*Presentations with an asterisk have been recorded. Email email@example.com to request a link.
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*June 13 , 2021 – Rev. James (Jim) Coffin, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida,. His topic: “From Homophobe to LGBTQ Ally: A Personal Journey and Pulse Retrospective.” http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/6-13-2021-Rev-Jim-Coffin.jpg
*June 6, 2021 – Michael Perkins, long-time member of the NU Class, showed historical pictures and talked about the Pulse shooting and City and First Church responses immediately after and during the past five years. He also talked about becoming a reconciling church. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/6-6-2021-Mike-Perkins-Speaker.jpg
*May 30, 2021 – Dick Batchelor, former member of the Florida House of Representatives, president of Dick Batchelor Management Group, Inc., addressed black officials who served our community over the years and were elected to higher community, state and federal offices; also voter suppression efforts in FL Legislature, FL Governor office and elsewhere; the buyout of newspapers; and some of today’s prominent elected officials who are and will affect these issues going forward. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/5-30-2021-Dick-Batchelor.jpg
*May 23, 2021 – Dianne Coleman (Dee) Coleman, Executive Director, from Samaritan Village, described this trauma-informed therapeutic program and residential facility providing victims of human trafficking a safe and comfortable environment to heal. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/5-23-2021-Dianne-Coleman-Speaker.jpg
*May 16, 2021 – First Church member Amy Green to shared her new book, “MOVING WATER: The Everglades and Big Sugar. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/5-16-2021-Amy-Green-Speaker.png Following up on her discussion you may be interested in reading the following article: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/story/news/2021/04/27/glades-residents-fear-farm-law-protections-may-hinder-lawsuit/7395855002/.
*May 9, 2021 – Debbie Hill shared several religious books she has read recently. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/5-9-2021-Debbie-Hill-Speaker.jpg
*May 2, 2021 – Dave Bratcher and Mickie Brown acquainted us with Noah’s Ark of Central Florida, an adult residential community for people with developmental disabilities; telling us how it was founded and has developed and how it provides housing, care, social and recreational opportunities, and employment guidance for its residents. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/5-2-2021-Dave-Bratcher-CEO.jpg http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/5-2-2021-Mickie-Brown.jpg
*April 25, 2021 – Talley Wells, Executive Director of the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities, addressing state advocacy for improving the health, education and other systems for people with developmental disabilities. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/4-25-2021-Talley-Wells-2.jpg
*April 18, 2021 – Rev. Mary Lee Downey, CEO of the Hope Partnership, gave an overview of their work that is focused on providing affordable housing to those in need, in partnership with private, public, and faith-based organizations. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/4-18-2021-Ref-Mary-Lee-Downey.jpg
*April 11,2021 – Rachel Luce-Hitt, Education Director of the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. Addressed “The Inner Work of Bias and Oppression.” http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/4-11-2021-Rachel.png
*April 4, 2021 – Easter Sunday. Shelley Ward shared a book titled, Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a Native American. The book is about indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge of plants. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/04-04-2021-Shelley-Ward.jpg
*March 28, 2021 –Palm Sunday. The Rev. Dr. James A. Harnish offered new meaning for the Old Testament Psalms Jesus quoted on the cross. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/3-28-2021-Rev-Dr-Jim-Harnish.jpg
*March 21, 2021 – Dr. Hoyt Edge, Retired Chair of Philosophy at Rollins College, told stories from his life and world travels, and spoke of anomalies among the world’s cultures, in a talk titled “Are Americans the WEIRDest People in the World?” http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/3-21-2021-Hoyt-Edge-2.jpg
*March 14 – Dr. William S. Barnes, founder, and Pam Gould, President/CEO, of Shepherd’s Hope spoke to the class about this Free Orlando Clinic ministry that provides health care for those who have income at or below 200% of the poverty level, are uninsured and not eligible for government assisted health care programs. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/3-14-2021-Bill-Barnes-1.jpg http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/3-14-2021-Pamela-Gould-1.jpg
March 7, 2021 – Class discussion. Many participants offered first-hand information about Alzheimer’s.
