The Forum

March Forum – CO Home Farming, Spirituality in Nature, People and Wine (& Tasting), and Guns-Suicide Impact

19 Mar:  Mike Larkin – New Wine into Old Wineskins: People and Wine (Parables, Process, and Places). Through the lens of Luke 5:37, this non-traditional wine tasting will explore contemporary themes in wine tasting and culture. Specifically we will be looking at the process of sparkling wine (and tasting), the loss of geographic knowledge, and how drinking wine can “make you a better person.” Mike is the chair and teaches in the UCCS Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. He is generally loved by his students: “Mike Larkin is an approachable, down-to-earth guy who wants his students to be successful.” Although his biblical knowledge is limited, he has been teaching about the geography of wines and vines for a decade.  But wait a minute – will there really be a wine tasting at the Forum? Come and see!

26 Mar:  Erik Wallace – Gun Violence and Suicide in America. Gun violence in America is not only a civic dilemma of epidemic proportions, but it is an alarming public health crisis as well. Dr. Erik Wallace, associate dean of the Colorado Springs branch of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, will address the health risks for injury and death associated with owning a firearm (with suicide being the greatest risk by far). He will discuss the “need to decide as a society” how many firearm related injuries and deaths each year are acceptable, stating that “the number we see today far exceeds what our society should be comfortable with.” Erik is known within the medical education community for his commitment to excellence and innovation. His civic mindedness, partnered with his scientific expertise, promise to result in a compassionate presentation. Plan to join us as together we examine this profound national problem.

April Forum – Connecting with the Sacred, Poetry, Sense of History, and Downtown

2 April: Tom Stella – Connecting with the Sacred in Everyday Life. Like a stone skipping across the surface of a pond, many of us go from one activity to the next never slowing down enough to sink into the spiritual depths of who we are and what we do. When we fail to connect with the sacred center of life, we easily lose a sense of meaning, connection, passion, and compassion. Tom will focus on the everyday reality of spirituality and on how we might live in order to sense the sacredness of ourselves, others, and all creation. Tom Stella is the co-founder and director of Soul Link, Inc., a local non-profit whose mission is to create community among spiritual seekers. Tom is also Corporate Chaplain for Centura Health, a spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and the author of three books: The God Instinct, A Faith Worth Believing, and Finding God Beyond Religion.

9 April: Jane Hilberry – My Heart Learned to Sit at Its Desk: Poetry and Creative Process. Drawing on poems from her new book, Still the Animals Enter, Jane will reflect on the dynamics of order and wildness in the making of poetry. Jane Hilberry’s books of poems include Still the Animals Enter, published in 2016, and Body Painting, which won the Colorado Book Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, Denver Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review and many other journals. With her father Conrad Hilberry, she co-authored This Awkward Art: Poems by a Father and Daughter, introduced by Richard Wilbur. In addition to teaching Creative Writing, Creativity, and Literature at Colorado College, she has facilitated creativity workshops and arts-based leadership development programs across the United States and at The Banff Centre in Canada.

16 April: No Forum [Easter Sunday]

23 April: David Mason – Amnesiac America: Why A Sense of History is Crucial to a Civil Society. As Alexis de Tocqueville observed in the 1830s, the egalitarian principles of the United States of America come with a cultural tendency to reject the past and emphasize the new. On the whole, Americans have become even more ignorant of history – our own and that of other countries – making us vulnerable to anyone’s “alternative facts.” Many Americans do not even know where they live – the local stories that give meaning to place. David Mason will emphasize some stories of Colorado and America that are worth telling and retelling. David is a former Poet Laureate of Colorado and is a CC professor. He has written the verse novel Ludlow in which he tells of one of the cruelest, bloodiest chapters in the history of American labor (you may remember his last visit to the Forum in April 2014). He has written for periodicals like The Wall Street Journal, The Hudson Review, and The Sewanee Review. He wrote the libretti for an opera with Tom Cipullo, After Life, which premiered in Seattle and San Francisco in May 2015, and The Scarlet Letter (with composer Lori Laitman) premiered at Opera Colorado in Denver in May 2016. Plan to join us as together we examine this profound national dilemma.

30 April: Sarah Humbargar – What the “Experience Downtown Masterplan” Means For Our City. Sarah Humbargar is the Director of Business Development & Economic Vitality for the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs. She works to ensure that downtown is an exemplary urban environment and a place that attracts and retains talent and new businesses. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Denver, with deep roots in Colorado (a sixth generation Coloradan!). Since joining Downtown Partnership in 2013, she has managed and led several of downtown’s newest projects, including the update to the Experience Downtown Master Plan. Sarah will give us an overview of that Master Plan, and lend her knowledge, insight, and energy to a lively discussion of the ongoing challenges of urban development.

Come to the Forum, where all ideas are safely spoken. We hope to see you on Sundays, 9:45 a.m. in November for four topics chosen to enhance your experience at FCC. The Forum is in session most Sunday mornings September through May at 9:45 a.m. in the Carey Chapel through the efforts of your Forum Team (Howard Ray, Don Allred, Bruce Latimer, Cathy White, and Leah Davis Witherow). Send a message with your questions and comments to

Location: Carey Chapel
Time: 9:45 am – 10:45 am
ContactHoward Ray for more information.

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