Spiritual Discussion Series Continues


Dear Friends,


Happily, "On Being" Conversations have become part of the fabric of the Walpole Unitarian Church community.  Here are titles for our next cycle.  All are welcome.


We have transitioned successfully to Zoom, and for the foreseeable future will be Zooming on the first, third (and fifth) Tuesdays of the month, 10:30 a.m.  Invitation links to the Zoom meeting will be sent out the preceding Monday evenings.  Please feel free to forward these invitation links to folks you know who may be interested.  


We will listen to the following programs on our own, then gather in cyberspace to consider them together. I look forward to being with you!   ~ Rev. Elaine

All are welcome to join us for our next series of discussions of "On Being" interviews conducted by Krista Tippet. We meet on Zoom on alternate Tuesdays from 10:30l a.m. to Noon to consider together the interview we have read and/or listened to in the previous week. All are welcome to join for conversation and deepened understanding. Come for one meeting, or come for all.

The following descriptions are adapted from the On Being website.

March 2 – Maira Kalman “Daily Things to Fall in Love With”

Writer and illustrator Maira Kalman is known for her books, her love of dogs, and her New Yorker covers. Her words and pictures bring life’s intrinsic quirkiness and whimsy into relief right alongside life’s intrinsic seriousness. As a storyteller, she is inspired by the stuff of daily life. “There’s never a lack of things to look at,” she says.  https://onbeing.org/programs/maira-kalman-daily-things-to-fall-in-love-with-jan2019/

March 16 – Jill Tarter “It Takes a Cosmos to Make a Human”
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, goes beyond hunting for E.T. and habitable planets. Scientists are using telescopes and satellites looking for signs of outright civilizational intelligence. Jill Tarter is a cofounder of the SETI Institute and was an inspiration for Jodie Foster’s character in the movie Contact, based on the novel by Carl Sagan. To speak with Tarter is to begin to grasp what’s relevant now in the ancient question: “Are we alone in the universe?” https://onbeing.org/programs/jill-tarter-it-takes-a-cosmos- to-make-a-human/

March 30 – Karen Armstrong “Freelance Monotheism”

Karen Armstrong speaks about her progression from a disillusioned young nun into, in her words, a “freelance monotheist.” She’s a formidable thinker and scholar, but as a theologian she calls herself an amateur, noting that the Latin root of the word “amateur” means a love of one’s subject. Seven years in a strict religious order nearly snuffed out her ability to think about faith at all. We hear the story behind Armstrong’s developing ideas about God. https://onbeing.org/programs/karen-armstrong-freelance- monotheism/


April 6 – Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad
“W.E.B. Du Bois and the American Soul”

W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history. He was born three years after the end of the Civil War and died on the eve of the March on Washington. In 1903, he penned the famous line that “the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.” Du Bois was a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the civil rights movement. We bring his life and ideas into relief through three conversations with people he inspired. https://onbeing.org/programs/maya-angelou-elizabeth- alexander-arnold-rampersad-w-e-b-du-bois-and-the-american- soul/

April 20 – Wangari Maathai “Marching with Trees”

Wangari Maathai was a biologist, environmentalist, and the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. She was born under British colonial occupation and schooled by Catholic missionaries. But when she looked back on her childhood, she realized her family’s Kikuyu culture had imparted her with an intuitive sense of environmental balance. Maathai was steadfast in her determination to fight for the twin issues of conservation and human rights. https://onbeing.org/programs/wangari-maathai-marching-with- trees/

May 4 – Sharon Salzberg & Robert Thurman “Meeting Our Enemies & Our Suffering”
Two legendary Buddhist teachers shine a light on the lofty ideal of loving your enemies and bring it down to earth. How can that be realistic, and what do we have to do inside ourselves to make it possible? Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman share

practical wisdom on relating to that which makes us feel embattled from without, and from within. https://onbeing.org/programs/sharon-salzberg-robert-thurman- meeting-our-enemies-and-our-suffering/

May 18 – Drew Lanham “I Worship Every Bird that I See”

The ornithologist Drew Lanham is lyrical in the languages of science, humans, and birds. He’s a professor of wildlife ecology and author of the celebrated book The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature. His way of seeing and hearing and noticing the present and the history that birds traverse —through our backyards and beyond —is a revelatory way to be present to the world and to life in our time. https://onbeing.org/programs/drew-lanham-i-worship-every-bird-that-i- see/