*February 28, 2021 – Jill Pelaez Baumgaertner,scholar, administrator, literary critic, and poet spoke of the intentional blindness to religion in so much contemporary literature by looking at books, poems, and literature from the past several years. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/2-28-2021-Jill-Paez-Baumgartner.jpg
*February 21, 2021 – Eric Gray, Executive Director at Christian Service Center for Central Florida, whose mission is to prevent homelessness, combat poverty, cultivate self-sufficiency, restore hope and glorify God through services directly addressing physical, emotional and spiritual needs for families and individuals struggling in Central Florida. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/2-21-2021-Eric-Gray-picture.jpg
*February 14, 2021 – Michael Dippy, Founder and Executive Director of IDignity told his story of learning the impossibility of getting ID on your own without documents to prove who you are, the barriers this presents, and how this led to founding IDignity in 2008. He continued with the history and the scope of the organization and examples from the thousands of people for whom IDignity has obtained this precious document. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/2-14-2021-M-Dippy.jpg
*February 7, 2021 – Dave Beeler discussed the “All Means All” group, also known as the “The Forward Together Group,” that he chairs for First Church and how this group is preparing First Church to become a Reconciling Ministry Congregation by accepting LGBTQ+ and all marginalized groups as children of God. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/2-7-2021-Dave-Beeler.jpg
*January 31, 2021 – Rebecca Sickles, retired OCPS History teacher and school principal, past President of NU Class, Chair of Church Staff Parish and Church Council, told about growing up in Tuskegee, Alabama and her high regard for Jon Meecham and John Lewis, using Meacham’s book, “His Truth is Marching on: John Lewis and the Power of Hope” as the background of her talk. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/1-31-2021-2.jpg
*January 24, 2021. Charlene Edge was a cult participant for 18 years in which she shifted her worship from spiritual ideas to worship of a charismatic guru. She shared bits of how she was recruited,her cult experience, how her devotion and dependence ultimately waned, and her thoughts on cults in general today. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/1-24-2021-Charlene-Edge-1.jpg
*January 17, 2021. Part 2: Pastor Ron Lee and Historian John Richard continued their two-part analysis of “The Birth and Spread of Christianity/ First 300 Years” with Ron taking the lead discussing the historical growth of Christianity from Crucifixion to Constantine. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/1-17-2021-Ron-Lee.jpg
*January 10, 2021. Judge Charles Wells gave an account of his thoughts and headed a discussion on the current political situation. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/1-10-2021-Charles-Wells-2.png
*January 3, 2021. Part 1 of 2: Pastor Ron Lee and Historian John Richard opened their two-part analysis of “The Birth and Spread of Christianity/ First 300 Years” with John taking the lead discussing Christianity differentiated from other other religious options in the First Century. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/1-3-2021-John-Richard.jpg
*December 27, 2020: John Richard finished discussion of his background. Class “wrangled,” mostly about the President’s resistance to sign a virus relief package and avert a government shutdown.
