The Uplands Lifelong Learning Institute is joining with Pleasant Hill Community Church, United Church of Christ, to bring a different kind of program to the area. 

Ulli (formerly the Shalom Center for Continuing Education) has sponsored two-day educational programs or short courses meetings for six to eight weeks with live speakers or leaders. 

On three days, Friday-Sunday, Dec. 6-8, the Institute and Church will bring the broadcast of an Omega Center Conference Webinar called “Love at the Heart of the Cosmos: Living in Relational Wholeness” to Pleasant Hill. The sessions will be shown on the large-screen and smaller video screens in Adshead Hall of Fletcher House for Assisted Living. 

After each of the lectures, Ulli Group Discussions will be led by Ed Olson and Mark Canfield. Because of the different nature of this program, there will not be a potluck dinner on Friday night, but coffee and a light breakfast will be provided for the morning sessions.

On Friday, Dec. 6, the webinar will begin at 5:30 p.m. with an introduction by Ilia Delio. This webinar is an event committed to Teilhard’s vision for “a new religion of the Earth for a new planet of life.” 

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and is known for his theory that man is evolving, mentally and socially, toward a final spiritual unity. 

Delio said, “Teilhard envisioned a new type of energy flowing from the convergence of world religions, giving rise to a new religion of the Earth and a new ultrahuman community, electronically connected in a rising Cosmic Person.” 

The lecture beginning at 6 p.m. will be by Ursula King, a German theologian and scholar of religion, who specializes in gender, religion, and feminist theology. She has been a professor of theology and religious studies, president of Catherine of Siena College, and a prominent lecturer. 

King received honorary doctorates from the universities of Edinburgh, Oslo and Dayton, OH, as well as research awards from the University of Delhi and Sorbonne, Paris. She is a Life Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, from 7:45-8 a.m., a continental breakfast will be followed with the morning lecture by Kathleen Duffy, editor of Teilhard Studies who serves on the advisory boards of the American Teilhard Association and Cosmos and Creation, holding an honorary doctorate from Iona College. 

She has published “Teilhard’s Mysticism: Seeing the Inner Face of Evolution.” 

Following a break, there will be Teilhard & Centering Prayer led by Cynthia Bourgeault from 9:45-11:15 a.m. She is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer and internationally known retreat leader. She is a core faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation, a member of the Global Peace Initiative for Women Contemplative Council and recipient of the 2014 Contemplative Voices award from Shalem Institute. Bourgeault is a founding director of both The Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School and author of several books. 

The program will resume again from 4:30-6 p.m. with a lecture by John Haught. A theologian of science and religion, he will provide an analysis of what faith might mean in an age of science. 

Haught is a distinguished research professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown University and the author of 20 books, more than 100 book chapters and articles as well as hundreds of invited lectures and major academic presentations. 

He offers fresh insight into the biblical nature of hope in order to clarify his position about those who differ with his approach — the “New Atheists” and Creationists.

On Sunday, Dec. 8, from 7:45- 9:30 a.m., Ilia Delio will focus on exploring divine action in a world of evolution, complexity, emergence, quantum reality and artificial intelligence. 

She earned doctorates in pharmacology from Rutgers University-School of Healthcare and Biomedical Sciences and in historical theology from Fordham University, NY. She is the recipient of a Templeton Course in Science and Religion award and the author of 17 books, many of which have been translated into Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and German.

Ulli anticipates people will come and go throughout the three days of the conference. 

Adshead Hall is on the lower level of the Elizabeth Fletcher House for Assisted Living, 40 Fletcher Dr. in Pleasant Hill off of Church Dr. across from the Community Church. 

The webinar is free and open to the public, but donations will be appreciated.

This week in Pleasant Hill:

Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2 p.m. — Documentary (Retirement Revolution) in Room 4, Pleasant Hill Community Church, United Church of Christ, Main St. and Church Dr.

Wednesday, Dec. 4, 5:30 p.m. — Spaghetti supper, 6:15 p.m., and Taize Service in Pleasant Hill Community Church sanctuary, 67 Church Dr. 

Wednesdays, 6 p.m. — Bible study and prayer at the Pleasant Hill Baptist Mission at 39 Browntown Rd. near Main St.

Thursdays, 2-4 p.m. — Fair Trade Room open in Pleasant Hill Community Church. Coffee, tea, chocolate, SERRV crafts from around the world. Supports co-ops and crafters with a “fair” price for their goods.

Thursday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m. — Community Bridge at Fletcher House Dining Room. All welcome. Call 931-277-5005.

Friday, Dec. 6 — Obed Wild and Scenic River 1.5-mile hike to the high rock outcrop of Lilly Bluff. Meet at 9:15 a.m. in the Aquatic Center parking lot on West Lake Rd. to carpool to the trailhead.

Tuesday, Dec. 10, noon — Pleasant Hill emergency siren test.

Tuesday, Dec. 10, 6 p.m. — Pleasant Hill Town Council meeting at Pleasant Hill Town Hall, 351 E. Main St. Call 931-277-3813.

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