum. Your input is critical. The plan is exciting and challenging, and the support of the entire congregation is needed to meet its goals. Alan Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org) is collecting questions and comments which the committee will compile and have available at the forum. Afterwards, the committee will prepare a final draft and send it to the Board for approval.
Sunday, January 17, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "The 'Buts' of UU History." We like to think of Unitarians as active Abolitionists, of Universalists as the first religious group to pass a resolution against slavery, and of both as suffragettes. Yes, this is our history. But eminent ministers were effectively fired for speaking against slavery. Yes, we have an important roster of feminist activists. But women were denied the ministry for several decades. Yes, we've stood on the side of love. But sometimes we've stood on the sidelines. And sometimes we've even stood on the wrong side. We need to know all sides of our history. So Rev. Gordon Gibson will share some of the "Buts" on this Martin Luther King, Jr., weekend. A member of TVUUC, Gordon is president of the UU Historical Society (UUHS) and will lead a week-long Adult UU Heritage Tour of the Boston area from March 27 to April 2, 2010.
N.B.: There's a reception this morning to to honor Jenny Arthur.
Sunday, January 24, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Thinking about Recent Religious Surveys" Prof. Mark Hulsether presented a TVUUC forum 52 weeks ago today when his subject was."Thinking about Liberalism and US Religion." Now he's back by popular demand (assisted by a suggestion from Kathy Bohstead) to discuss two more recent surveys -- the US Religious Landscape Survey (USRLS) and the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS). Prof. Hulsether questions the way that they spin they numbers about "liberals" -- and that means us. Dr. Hulsether is UT Professor of Religious Studies and American Studies, He earned a M.Div. degree at Yale University Divinity School and a Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Minnesota. He has studied the interplay of religion and social issues in US history. The most recent of his three books, "Religion, Culture, and Politics in the Twentieth Century United States," was co-published in 2007 by Columbia University Press and Edinburgh University Press. He is currently writing an article on liberalism and US religion for the Blackwell Companion to Religion in America.
Sunday, January 31, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM was cancelled on Saturday afternoon immediately following the cancellation of both worship services for this day 'because of the weather" (a little snow on the ground). The forum entitled "Justice Tennessee Style," previously scheduled for this date, was postponed to February 21, 2010 (assuming that the same presenters will be available on that date).
Sunday, February 7, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "What Does the Haitian Earthquake Mean to TVUUC?" A discussion of ways in which the Haitian Earthquake has affected our personal lives. Please share your experience if the earthquake has changed your daily routine in any way. We shall hear from at least one close friend of TVUUC -- Cliff Honicker -- who is working through friends in Haiti and the Turks and Caicos to help a Knoxville based Christian ministry, Vine International, move 2,700 pounds of antibiotic from Guatemala to Haiti. Three years ago, he helped two "incredibly brave" Haitian women sell their art to airport stores. If time permits, Cliff will share his Haitian photos and stories. (Cliff was executive director of the American Environmental Health Studies Project for 20 years and CAO of the Lisa Ross Birth and Women's Center for five years. Today he's helping trial attorney J.D. Lee write the book "Aging is a Choice" and is turning the 102-acre Swan Pond Farm back into a "working farmer's" farm.
Sunday, February 14, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Democracy's Prisoner." Presented by Dr. Ernest Freeberg, Professor of History at UT and author of the recent Book "Democracy's Prisoner: Eugene V. Debs, the Great War, and the Right to Dissent." In 1920, socialist leader Eugene V. Debs ran for president while serving a ten-year jail term for speaking against America's role in World War I. Though many called Debs a traitor, others praised him as a prisoner of conscience, a martyr to the cause of free speech. Nearly a million Americans agreed, voting for a man whom the government had branded an enemy to his country. The Debs case illuminates our own struggle to define the boundaries of permissible dissent as we continue to balance the right of free speech with the demands of national security. NB: Today is Valentine's Day. and the day before Presidents' Day.
Sunday, February 21, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Justice Tennessee Style," Presented by Jim Gray, Bee DeSelm, and David Habercom, possibly joined by lawyer Herb Moncier, Jenny Arthur, Jerry Bone, Bill Collins, Mary Hook, or other members of the "Knoxville 20." Beginning in 2005, this group of ordinary citizens sued Knox County to enforce term limits and sunshine laws. Although they won a major Chancery Court case, (thereby forcing 12 illeglly appointed officials to resign), the plantiffs were slapped with $33,000 in court costs. At this forum, they will discuss what they've learned about justice in Tennessee, what they've achieved, and what they are still trying to achieve. Jim Gray works for the Census Bureau and is a former chair of the Knox County Democratic Party. Bee DeSelm is a member of TVUUC and former member of the Knox County Commission. PS: Today is the third anniversary of "Black Wednesday" (January 31, 2007) when County Commissioners filled the 12 vacancies with relatives, insiders and cronies.