*December 20, 2020: John Richard, NU Class President, spoke of generations of his family, told growing-up family stories that often included well-known people, showed pictures of his historic church, prep school and college, all places where he studied as an organist, and concluded with moving to Orlando, finding the NU Class, and how much it has meant to him. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/12-20-2020-John-Richard.jpg
*December 13, 2020: John Stiles Williams, Director of Facilities and Community Partnerships, addressed the church’s new lease arrangements with the Homeless Services Network (HSN), the new Columbarium, and his initiatives for First Church over the next few years. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/12-13-2020-John-Stiles-Willians.jpg
*December 6, 2020: Pastor Ron Lee’s topic was “Love and Justice in a time of giving.” http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/12-6-2020-Ron-Lee.jpg
*November 29, 2020: Debbie Hill and a NU Class Wrangle mostly about the election, difficulty discussing election with some friends and family, and hopes going forward. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/10-18-2020-Debbie-Hill.jpg
*November 22, 2020: Doug Barrett told his life story. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/11-22-2020-Doug.jpg
*November 15, 2020: Debby Manuel discussed and showed slides of speakers and subjects covered at the recent Florida Methodist Conference. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/11-15-2020-Debby-Manuel.jpg
*November 8, 2020:Part 1 dedicated to the Holocaust Center. Pam Kancher, Executive Director of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center, talked about the Center’s history, student education to challenge hate and prejudice, new museum planned for downtown Orlando. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/11-8-2020-Pam-Kancher.jpg
*November 1, 2020: Katharine Zimmerman discussed hunger, mental health, homeless, unemployment, poverty and the role of non-profits in our community and the Bahamas. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/11-1-2020-Katharine-thumbnail-1.jpg
*October 25, 2020: Doug Barrett introduced pre-taped discussion Pastor Vance Raines had with Cary Lee and Meghan Cepull, both of whom grew up in First Church Orlando, regarding LGBTQ experiences. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/10-25-2020-Speakers.jpg http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/10-18-2020-Doug.jpg
*October 18, 2020: John Richard reviewed chapters 3 and 4 of Holy Love. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/10-4-2020-John.jpg
*October 11, 2020 – Debbie Hill reviewed the first two chapters of Holy Love, by Steve Harper. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/10-11-2020-Debbie-Hill.jpg
*October 4, 2020 – John Richard showed the history and growth of the Reconciling Ministry Network across the country. Rebecca Sickles shared the history of NU Class becoming a Reconciling Community. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/10-4-2020-Rebecca.jpghttp://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/10-4-2020-John.jpg
September 27, 2020 – Rick Sickles Part 2 continued discussion from non-fiction book Yuval Noah Harari’s, Homo Deus–Brief History of Tomorrow. How can we know where the world is going? http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/Sickles-Rick-thumbnail.jpg
*September 20, 2020 – Rick Sickles discussed non-fiction book Yuval Noah Harari’s, Sapiens–A Brief History of Humankind. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/9-27-2020-Rick.jpg
*September 13, 2020 – Nancy Robbinson, Exe. Dir. of United Against Poverty, spoke about the mission and success of UP Orlando. Their mission is to serve those in poverty by providing crisis care, case management, transformative education, food and household subsidy, employment training and placement, personal empowerment training and active referrals to other collaborative social service providers. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/9-13-2020-Nancy-Robbinson-4.jpg
*September 6, 2020 – Gary Cain President and CEO since 1994 of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. Club members are provided with academic support, extracurricular opportunities, and positive adult role models. The clubs are serving 16,236 young people, 91% of whom qualify for free or reduced school lunches. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/9-6-2020-Gary-Cain.jpg
August 30, 2020 – Wrangle. A discussion of Nu Class giving through donations from The Shirley Scott Endowment balance of $8,300, left with the Nu Class after Shirley’s death 4 and a half years ago. The outcome of this discussion was choosing the charity(s) to distribute funds to right away. For a list of charities chosen click the “Donations” tab above. Host John Richard, NU Class President. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/John-Richard-07-26-2020.jpg
*August 23, 2020 – Retired Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court Charles Wells, Part Two. Discussed concerns about multiple voting problems in the forthcoming November Presidential Election. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/8-23-2020-C-Wells.jpg
*August 16, 2020 – Retired Chief Justice of Florida Supreme Court Charles Wells, Part One. Discussed contested elections, counting electoral votes, and fixed dates to count and electoral votes at the State and Congressional levels – December 8 and January 6, 2020 respectively. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/8-16-2020-C-Wells-Speaker.jpg
