View from Personal Theology
This occasional column discusses UUCB’s Sunday morning lecture series, Personal Theology. Select here to see what the series has in store over the next weeks.
The View from Personal Theology, September 2016
September begins the Fall/Winter semester of Personal Theology. If you don’t have the new schedule already, please pick one up in the racks in the Atrium near the office door. The PT Organizing Committee has an exciting line-up of speakers, so you won’t want to miss a speaker or a topic you’re especially interested in. Come and bring a friend. Just remember: Personal Theology will be starting at 9:30 am, half-an-hour earlier than before. But it will still be in the Fireside Room.
The PT Organizing Committee is changing. Barbara Rockhold has stepped back from Chair to become a consultant for the committee. Gloria Merrill is the new Chair; Anne Wardell is staying, while Barbara Norrish is moving on. John Maes and Dick Sherman are joining the Committee. Dave Rockhold will relinquish the audio technician’s position to Mac Lingo, Dwight Merrill, and Charlie Wright. Thank you all, Barbara Norrish, and Barbara and Dave Rockhold for jobs well done!!
The View from Personal Theology, February 2016
Barbara Rockhold, Personal Theology Chair
February begins a new semester of Personal Theology. If you don’t have a spring schedule already, please pick one up in the racks in the Atrium near the office door. We have an exciting line-up of speakers this spring, so you won’t want to miss a speaker or a topic you’re especially interested in.
We start out on February 7 with Rev. László Major, the current Balázs Scholar at Starr King School for the Ministry. His topic is “Simplicity Is the Ultimate Sophistication.” Wow…I can’t wait to hear about that! February 14 (Valentine’s Day!) is Susan Moon, who spoke a couple years ago about Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women, talking this time about “What Does Death Have to Teach the Living?” February 21 is a new speaker I’m very excited about, who was suggested to us by Stan Klein (thanks Stan!). It’s Nancy Abrams, author of several books, scientist and philosopher, and Fulbright Scholar. She’ll be speaking about her latest book, “A God That Could Be Real in the Scientific Universe.” Hopefully, she’ll draw a lot of the Humanists in our congregation! On February 28 we have Nicoletta Karam scheduled to speak about “Kahlil Gibran’s ‘Pen Bond’: Feminism and Spirituality in Jazz-Age New York.” An intriguing topic!
Later in the semester, we’ll have our popular speaker Bill Garrett, followed by Matthew Fox, and Beverly Allen in conversation with Frank Ferrante, among other wonderful speakers.
Our committee works hard to offer you a well-rounded series of speakers on a variety of spiritual topics. We hope you’ll join us on Sunday mornings at 10 in the Fireside Room.
Personal Theology Program Committee: Barbara Rockhold, Gloria Merrill, Anne Wardell, and Barbara Norrish.
The View from Personal Theology, October 2015
Our program committee tries to offer a blend of new speakers from outside the church, old favorites such as Jeremy Taylor, and UUCB members. Occasionally a new speaker won’t be as informative or dynamic as we hoped, but we try hard to offer you all a great series. Please feel free to let us know if there’s a speaker you especially liked … (or didn’t)!
Many wonderful speakers, including our own members, donate their time to us but we pay honoraria to some of our more in-demand speakers. Expenses usually run around $1800/year. The programs are free to anyone, but if you love the program, we hope you’ll drop a little money in our donation basket occasionally. Once the speakers’ honoraria are covered for the year, the remainder goes into UUCB’s general fund to support our presence here at UUCB, including use of the room, lighting and heat, use of supplies, and importantly, facilities staff time for audio and video and room set-up. We’re lucky to have this space and support for the program. A BIG “thank you” to those who help support Personal Theology at UUCB!
Oct. 4 October starts with David Christopher, who excited the audience last time with his “new” story of creation integrating science and religion.
Oct. 11 Victoria Lee, UUCB member, will speak on Rumi: Poet of the Heart and Wisdom for Our Time.
Oct. 18 We have Martin Verhoeven with an intriguing new topic, Walden Pond and the Ganges River: The Meeting of Waters and Minds.
October 25 Steven Herrmann, one of our “old favorites,” will speak on Teilhard de Chardin & C.G. Jung: Peacemakers in an age of Spiritual Democracy.
We hope you’ll join us on Sunday mornings at 10am in the Fireside Room.