Sunday, February 28, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Modeling Your Beliefs in Your Art and Living." TVUUC members Chris Hamblin and Tina McMillan were deeply moved last August when they attended the first Arts and Social Change Institute at The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center in Highlands, NC. Led by singer, producer, actor, author, activist and teacher Holly NeaR, institute participants practiced different ways to express themselves -- verbally, musically, and spiritually. Now Chris and Tina would like to share some of the things they gleaned at the Mountain, including Holly's songs "We are a gentle angry people (singing, singing for our lives)" and "It could have been me (but instead it was you)". Chris has in fact adapted the latter song to refer specifically to TVUUC. In 2009, he produced the Stonewall anniversary show, "The Night of 1,000 Dollies," and the staged reading of the play "Doubt" by John Patrick Shanley.
Sunday, March 7, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Is Torture Is a Moral Issue?" The Unitarian Universalist Association and other church groups are concerned (1) that some Americans may have concluded that torture is acceptable under certain circumstances and (2) that even the Obama administrtion is continuing the practice of "extraordinary renditon," i.e. deporting foreign prisoners to third countries for harsh interogation. So the UUA and others have created the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) to help congregations discuss the issue of torture in the context of their faith. At this forum, we shall view "Ending U.S.-Sponsored Torture Forever," a 20-minute video provided by NRCAT, and then Rev. Steven D. Martin will facilitate a 40-minute discussion of what we feel about torture and what, if anything, we can do about it. Rev. Martin is Associate Pastor of Kern Memorial United Methodist Church in Oak Ridge, Executive Director of The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, and the writer/producer of several documentary films, including "Muslims in Appalachia," "Theologians Under Hitler," and "Hearts Divided: Baptism and the Jews in Nazi Germany."
Sunday, March 14, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "The Beautiful Geometry of Circle Packing." Presented by Ken Stephenson, Professor of Mathematics, UT, and author of "Introduction to Circle Packing." “Circle packing” is a powerful tool for the computation of conformal maps that transform one domain into another with practical applications such as mapping the human brain. It is safe to say that Ken’s passion for investigating the nature, implications and applications of circle packing have lead to him becoming a recognized world expert in the matter. In recent years, Ken has worked to create a software package, CirclePack, to enable others to conduct experiments that apply circle-packing approaches. Click here to take a look. NB: Daylight Savings Time begins today.
Sunday, March 21, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Adventures in Alabama." TVUUC's Karen Krogh and local art gallery owner Diane Hanson traveled to Alabama in the summer of 2008 in search of art pieces for Hanson's gallery. Unexpected encounters along the way made the journey as fascinating as the destination: A march celebrating the 50th anniversary of the famed Selma to Montgomery voting rights march. A story teller. Charlie Lucas who sculpts discarded metals into figurative characters. Ted Whisenhunt who paints the famous Gee’s Bend quilt forms onto wooden panels. These are just some of the adventures in Albama which Karen photographed both humorously and playfully.
Sunday, March 28, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "My Eighteenth Century Haggadah" Passover will start on Tuesday, March 30, and continue for seven days until Monday, April 5. Haggadah -- the Hebrew word for "telling" -- is read on passover during the seder dinner to fulfill the scriptural commandment to each Jew to "tell your son" about the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt. Historian Dan Bing will share a deeply personal story about his Jewish ancestors in Ihringen, Germany, and about three Haggadot he recently discovered which were written by Abaraham Levi [1694-1764], his 5x great grandfather. An active member of TVUUC for over forty years, Dan taught ancient history at UT Knoxville from 1966 until his retirement in 2000, and published articles on a variety of topics ranging from Sumerian and Babylonian myths, Alexander the Great and the Persian Empire, and Athenian military history.
Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Death With Dignity: The Human Right of the 21st Century.” Presented by Judy Snyderman, Board Member, Final Exit Network, who is visited Knoxville from her home in Mason, Ohio. According to the Final Exit brochure, "Mentally competent adults have a basic human right to end their lives when they suffer from a fatal or irreversible illness or intractable pain, when their quality of life is personally unacceptable, and the future holds only hopelessness and misery. Such a right shall be an individual choice, including the timing and companion, free of any restrictions by the law, clergy, medical profession, even friends and relatives no mater how well-intended." FYI, three states (Oregon, Montana and Washington) permit physician-assisted suicide. Thirty-four states -- including Tennessee -- have statutes explicitly criminalizing assisted suicide.
Sunday, April 11, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- “Should We Change 'Thomas Jefferson' to 'Toward Justice?'” The district board wants to change the name of our UU district (which includes Virginia) from "Thomas Jefferson" to "Toward Justice." A poll of 45 congregations shows 63% opposed to any name change and 84% specifically opposed to "Toward Justice." An up or down vote will take place on May 1 at the district's annual meeting, and TVUUC delegates need guidance from our congregation. At this forum, "Officer Emeritus" Alan Moore will present some of the pros and cons, then ask attendees for their own views. Go to http://www.tjdistrict.org/images/TJD_Webinar_March_2010.2.ppt to see PowerPoint slides from a webinar on the name change proposal. Go to http://www.famousuus.com/bios/thomas_jefferson.htm for "Was Thomas Jefferson Really a Unitarian?" (The annual meeting will take place April 30-May 2 at Penn Center on St. Helena Island near Beaufort, South Carolina -- about as far away from Virginia as you go and still be the TJ District.)
