Sunday Morning Forum – Spirit, Intellect, Community

Sunday Morning Forum began many years ago in complement to minister led worship on Sunday mornings. With our Unitarian Universalist values as both foundation and springboard, the Forum has grown into a well moderated, high quality, adult discussion group that promotes learning on a wide variety of topics. It is a classroom of people who trust each other's good intentions and value each other's diverse opinions.

Haven't checked out the Forum yet? Here is a glimpse of the interesting discussion topics over the last couple of months.

​“The Ennea-What Now???”

Presented by Sarah Davis - March 25, 2018
What would our world look like if we had a better understanding of the way people think, feel, and act in relation to the world, others and ourselves? As an avid student of the Enneagram of Personality, this forum facilitator guided the class in examining this model of the human psyche, which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types.

“Bumper Sticker Philosophy: Plumbing the Depths”
Presented by Lehni Lebert – April 3, 2018

"Put down your cell phones [while driving!], and start reading bumper stickers," cleverly remarked one class participant. Our times are measured in 30 second sound bites and 140 character blurbs. Is our philosophy reduced to what fits on bumper stickers? Or did this forum and the participant's tongue-in-cheek comment invite us to observe that these decals may offer more than a surface reflection?

“Prosperity Gospel: ​Evangelical Thought on Pre-existing Conditions”
​Presented by Ken Goodrich - April 8 & 15, 2018
In this two Sunday series, the class looked at the Prosperity Gospel, one of the strongest and most controversial forces in American religion today. With roots stretching back to transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American Prosperity Gospel movement combines the power of positive thinking, self-empowerment, and a God who wants the faithful, not only to have eternal life, but prosperity in the here and now.
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Going beyond the pulpit, prosperity theology's foundational notion that individual success or failure are powerful indicators of divine worthiness is becoming a powerful undercurrent in the public sphere. ​

Facilitators Dennis Shaw (L) and Julian Padowicz, a survivor of the Holocaust. (Center photo by Brent Moore)

"Paperclips and Butterflies"
Presented by Dennis Shaw & Julian Padowicz - April 22 & 29, 2018

Facilitators Dennis Shaw (L) and Julian Padowicz, a survivor of the Holocaust. (Center photo by Brent Moore)
How much is a million? Can you even visualize six million? This was a challenge for a group of middle-schoolers in tiny Whitwell, Tennessee. The students could not grasp the enormity of the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust—six million! When they came up with a plan to illustrate this figure, the response was overwhelming and led to an international story of love and remembrance.
A unique memorial was established at the school, drawing visitors from around the world. Forum attendees viewed and discussed an award winning video illustrating what these amazing kids accomplished.

"Understanding Evangelicals" - Part III
Presented by April Kelsey – May 6, 2018

This astute young lady returned to the Sunday Morning Forum podium with the continuing exploration of Evangelical thought, history and belief. As we seek to understand and be respectful of people of various spiritual journeys, Part III in this series addressed how to dialogue with evangelicals in an effective way.

"Comfort in a Relationship with Death"
Presented by Mike Taber – May 13 & 20, 2018

Do you find any comfort in the reality of an end to life? Or would you prefer to think of just about anything else? To have comfort, must we believe there is a life beyond this life? If in some way you feel comfort, or peace, or balance with death, how did you get there? Recent UUFP “arrival” Mike Taber assisted in our journey within this rarely discussed aspect of our existence

“Politics and Religion in Turkey”
Presented by ​ARE Chair Kathryn Ozyurt – May 27, 2018
For more than a thousand years, Turks have both struggled against religion and used religion as a political vehicle. Turkey plays a pivotal role as the second largest NATO ally. The current U.S. political climate and the general unrest in the Middle East are complicated by Turkey's internal political and religious situation. Today's Turkey provides ample food for American thought.

"Snake Goddesses of the Mediterranean"
Presented by Dawn Hutchinson - June 3, 2018

​While many in the Jewish and Christian traditions believe the snake to be the tempter in the Garden of Eden, in that cultural context, the snake would have also represented a religious tradition that was subordinate. Since the snake represented the goddess and the renewal of life in Mediterranean religions, using it in this story sends a message that the old religion can't be trusted. Additionally, the snake is crushed under the feet of Eve in the story.

Christopher Newport University Professor Hutchinson helped us take a closer look at Mediterranean snake goddesses. What is it that the Rabbis feared?

Our thanks to the many forum facilitators and team members who offer these educational opportunities, which nourish the mind and spirit and infuse us to be Light in the world! Join us, Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon in the UUFP Office Building!​

Visit Sunday Morning Forum for the upcoming presentation and
Sunday Morning Forum Archive for a library of previous topics.
Have questions or would like to facilitate a forum?
Contact the Adult Religious Education Committee.

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