Dec 02 Rick Sickles presents on “The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama

Following up on the Gene and Emily Ann Zimmerman play depicting these great men, hosted by Raymer Maguire; Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships—or perhaps because of them—they are two of the most joyful people on the planet. In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu traveled to the Dalai Lama’s home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness’s eightieth birthday and to create what they hoped would be a gift to others. They looked back on their lives to answer a single question: How do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering? They traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our time and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy.

Nov 18 Elisa Ewoldt 


The nature of God as revealed in the Book of Jonah and the relevance for us today. While it isn’t surprising that there are varied opinions on Jonah’s character, it is surprising to find how many varied opinions there are on what the book reveals about God’s character!

Oct 14 “Beyond the Traditional Public and Private Schools”

Presented by Christopher Bernier,Ed.D,Associate Superintendent for School Choice for Orange County Public Schools (OCPS)

As a cabinet member of the 9th largest school district in the U.S., Dr. Bernier helps to support 207,000 students (reflecting 194 countries, 170 languages and over 51% are eligible for free/reduced lunch) and 24,000 staff members. Specifically, Christopher Bernier leads the Office of School Choice where he is responsible for all choice options including Alternative Education, Charter Schools, Orange County Virtual School, K-12 Magnet Programs, School Age Services, Student Enrollment, Teen Parent Program and Home Education.

Since 1987, Christopher Bernier has served OCPS exclusively, beginning as a teacher and entering leadership positions in 1995 that have included Assistant Principal, Principal (High School, Middle School, and Virtual School), Director of Professional Development and now currently serves as the Associate Superintendent of School Choice.His undergraduate degree in History was received from Le Moyne College, master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Bernier is also a current fellow in the KIPP Leadership Design Program, a commissioner on the Charter Schools Appeals Commission for the Florida Department of Education, and member of the Florida Ninth Judicial Advisory Board. ASAA SCHOLARSHIP

Christopher currently resides in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. When not working, he can be found with his two children and enjoying the outdoors. He has hiked the Appalachian Trail extensively. In 2016, he completed the 215 mile John Muir Trail and successfully summited the Grand Teton in 2017.