Sunday, April 18, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Environmental Justice.” A forum for Earth day 2010 presented by TVUUC's Environmental Concerns Committee (Gene Burr, chair). A groundbreaking documentary, The Future of Food, distills the complex technology and key regulatory, legal, ethical, environmental and consumer issues surrounding the troubling changes happening in the food system today -- genetically engineered foods, patenting, and the corporatization of food. While everyone is affected by food availability and quality, the people most adversely impacted are those with the least resources. The committee is addressing that concern by publishing now for the second year its directory of farmers' markets, community gardens, and community-supported agriculture (CSA's) in the nine-county area surrounding Knox County. The 2010 edition of "Taking Back Our Food" is being distributed during April community-wide, and copies will be available at the forum.
Sunday, April 25, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- “Operational Excellence – What It Is and Why It's Important to TVUUC.” Presented by Bill Cherry, TVUUC’s Interim Director of Administration. Every organization, whether it manufactures widgets, replaces your roof, treats your allergies or nurtures your spirit, must operate effectively and efficiently so as to meet and, hopefully, exceed the expectations of its “customers”. After a 38 year career as a quality executive in the biopharmaceutical industry, Bill was an independent performance management (PM) consultant before taking on the administrative director position in January. He will introduce himself, discuss his 3-legged stool model for operational excellence, and briefly describe the purpose of the newly formed Governance Task Force.
Sunday, May 2, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Global Population: 6.8 Billion and Growing Rapidly. Are We There Yet?" A discussion of the links between rapid population growth and the environment, women's rights, and broader concerns about social justice. Presented by John Seager, President and Chief Executive Officer of Population Connection (PC), America's grassroots population organization. Based in Washington, DC, and known as Zero Population Growth (ZPG) before 2002, PC was founded in 1968 by Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb. Today, PC educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth's resources. Mr. Seager engages people in a lively, positive discussion about how to meet these challenges through progressive approaches that respect individual rights. He was formerly with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and also served as Chief of Staff, Communications Director, and District Director for US Representative Peter H. Kostmayer (D, PA). He holds a BA in Political Science from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
Sunday, May 9, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Pages.” An old friend of TVUUC and new member, Edye Ellis will celebrate Mother's Day by reading her mother's poetry and her own poetry and will share some art work postcards. Edye has one of the most recognizable faces in East Tennessee. She came to Knoxville in 1982 from Cincinnati to anchor a morning news show as well as the "World's Fair Updates" and "Welcome World" shows for WBIR-TV Channel 10. After the fair ended, Ellis became co-anchor of the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. She enjoyed a lengthy career at WBIR and was also communications director for the University of Tennessee. Since she left WBIR in 1994, Edye has done freelance work, including hosting two shows, "The Good Life" and "Today at Home," as well as a couple of live shows, for Home and Garden Television (HGTV).
Sunday, May 16, 2010: -- No forum today -- N.B.: No forum on this date because of the TVUUC Annual Meeting. This is also the first Sunday of TVUUC's summer schedule. On subsequent Sundays (and until the winter schedule resumes in August), the forum will take place at 11:15 AM after the single worship service at 10:00 AM.
Sunday, May 23, 2010: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Can Pranks Have An Ethical Purpose?” A prank is defined as "a trick of an amusing, playful, or sometimes malicious nature, or to dress or adorn in an ostentatious manner." The prankster operates as a trickster, creating deceptions that reveal larger truths. Lewis Hyde, in writing about the trickster myth, and in using the Native American examples of Coyote and Raven, calls attention to the relationship between creativity and mischief. The trickster uses pranks to disrupt our normative experience and the status quo, and to rupture our preconceptions about the world. In this forum, TVUUC member, UT art professor, and Hokes Archives director Beauvais Lyons (who's been known to perpetrate a prank or two of his own) will offer examples of pranks intended for artistic, social, and political purposes. Can pranks have value for Unitarian Universalists who place a high value on truth telling? Is there an ethics of pranking?
May 30, 2010: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "The Challenge of Diversity in a UU Congregation.” The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is challenging member congregations to become more diverse, especially with regard to minorities. As a denomination, our membership is approximately 92% "white." By 2040, current demographic projections conclude that "whites" will be a minority in the US. Do we need to become more diverse to avoid becoming irrelevant? Will greater diversity in our congregation help us to better live our UU values? Alan Moore -- a two times past president of TVUUC and chair of the long range planning committee -- will present some ideas from the last UUA General Assembly and lead a discussion about the challenges to becoming a more diverse congregation.