*August 9, 2020 – Orlando’s Co-Founder, Jack McGill and President, Sherry Paramore, from ELEVATE Orlando, an educational, non-profit organization designed to meet the complex needs of at-risk youth by providing character classes and life skills training through the public-school system with the goal of empowering youth to become successful, responsible adults. Jack http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/08-09-2020-Jack-McGill.jpg Sherry http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/08-09-2020-Sherry-Parramore.jpg Xinia http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/08-09-2020-Xinia-Reyes.jpg
August 2, 2020 – Host John Richard, NU Class President. A Class Wrangle. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/John-Richard-07-26-2020.jpg
*July 26, 2020 – Rev Jim Coffin, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council. His presentation was titled: “Calamities, Catastrophes, Covid-19 and Other Things that Show How Really Ticked-Off God Is … Or Not.” Is every calamity God-manufactured and God-managed? Are human groups to blame for stirring up God’s wrath? http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/07-26-2020-Rev-James-Coffin.jpg
July 19, 2020 – Rev. Katrina Jenkins, M.Div., Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life at Rollins College. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/07-19-2020-Rev.-Katrina-Jenkins.jpg
July 12, 2020 – Jill Pelaez Baumgaertner, poet editor of The Christian Century Magazine, author of the essay “The Impossible, Essential Task of Writing Poetry After Auschwitz,” among other writings, talked about her own awakening and introduced us to several Jewish poets who ask unanswerable questions. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/07-12-2020-Baumgaertner.jpg
July 5, 2020 – Anna Eskamani, Representative in Florida House of Representatives, discussing current legislative issues. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/07-05-2020-Anna-Eskamani.jpg
June 28, 2020 – Eric Camarillo, founder of SALT (Service and Love Together), discussing SALT’s outreach to the homeless in downtown Orlando including the trailer he brings to the First Church driveway three times a week, providing showers, food, clothes and other services. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/06-28-2020-Eric-Camarillo.jpg
June 21, 2020 – Rev, Dr. Vance Rains, Lead Pastor, First Church Orlando, His Mission Trips to Guatemala. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/06-21-2020-Vance.jpg
June 14, 2020 – Jennifer Sandoval, Jennifer Sandoval, Ph.D, Associate Professor and the Program Coordinator for Communication and Conflict at the Nicholson School of Communication and Media at the University of Central Florida. Speaking on “Reproductive Justice.” http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/Jennifer-Sandoval-Speaker.jpg
June 7, 2020 – Frank Gilbert, Director of the Test Development and Measurement (TDM) Department of Orange County Public Schools,responsible for the testing of students in the 7th largest school district in the country. “COVID-19 Student Academic Study–How bad will it be, and what can be done about it.” http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/Frank-6-7-2020.jpg
May 31, 2020 – Lora Gilbert, Senior Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Orange County Public Schools. How OCPS (under her direction) is feeding over 100,000 kids under stay-at-home orders with the Pandemic. She is responsible to the 7th largest school district in the nation, 226 schools, 1,624 Food Service Employees, 39 million meals served in school year 2016, 1 million meals every week. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/5-31-2020-Lora-Gilbert.jpg
May 24, 2020 – Scott Maxwell. “The Gospel of Good News. Why we need it. Why we share it. Why so many people ignore it.” http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/5-24-2020-Scott-Maxwell-clip-.jpg
May 17, 2020 – Pastor Emily Sterling talked and showed pictures of her “Reflections from the Holy Land” based on the recent visit she made there and the amazing impact it had on her life. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/Pastor-Emily-snip.jpg
May 10, 2020 – Dr. Larry E. Webb spoke from his and Jean’s home in North Carolina on the Topic: “Making Sense of Life’s Changes.” http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/Dr-Larry-Webb-thumbnail.jpg
May 3, 2020 – Pastor Ron Lee spoke for 20 minutes about Luther’s time of isolation after participants were invited to talk for a few minutes about their lives during this isolation time. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/Pastor-Ron-Lee-1.jpg
April 26, 2020 – Rev. Dr. James A. Harnish. A biblical basis for Earth Day, entitled “Can You Hear Creation?” based on Romans 8:18-27. http://nuclass.org/wp-content/uploads/Harnish-Snip.jpg
March 8, 2020 – Suzzi Machalek, infection specialist=coordinator. How viruses operate and how our behaviors affect transmission.
February 23, 2020 – Ron Lee, Retired Lutheran Minister. Session 2: Building on our knowledge of each of our personal, God-given gifts, we will examine various spiritual habits, and how they impact our life of faith. We will also explore ways to make congregational worship more vital and inclusive for the wide variety of spiritual “soul” types.
February 16, 2020 – Ron Lee, Retired Lutheran Minister. Session 1: We will examine our personal, God-given gifts and our wide variety of spiritual “soul” types.
*This presentation was recorded.Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a link.