Personal Theology Program Committee: Barbara Rockhold, Gloria Merrill, Anne Wardell, and Barbara Norrish
Personal Theology Begins Again on Sept. 6!
On Sunday, Sept. 6, we kick off the fall series with someone who has never spoken here before: James Hilgendorf is a filmmaker and author of nine non-fiction books. He co-produced The Tribute Series, several of which have appeared on PBS and international television. Lois Gilbert (former Personal Theology committee member) heard him speak in Santa Rosa and said he was “fabulous.” His topic is Waking Up to Who We Really Are: Ideas from Some Great Thinkers.
On Sept. 13, we will have Robert Fuller, past president of Oberlin College, author and speaker, on Why Does Racism Persist? Fits well with our Confronting Racism series!
On Sept. 20, Dr. Jeanne Foster, author and prize-winning poet, will present Favorite Heartfelt Poems Embodied.
And on Sept. 27, our own Rev. Greg Ward will present a slide show and talk about his experiences on the Camino de Santiago, Buen Camino – A Pilgrim’s Journey.
Others coming up that I’m especially excited about are Stephen Herrmann on Teilhard de Chardin & C.G. Jung: Peacemakers in an Age of Spiritual Democracy; and in November, Pat LaDouceur, a Marriage & Family Therapist, will talk about making holidays stress-free. Later in the semester, Rosemary Bray McNatt, new president of Starr King, will be speaking on What Unitarian Universalism Looks Like 20 Years from Now.
We hope you’ll join us on Sunday mornings at 10am in the Fireside Room, September – May.
Personal Theology Program Committee: Barbara Rockhold, Gloria Merrill, Anne Wardell and Barbara Norrish
The View from Personal Theology, August 2015
Boy, it feels like our committee just finished up the schedule of speakers for the fall and already it’s time to begin scheduling for spring! We’ve put together a great line–up of speakers we think you will love. Unfortunately, one of our favorites, Sam Keen, is unable to present this year, but we have several great new additions to the program.
Our fall semester begins Sunday, September 6, with James Hilgendorf, a filmmaker and author of nine non–fiction books. Jim co–produced The Tribute Series, several of which have appeared on PBS and international television. Jim will be talking about Waking up to Who We Really Are: Ideas from some Great Thinkers.
We’ve also lined up our own Rev. Greg Ward, who will be speaking about one of his own personal journeys; David Christopher, who wowed the audience with his talk a couple of years ago about a “new story”; Buddhist monk Martin Verhoeven; our old favorite dreamworker, Jeremy Taylor; and Rosemary Bray McNatt, the new President of Starr King, who will speak about What Unitarian Universalism Looks Like Twenty Years from Now. That’s just to name a few.
We want to thank all of you who made last year’s program such a success. With your regular contributions and some very special donations in Martha Helming’s memory, we had enough left over after paying the speaker honoraria to improve the Fireside Room audio set–up.
We hope you’ll join us on Sunday mornings at 10am in the Fireside Room, September – May.
The Fall semester at Personal Theology was very well received. With some social media advertising, we saw a number of new faces in the room at various times. The favorite speaker of the semester was apparently James Baraz, co-founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, who spoke on “Buddhism as a Path to Happiness”…the audience that day was 103!
As we venture into our Spring semester beginning in February, we start out with a bang with Matthew Fox, former catholic priest expelled from the Dominican order in 1993 for “disobedience”, who later founded the movement of Creation Spirituality. He will speak about his new book “Meister Eckhart: A Mystic Warrior for our Times”.
Other speakers coming up in February will be Rabbi Harry Manhoff from Temple Beth Sholom, on “Jewisjh Arbor Day: Planting Trees in Israel”; Barbara Bye, movement and mudra artist, “Favorite Heartfelt Poems Embodied”; and one of Rev. Greg’s favorites, Ruth Gendler, author of “The Book of Qualities”, speaking on “The Qualities of Creativity and Beauty.”
If you have any requests for specific speakers, we’ll be starting our planning for the Fall 2015 semester next month and we’re happy to hear any new recommendations for speakers or requests for old ones! Just speak to me (Barbara Rockhold) or Gloria Merrill following the Personal Theology presentation.
We hope you’ll join us on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. in the Fireside Room, September through May.