Sunday, June 6, 2010: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "College Makes Students More Liberal, Doesn't It?” Liberals believe in equal opportunity and equality for all and that it is the duty of government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and human rights. Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and traditional American values. Since college faculties tend to be liberal, most folks would predict that college students tend to gravitate toward the Democrat Party and liberal views of public policy. But the facts may surprise you. This forum is based on a study and published articles which Justin Green did back in the 1970's. A longtime member of TVUUC, Justin is a former Professor of Political Science at Villanova University. He gained his PhD at Syracuse University and wrote his doctoral dissertation on "Women Leaders of the Philippines."
Sunday, June 13, 2010: Forum at 11:15 AM -- " Changing Our Future, PART I -- A British Initiative." Concerned about climate change, fossil fuel depletion, and economic contraction, the Transition Network has already crossed the Atlantic and fostered Transition US in order to promote 65 "Transition Cities" and a "Transition Culture." This is a grassroots movement to organize a "planned energy descent," which would involve a "relocalization" of production and distribution, closer community bonds, and a "lower" economic standard of living which may actually be superior. We just won't have as much stuff -- and we won't be doing as much driving. This is the first of two fora about changing our future. Today's discussion will be introduced by Mark Homer. Mark has been a teacher, psychologist, attorney, and activist. He holds a BA in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, a MA in psychology from Temple University, and JD and MBA degrees from the University of Tennessee.
Sunday, June 20, 2010: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Changing Our Future, PART II -- A Blount County Initiative." Working to "preserve the historic, rural and natural qualities of Blount County," the The Raven Society is bringing land-use issues and solutions to the attention of neighboring counties as well. ("The Raven" is the nickname of Blount County native Sam Houston.) How do we balance economic and population growth with scenic preservation and "quality of life" factors? How can we protect ridgetops and hillsides, air and water, and prime agricultural lands from haphazard development? This is the second of two fora about changing our future. Today's discussion will be introduced by Ingrid Haun, member of TVUUC and a board member of the The Raven Society. Ingrid has degrees in journalism from Antioch College and in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked in education policy and as a teacher of English as a Second Language and is the mother of two children.
Sunday, June 27, 2010: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "100 Years of the Ijams Family Legacy.” The Ijams family spearheaded Knoxville’s enduring ornithological, Girl Scout, and Garden Club movements, helped promote Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and -- in 1910 -- opended a small "Bird Sanctuary" which has grown to become the 275-acre Ijams Nature Center in South Knoxville. Executive director Paul James will show a selection of vintage photography from his new book, "Ijams Nature Center" (part of the Images of America series from Arcadia Publishing). A native of Great Britain, Mr. James has also written a series of articles for the Tennessee Conservationist Magazine plus the guide for Ijams’ Lost Species Exhibit. He is a regular speaker on extinct species and the history of Ijams Nature Center at venues such as the acclaimed annual Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge.
Sunday, July 4, 2010: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "One Big Experiment: An Overview of Nuclear Weapons and Power.” A review of the nuclear age and the environmental, legal and human health effects of producing and using nuclear power and nuclear weapons. Presented by John LaForge, Co-Director of Nukewatch in Luck, Wisconsn. John has been on the Nukewatch staff for 18 years and edts its quarterly. His articles have appeared in the Capital Times, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald, The Progressive, Earth Island Journal, Z magazine, New Internationalist, and elsewhere. He is one of many peace activists attending a national gathering in Oak Ridge and Maryville, July 3-5, to mark the 30th anniversary of Nukewatch, The Nuclear Resister of Tucson, Arizona, and the first direct Plowshares direct disarmament action on September 9, 1980, assisted by the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA) of Knoxville.
NB: Today is Independence Day
Sunday, July 11, 2010: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Why Humanitarians Challenge the U.S. Embargo of Cuba." On Tuesday, July 13, TVUUC will feed members of the 21st annual Friendship Caravan en route to deliver medical, material, and humanitarian aid to Cuba in deliberate defiance of the official U.S. trade embargo. In 2006, our own Bob Grimac found a way around the embargo to visit Cuba and to meet with ordinary Cubans. At this forum, Bob will show a video about the annual caravan and draw from his own experience in Cuba to tell us why the "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.
N.B. This repeats a TVUUC forum which Bob facilitated on July 1, 2007.
Sunday, July 18, 2010: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Royalty, Religion, Sex and Mystery." Presented by Ina Hughs, Knoxville News Sentinel literary columnist ("In the Margins"). "After majoring in philosophy, Ms. Hughs was a teacher, a computer programmer, and a speech and language pathologist. In her 30 years as a newspaper columnist, she has focused on issues involving human rights, children, women's concerns, religion, and the environment. She has three grown children. Divorced after 30 years of marriage, she now lives in a cabin on a cove off of the Tennessee River and has recently taken up painting. Earlier this summer, she was writer in residence at the Ghost Ranch education and conference center in Abiquiu, New Mexico. She has received numerous awards over the years, but says her real success comes from making readers think or laugh or to have something to discuss at the dinner table." She is author of "A Prayer for Children."
