Our Sunday services at 11:00 a.m. feature a different guest speaker each week, either a member of our congregation or someone from the surrounding community. We address a variety of topics, from literature and history to politics, religious thought and social issues. We welcome suggestions for speakers, please contact Ray Ables firstname.lastname@example.org
Check our Special Events section for information on an upcoming concert by Tom Neilson on March 7th.
March 1, 2020
Presenter: Frye Gaillard
Title: "A Hard Rain: America in the 1960's"
Summary: Relating his new book on the decade of the 1960s to our Unitarian principles having to do with justice and inclusion, writer in residence at the University of South Alabama Frye Gaillard will discuss the lessons and warnings those turbulent times hold for us today. This book has been named by NPR as one of the Great Reads of 2018. Gaillard has won the Lillian Smith Book Award, the Clarence Cason Award for non-fiction, the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Literary Prize, and the NAACP Humanitarian of the Year Award. Introducer: Donna Orchard
March 8, 2020
Presenter: Tom Neilson
Title: Forks in the Road
Summary: Activist, historian, educator, singer/songwriter, actor ,director, and basketball coach, Tom Neilson will present an autobiographical account of a journey and experiences with Love, Truth, Peace, Justice and Coexistence while circumnavigating the globe. His award-winning songs of humor, compassion, and political affairs have been performed in twenty-two countries on five continents. Combining art with activism, his lyrics are celebrated for their sophistication, political astuteness, and wit. Neilson uses performance art when he works with young people to address drug and alcohol use, sexuality, diversity, and other social issues. His music has been used in documentaries, TV, radio and theater productions. In 2015, he was nominated for the United Nations Nelson Mandela Life Time Achievement Award for Peace and Justice. In 2017, he received an award from the Arab American Women's Association for his work for Palestinian human rights. Introducer: Ray Ables
March 15, 2020
Presenter: Martin Poynter, aka "Snake Eyes"
Title: Hiking to Simplicity
Summary: “It didn't take much to be happy: some sunshine, daily activity, and connection, both to people and the planet is all I really need,” a lesson Martin Poynter says he learned in 2018 while on a two-and-a-half-month backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. He will describe how the experience taught him this valuable insight. Poynter grew up in the north Alabama foothills of the Appalachian Range and as a boy enjoyed walking on wooded trails with dirt paths and playing in a nearby creek. But surprisingly, this now husband/adventurer/movie lover/lawyer had only one overnight backpacking trip prior to this one, and it was for only one night! Introducer: Giorgi DiLemis
March 22, 2020
Presenter: Dr. Kiani A. Gardner
Title: Caring for Creation - How We Talk About Climate
Summary: During her current congressional campaign for the US House of Representatives, Kiani Gardner has had to have a tough but necessary conversation: discussing climate with climate change deniers. Convinced that we all need to be willing to have this conversation, Kiani will share some tips and perspectives that she has learned to broach the subject in a useful and respectful way. A Native Hawaiian, Kiani received a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Washington University (MO) and a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Duke University. Six years ago after working as a research scientist, Kiani chose to teach biology full-time in the community college system because she saw it as the most effective way to use her academic training to improve the lives of the members of her communities and expand the middle-class, thus improving the quality of life in her community as a whole. Introducer: Lynne Switzky
Presenter: Nena Nimit
Title: Cultivating the Four Immeasurables and a Mindful Heart
Summary: Learn about the four immeasurable qualities of heart, how to practice meditation, and participate in a brief guided loving kindness meditation. With over fifiteen years.of meditating experience, Nena Nimit is a certified Mindfulness & Meditation Trainer from World Peace Initiative and has undergone a 3-month intensive residential training from the Middle Way Meditation Institute. Nimit is also a Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow at the University of South Alabama. Introducer: Ray Ables