In addition to the other large events listed elsewhere, we wanted to highlight a couple of local initiatives that we think are AWESOME, and then touch on some efforts that have been successful in other locations.

If you want a mind-blowing evening out (yes, even BETTER than yet-another-movie night), check out the following two groups.  Speaking from personal experience, we can tell you this:  You won’t be disappointed!

Think Again is a discussion group “for people who like to think twice before jumping to conclusions.” First begun by Tiffany Ivins Spence in Boston, this group of Salt Lake City residents has been gathering since 2008 to explore issues of our day in a thoughtful, generous space.   Each month they dive deep into a subject with a presenter and a preassigned set of reading/audio/visual materials. Open and honest inquiry on all topics is encouraged and welcomed – honoring and welcoming disagreements and the chance to explore them together. Recent topics have included Who are the poor and how best to help them?The Realism of Modern Day Slavery and the Fight for Freedom and Choosing Joy After Tragic Loss. Previously years have included other powerful explorations, including: Human TraffickingIs technology making us ________ ? & The Crazy US Presidential Election Process: Is This Really the Best We Can Do? (2012) The Meaning of ManlinessDoes the national debt matter? (2011) PovertyHealth Care Reform; Guns; Depression in Utah; & Bowling Alone: The Decline of Social Capital (2010) and Lessons from the Great DepressionSexual Responsibilitythe Effect of Social Media on Interpersonal Relationships & Is the World Better or Worse Off Because of International Aid? (2009).

If you’d like to join the fun, they most often meet the third Thursday of each month from 7:30 – 9:30 pm at Mark & Elizabeth England’s home at 1194 South 500 East in Salt Lake City. To get details of upcoming events, check out the Think Again blog.  To sign up for their update list or find out how you can start a Think Again group in your own home, contact Jay, the current point-person for Think Again, at the following e-mail:  thinkagain.faithagain@gmail.com

Faith Again was started by Mark and Elizabeth England and Jay Griffith primarily “for those who are members of the LDS church and may be struggling to find faith and reasons to stay with it. Or for those who have left the church but desire to stay connected to their community of faith.” It grew out of a Think Again topic that was overwhelmingly popular in 2013. As they explain, “It is a gathering where individuals who have questions about doctrines, history, culture, or who hold other religious or even agnostic views can come and discuss them without fear. While it isn’t a place to come and rag on the LDS church or religion in general, we welcome critical but kind thinking on such topics. The discussion group is a forum in which people from different backgrounds and belief systems can come together to strengthen one another’s faith in a loving God.” To date, evening topics have included: How to Create Healthy Relationships When Kids Leave the ChurchFaith, Fidelity, and Faithfulness in a Time of Skepticism and DoubtMaintaining a Dynamic Faith in Contemporary MormonismAn Evening with Fiona and Terryl Givens; An Evening with D. Michael QuinnMeditation and The Inner Path of Spiritual RebirthJoseph Smith and Plural Marriage & Navigating Our Faith — The Truth Will Cut its Own Way

If this is an exploration that would benefit you, they welcome anyone in the community who would like to attend.  It too, is most often held at the England home – usually on the first Friday of the month. To get on their email list go to FaithAgain.org and click on “contact,” or you can also sign up or get further information by emailing Jay at thinkagain.faithagain@gmail.com.

One of the premiere dialogue  events in the nation is called the Power of Dialogue – offered across the nation by our friends and colleagues at the Public Conversation Project (PCP), located near Boston, Massachusetts.This 3-day retreat brings together citizens and leaders for a intensive, and in-depth exploration of the dialogue process. No group offers more high-quality dialogue training than does PCP.  Trust us!  David Joseph, Bob Stains, Mary Jacksteit and others have been inspirations and models for us, close to a decade.

As a Village Square chapter, we have a goal of raising funds to sponsor a 2016 Power of Dialogue workshop – ideally, at one of Utah’s universities or colleges. This training would further galvanize dialogue organizers and leaders in Utah to further spread the work – and prompt additional trainings in the future.If you or someone you know would be interested sponsoring this classic workshop coming to Utah, please contact Jacob@tothevillagesquare.org.

Some events we hold don’t fit neatly into a category. So here for your browsing enjoyment are the miscellaneous ones. The other events below, by the way, have happened at the Tallahassee Village Square location.  Click on each square to listen to audio, and see program and panel details.

 

  • Paul Steiger on Pro Publica and Investigative Journalism
  • Sustainability & Faith
  • Leadership in Tough Times
  • Town & Gown Tallahassee
  • Purple State of Mind & Pizza
  • Lord Save Us From Your Followers
  • Screen Purple State of Mind