Sunday, July 25, 2010: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "TVUUC Social Action in Action" (Second Annual Award Celebration). Effective social action is often achieved -- not by nationally organized movements -- but through the unheralded small initiatives of committed individuals. At the end of 2009, TVUUC awarded small grants ($100 each) to nine people of various ages for social causes near and dear to their hearts. The recipients were Duane Chaffee, Bob Grimac, Annette Mendola, Kathy Poese, Beth Shulters, Sylvia Smith, Wendy Southern, Trish Wikssten, and Morgan Wilson. At this forum -- coordinated by past-president Ted Jones --grant recipients will talk about their social action projects. And we'll find out if this type of grass roots, few-strings-attached funding produced positive results -- for the causes at hand, for the grant recipients, and for TVUUC.
N.B. Immediatey following this forum, Bob Grimac will lead interested attendees on a tour of the TVUUC Community Garden which was the bineficiary of his community grant.
Sunday, August 1, 2010: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Anatomy of Peace." Presented by Prof. Kenneth (Ken) Gilbert, Head, UT Department of Statistics, Operations & Management Science. "At the heart of all conflict, whether between individuals or nations, is an affliction common to everyone: Self deception. We choose to see others in a way that justifies our actions. The concepts presented in this forum are based on universal ideas voiced for centuries by philosophers, statesmen, psychologists, and spiritual leaders. At the heart of their teachings is the idea that the way that you choose to see others is fundamental to how you see yourself and how you view the world. By becoming more aware we can become happier, more inspired, and more inspiring to others." Dr. Gilbert holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics from Berea College, an M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Tennessee, and a Ph.D. in Management Science from the University of Tennessee. His research interests include the areas of production management and inventory control.
Sunday, August 8, 2010: Forum from 11:15 AM to 1:15 PM-- "Wilderness Journey, The Struggle for Black Empowerment and Racial Justice within the UUA,” This special two hour forum will follow up on issues raised in the May 30 forum on diversity. We will begin with a 2003 video documentary by Ron Cordes which tells about both the promise and the devastating disappointment of the 1967-70 period. In that time, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) went from being a leader among American religious groups in financially supporting Black self-empowerment to allocating no funds for such programs. Former UUA President Bill Sinkford was typical of many minority members who left the UUA feeling that the denomination had deserted them. Bring your lunch, watch the video, and let’s discuss our reactions in 2010. Gordon Gibson will lead the discussion. A former pastor of UU churches in Mississippi, Indiana, and Massachusetts, Gordon was a participant in and is a student of this conflict. He is also president of the UU Historical Society (UUHS).
Sunday, August 15, 2010: Forum at 11:15 AM -- "Foxy Lady." Lynn Bari [1919-1989] was under contract to 20th Century-Fox for a remarkable 14 years during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Beautiful, immensely talented, popular with moviegoers and coworkers alike, she made over 150 movies and seemed destined to become a major star. But her ascent was sabotaged by unresolved problems with her domineering, alcoholic mother and by three exploitative marriages. TVUUC member Jeff Gordon has just published "Foxy Lady: The Authorized Autobiography of Lynn Bari" based on his interviews with Bari, Anthony Quinn, Alice Faye, Claire Trevor, Roddy McDowall, George Montgomery, and others. Jeff is a noted film historian whose work has appeared in Classic Images, Films of the Golden Age, Focus on Film, and other entertainment publications. He has headed the Barbara Anne Stanwyck Cinema Society in New York City for seven years and the Cresthill Cinema Club here in Knoxville since 2004.
Sunday, August 22, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Atheism, Rationalism and Unitarian-Universalism." What's atheism? What's the "new atheism" (as espoused by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchins)? What's rationalism? And why do some Knoxville UU's also belong to the Rationalists of East Tennessee (RET)? These questions (and more) will be answered by Phil King, past President and lifetime member of RET. Phil drifted away from his fundamentalist origins in central Tennessee, became educated in physics, engineering and mathematics, and had a career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (from which he's very recently retired). Along the way, Phil reached certain conclusions regarding differences between UU's and Rationaists and why both groups exist side-by-side. He'll offer his opinions and welcome our comments and questions.
NB: This is the first Sunday of TVUUC's "winter" schudule. Between now and May 2011, worship services will begin at 9:00 and 11:15 am, and the forum will begin at 10:05 am.
