Wednesday, September 14

Ahmed Tharwat, an Egyptian Muslim and moderator of the PBS program “Bel Ahdan” will show photos of the recent Arab Spring uprising in Egypt.  Mr. Tharwat interviews guests every Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on Minnesota Public Television.  Mr. Tharwat is a practicing Muslim from an orthodox Muslim family in Egypt.  He has a journalism degree from the American University in Cairo, which is the largest university in the Middle East.  He recently spent time in Cairo during the peaceful and successful uprising, and he will show photos of his experiences, including the many ways in which Christians, Muslims, Jews and secular Egyptians worked together during this time.

May 11, 2011

Meg Riley, minister of the Church of the Larger Fellowship.  Rev. Riley took up her ministry with CLF in August of last year; however, she has served the Unitarian
Universalist Association since 1989 and was ordained to the UU ministry in 1992.  She has worked in the intersection of religion and sexuality in a variety of contexts, including service as Director of the UUA’s Advocacy and Witness staff group, Office of Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay Concerns, Washington Office for Advocacy, Youth Programs, and as a religions educator in several UU congregations.  She is currently President of the Board of Faith in Public Life:  A Resource Center for Justice and the Common Good.

Sunday, May 1Baby Animal Fair

Wednesday, April 27Jeffrey Hatcher, playwright, on “Beliefs.”  See the article on his play, “Three Viewings,” in this issue of “In the BUUF.”

Saturday, April 23BUUF Spring Potluck

Wednesday, April 13Richard Dean and Luke Markve reported on the Prairie Star District Annual Conference held April 8 to 10 in Des Moines, Iowa.  The theme of the conference was “It Matters What We Believe.”

Wednesday, March 23.

Meeting cancelled due to bad weather.

March 9, 2011

Bob Sperber on “Food and Politics.”  Dr. Sperber is a world expert on microbiological food safety and editor of, home page for the food and beverage industry.  He is also the Global Ambassador for Food Protection at Cargill as well as a long-time Unitarian.

Dr. Sperber began his presentation by asking us, “Who is responsible for food safety?”  Is it the producer (food business), the farmer, or the consumer?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates there were 38 million food-related illnesses in the USA last year, resulting in 3,000 deaths.  There are more illnesses resulting from raw or undercooked foods – vegetables, nuts, ground meats, poultry.  We cannot make foods entirely pathogen free.

Dr. Sperber spoke about irradiation of food, especially raw ground beef.  There is public resistance to irradiation due to concerns about radioactivity.  However, the high-energy electron beams that are used now are safe.  Also, sanitation is better now in meat processing due to better farming and processing techniques.  Contamination is 0.1%, whereas 10 years ago it was 1.0%.  Irradiation of ground beef is analogous to milk pasteurization, in which milk is heated to 160°F for 15 seconds.

Dr. Sperber also addressed the question, “Is capitalism ruining the environment?”  In some ways, yes.  For example, factory farms can contaminate ground water and streams.

There are about 7 billion people in the world today; by the year 2050, there will be 9 billion people to feed.  China is the world’s largest wheat producer, but their 800 million peasant farmers can’t feed their nation.

Today’s monoculture dwarfs the Irish potato famine problem.  Aquifer depletion and population pressures are also problems.

Wednesday February 23rd

Corinne Miller discussed “The Coffee Party Movement.”

They were formed as a alternative to the Tea party movement.. Wikipedia
defines them as” was initially formed in January, 2010, as an alternative to the Tea Party movement, and has since grown into an increasingly diverse organization.

Its mission states that it is based on the underlying principle that the government is "not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans." Its slogan is "Wake Up and Stand Up." Its stated goals include getting cooperation in government and removing corporate influence from politics.

She encouraged us to have issue forums similar to what the Coffee Party is holding.

Wednesday February 9th

Richard Dean and Jack Waldhauer made a presentation titled “Happy Birthday Charles Darwin” to celebrate what would be Darwin’s birthday on February 12th 1809.  It was a fascinating presentation that described Darwin's childhood and how his famous book on the origin of the  species  was pushed into print.

Wednseday, January 26th

This program was an excerpt from the presentation made by Winona LaDule at the UUA 2010 GAA that was held in Minneapolis where she is encouraging environmental activism.  If you would like to watch the entire presentation click here:  Ware presentation

Wednesday, January 12th

Luke Markve, “The Metaphysic of Quality.”

In his first book, published in 1974, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, Robert Pirsig explained his “Philosophy of Quality.” In his second book, Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals, published in 1991, he made Quality a total philosophy. Pirsig’s view is that Quality is of two kinds: Static and Dynamic. It exists in four areas: the Inorganic, the Organic/Biological, the Social, and the Intellectual. It has been Luke’s philosophy since 1992.