Sunday, August 29, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Hiroshima -- 65 Years of Remembering the Bomb”. The City of Hiroshima constructed Peace Memorial Park out of the rubble of the first atomic bomb, and a second American will be memorialized there later this year. In Oak Ridge, the secret city which made the bomb during World War II, a Japanese bell "sanctifies" Hiroshima and helps perpetuate the 65 year taboo against the use of nuclear weapons. This is a repeat of a PowerPoint presentation which Ted Lollis gave in Tübingen, Germany, on August 6, 2010, the 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb. Ted chairs the TVUUC forum committee. He is author of "The Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell" (UT Press, 2009) and "The Sanctification of Hiroshima" (University of San Francisco, 2010).
N.B. This presenttion is a last-minute substitution for "Was Shakespeare a Unitarian?” by TVUUC member Robert Porter. His forum has been postponed and will be presented later on a date to be announced.
Sunday, September 5, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Climate Change Ethics: Our Domination of Posterity.” John Nolt argues that greenhouse gas emissions are a domination of posterity, analogous to racism, religious bigotry, sexism, classism, and other social injustices that we now condemn. But in this case, we are the dominators, and future generations are powerless in the face of our domination. Thus we must do everything we reasonably can to eliminate unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. For individuals -- and individual Americans in particular -- this implies severely curtailing many now-common activities. John and his wife Annette Mendola are both professors in the UT Philosophy Department where he divides his teaching and research mostly between logic and environmental ethics. John and Anette are both members of TVUUC and grow much of their own food in organic gardens at their home. John mows the lawn with a scythe and commutes to the UT campus by bike.
NB: This is Labor Day weekend.
September 12, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Will our Great Smoky Mountains Someday Go Up in Flames?" "Having successfully suppressed wildfires in the Appalacians for nearly 70 years, conditions are becoming more favorable for a catastropic fire which could devastate the park and nearby communities such as Gatlinburg," says Dr. Henri Grissino-Mayer, Director, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, University of Tennessee. Dr. Grission-Mayer's lab has been conducting research in dendrochronology for nearly 10 years and specializes in conducting research in fire history, climate reconstructions, and archaeological investigations. He, his laboratory, and his students have appeared in television documentaries shown on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, the Investigation Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel, the Weather Channel, the National Geographic Channel, and Court TV.
Sunday, October 31, 2010: Potluck & Forum, 5:00-7:00 PM -- "How to save our rain forests? Lessons from West Africa & Latin America.” Presented by William Powers, Senior Fellow of the World Policy Institute in New York City. For over a decade, Powers has led development aid and conservation initiatives in Latin America, Africa, and Washington, DC. His forum presentation on Sunday morning will touch on his experience abroad, but on Sunday evening he will take an in-depth look at his work on forest conservation policies that he developed in Liberia and Bolivia, and that he has continued to advocate upon his return to the US. From 2002 to 2004 he managed the socio-economic components of a project in the Bolivian Amazon that won the Roy Family Award for environmental partnership from Harvard's JFK School of Government. His work on sustainable timber agreement with the European Union (EU) for Liberia is another fascinating example of international cooperation.
Sunday, September 19, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Homeless in Seattle and Knoxville.” The number of homeless persons in Knoxville and Knox County increased from 800 during any given month in 1986 to approximately 1,900 per month in 2004. Many of these individuals have multiple problems: chronic mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Homelessness is a critical problem that demands community attention, and the city and county are almost half way through a Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelesssness (TYP). The forum presenter, Stephanie Matheny, and other concerned citizens recently created a volunteer group called Citizens for the Ten Year Plan. At this forum, Stephanie will discuss her eleven years working with the homeless in Seattle, Washingtonm, explain Knoxille's Ten Year Plan, and assess what remains to be done to achieve the plan's objectives. Stephanie is an environmental attorney and works for a prominent non-profit organization in Knoxville.
Sunday, September 26, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Vicarious UU Heritage Tour.” From March 27 to April 2, 2010, Rev. Gordon Gibson led ten TVUUC members -- Chloie Airlodi, John Bohstedt, Kathy Bohstedt, Carolyn Franks, Reid Franks, Larkie Gildersleve, Faye Joyce, Judy Ann Langston, Alan Moore, and Mac Simpson -- on a week-long Adult UU Heritage Tour of the Boston area. At this forum, Gordon will quickly describe the overall trip plan, a sampling of their pictures will be shared, and several of the travelers will speak about particular personal highlights of the trip. Then Gordon will open the forum up for questions from the audience and further contributions from other travelers. A former pastor of UU churches in Mississippi, Indiana, and Massachusetts, Gordon is president of the UU Historical Society (UUHS).
Sunday, October 3, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Solar Power on Our Roof: Is It Time to Act?” TVUUC has plenty of space and sun on its roof, and solar power was high on the list of goals in our Long Range Plan, but solar panels seemed far too expensive. Circumstances may have changed. Tennessee now has federal stimulas money for renewable energy, solar technology has improved, and TVA is buying solar power at a premium. The TVUUC Building & Grounds and Environmental Concerns Committees think that we have a unique opportunity to invest in solar power and recommend that we act now. Alan Moore (chair of the B&G committee) and Gene Burr (past chair of the EC committee) will explain, take questions and facilitate a discussion. This forum is one of several opportunities to discuss this initiative before the congregation votes for or against solar power on October 24. Click here for a presentation about this project (pdf file).
Sunday, October 10, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Fiftieth Anniversary of the Peace Corps." Presented by Walter Davis, Wendy Syer, Bob Grimac, Dick Trowbridge, and TVUUC's many other Returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCV's). How has this agency impacted the lives of those who served and the people they met around the world? In a time of seemingly endless war, it is a good moment to hear from those who “gave a piece of their mind” and a significant part of their lives to peaceful service. (The Peace Corps dates from October 14, 1960, when Senator John F. Kennedy spoke to students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor during the presidential campaign, challenging them to live and work in developing countries around the world and thus dedicating hemselves to the cause of peace and development.)
Here's an updated list of TVUUC's former Peace Corps Volunteers:Brenda Bell (member of Foothills) - West Africa
Richard Davis - Turkey 1968-1970 - Teaching English as a second language (TESL)
Walter Davis - Colombia 1967-1969 - Community development & agricultural extension
Doris Gove - Kenya 1967-69 - High school teacher; vaccination projects with WHO. Also Zaire (Congo) 1972-73 - Biology teacher
Bob Grimac - Micronesia 1978-1980 - English instructor
Patricia Hooper - Sultanate of Oman 1974 - Health social worker, tuberculosis control
Greg Johnson - Lesotho 1986-89 - Irrigation engineer & teacher at Lesotho Agricultural College
Alan Moore - Costa Rica 1970-1973 - National parks development
Toni Powell - Nigeria (Oshogbo, Sokota & Port Harcourt) 1962-1965 - High school teacher & community development.
Wendy Syer - Uganda & Malaysia 1972-1975 - Teaching
Dick Trowbridge - Ghana 1978-80 - Teaching physics
Sunday, October 17, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Survey of the Political Landscape.” With mid-term elections coming up in two weeks, there's a lot to consider, both at the national and local levels. UT professor Michael J. Fitzgerald will help by sharing some perspectives of his own and by facilitating a discussion of all the issues. Dr. Fitzgerald is a Professor of Political Science, the Chair of UT's American Studies Program, and a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy. He teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in American politics, public administration and policy, the mass media, and political philosophy.
Sunday, October 24, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Dia de los Muertos." In Latin countries, the Day of the Dead is celebrated in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2) by gathering to pray for and to remember friends and family members who have died. Guest forum presenter Dr. Loida Cardona Velazquez will will briefly explain this feature of Latino culture and will prepare a private altar as an example and as a way to honor her own father, the Rev. Antonio Cardona. Dr. Velazquez is owner of Hispanics in Education and Training (a partnership working with companies and programs interested in reaching the Latino community). She has a BA in Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico and MS and EdD degrees in Adult Education from UT Knoxville. This forum was arranged by John Bohstedt. On Saturday, October 30, TVUUC will have a combined Halloween/Day of the Dead party, and the worship service on Sunday, October 31, will be on related themes.
NB: Today is United Nations Day.
Sunday, October 31, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "What's Your 12 x 12? The Global Environmental Crisis and Personal Choice.” How can humanity transition to gentler, more responsible ways of living by replacing attachment to things with deeper relationships to people, nature, and self? Presented by "William Powers, Senior Fellow of the World Policy Institute in New York City, who has just written "Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream," a new book on simple living. For over a decade, Powers has led development aid and conservation initiatives in Latin America, Africa, and Washington, DC. From 2002 to 2004 he managed the socio-economic components of a project in the Bolivian Amazon that won the Roy Family Award for environmental partnership from Harvard's JFK School of Government. This forum was arranged by John Nolt.
NB: Today is Halloween. Next Tuesday is election day.
N.B.: The following special Potluck & Forum will take place at
9219 George Williams Road, West Knoxville, TN 37922 (phone 865-690-8742),
i.e. not at TVUUC. Please bring a potluck dish. Beverages provided.
Suinday, November 7, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Our Congregational Covenant.” During the worship services on September 26, the TVUUC Committee on Ministry asked congregants to write down what they think would be important to include in a congregational covenant. At this forum, committee members Barbara Taylor and Roy Kersey will report what the committee has been hearing from the congregation, will ask for additional views, and will facilitate a discussion of the convenant process. TVUUC's new covenant will be "relational" (a way of agreeing about how we will be with each other as we live our spiritual covenant and mission). It is not about “doing” so much as "being" (how we will try to be with each other as we journey together). It's our intentional way of being with each other that the committee is trying to capture in the new covenant.
N.B.: Daylight saving time ends early this morning.
Sunday, November 14, 2020: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "UU WhaleCoast Tour to Alaska." A photographic presentation by Marsha & Terry Uselton + Kathy & John Bohstedt. UU congregations in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Seward, and Sitka offer a "WhaleCoast Alaska" tour every summer. You walk the ground and stay in the homes of the real Alaska (instead of being suspended in the commercial, antiseptic hotel-bubble of the major cruise lines). You stay with UU families (who are delighted to have you). You are fed (extravagantly) at UU churches and fellowships. You are led by two very experienced Alaska UU's and local guides to Indian events. You dance in your first Pow-Wow! You find out what a fish-wheel is, rub noses with eager sled dogs, and immerse yourself in the natural spirits of Haida art. All amidst glaciers and waterfalls and gorges inhabited by Dall sheep and golden grizzlies and eagles. The trip, or rather gateway, of a lifetime! You love the folks who sign up for this. You love the folks you meet along the way. You love Alaska and want to go back. THIS IS NOT SARAH PALIN COUNTRY
Sunday, November 21, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "You Tube Anyone?" Here's a selection of short on-line videos thought to be fun and/or informative for a UU audience. Some were suggestd by John Bohstedt, Schera Chadwick, Barbara Kemper, Larry Kitchen and Kate Shaklee. We'll see as many as we can see in one hour. You can also click these titles on the forum's master video list (http://forum.maripo.com/forum_videos.htm) and see them whenever you want!
Seven Videos Actually Seen During the Forum:
"Someone Tell Me Please (How Much Oil Really Costs)," lyrics, images & music by UU Martha Fowler. (2:30)
"Beer Bottle Symphony" (1:22), suggested by John Bohstedt.
"Rage on the Radio" (and at TVUUC) from Bill Moyers (10:01).
"Right Wing Radio Duck", suggested by Barbara Kemper.
Senator Al Franken at the UU General Assembly.
"Free Thought Forum" - Joe Barnhart & Rev Mitra Jafarzadehon on Knoxville Community TV.
"Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" by UU Martha Fowler for CoffeePartyUSA (3:17).
Sunday, November 28, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Veterans for Peace: Who Are They? And How Did They Get That Way?" How do warriors become peacemakers in the same lifetime? Why have some veterans of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan become disaffected and chosen to work for peace instead of war? Jerry Bone will answer these questions -- and perhaps many more. Veterans of all eras are encouraged to attend this forum, share their stories, and help Jerry answer the questions. If you know a veteran, share this message, and encourage him or her to attend. Jerry Bone is TVUUC's Membership Services Coordinator and a double veteran, having served in both the U.S. Marine Corps (1957-1961) and the U.S. Air Force (1962-1966). He now belongs to Veterans for Peace (VFP), the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA), and the Knoxville Area Committee on Central America. He has seldom missed a local peace demonstration since the Vietnam era and would like to help start a Veterans for Peace chapter here in East Tennessee.
N.B.: Today is the closest Sunday to Thanksgiving.
Sunday, December 5, 2010: Forum at 10:05 am -- Rethinking Locke and Rousseau. According to TVUUC member Barbara Thayer-Bacon, UT Professor of Cultural Studies, the concept of individualistic liberal democracy -- as conceived by John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau and as practiced in American schools today -- routinely fails minority students raised in cultures with strong communal traditions. Drawing on modern educational philosophy and ethnographic research, Barbara advocates a radical reimagining of American education which is culturally aware, anti-racist, and relationally focused. Barbara's primary areas of scholarship as a philosopher of education are feminist theory and pedagogy, pragmatism, and cultural studies in education. The most recent of her four books is "Beyond Liberal Democracy in Schools: The Power of Pluralism" (2008).
Sunday, December 12, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Grand Adventure in the Grand Canyon." The Grand Canyon of the Colorado continues to attract adventurers. Mark Evans sought adventure the hard way. He spent 14 days on a raft and 13 nights camped out under the stars to make this show. Now we can we can hear the story and see his pictures in the comfort of the Lizzie Crozier French room. In addition to being a well known and long winded story-teller, long-time TVUUC'er Mark Evans is an accomplished nature and travel photographer. According to Mark's website, he's "done it all -- developed his consciousness, taught Integral, holosync, camping, paddling, hiking, Unitarian Church, Big Mind Zen Center -- and is currently self-employed doing home repair."
Sunday, December 19, 2010: Forum at 10:05 AM -- "Christmas with Charlie Daniel" Local cartoonist Charlie Daniel speaks and shows some of his more famous drawings. Cartooning has been a labor of love for Daniel for more than 50 years. He first began working at the Knoxville Journal in 1958, and he moved to the Knoxville News Sentinel in 1992. Daniel has met some very famous people in his day, including John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. However, he has also met a number of everyday people, since he has spoken to numerous civic and school groups. His entertaining dry wit keeps folks entertained, and his collection of cartoons help keeps the laughs coming. Daniel is the author of several books, and has drawn cartoons for several cookbooks, t-shirts, and non-profit organization programs. To view Daniel's cartoons, visit http://daniel.knoxnews.com/.
Sunday, December 26, 2010: NO FORUM Today -- Closest Sunday to Christmas.
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