Sundays @9:30: Open Issues

The Open Issues Forum at Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater is attended by numerous members of the UUC congregation and the public as well. No topic is out of bounds; often they are unsettled issues. We encourage agreeable disagreement, knowing that we learn more by considering different points of view. One of our goals is to learn more than we think we already know. We meet every Sunday from 9:30-10:25 a.m. in the Patio Room of our Social Hall, the building immediately east of our main building, the Octagon Art Center. Need directions? Have a question or idea for a forum? Click here.

6/27/21 This Sunday, we will have an open discussion on the idea of combining the programming of Spiritual Potpourri with Open Issues.  Each group would continue to meet at the current day/time; but the discussion would be on the same topic.

6/20/21: No Open Issues this Sunday.

6/13/21: This Sunday at Open Issues, we will watch a 16- minute video and discuss.  Dr. Peter McCullough has been the world's most prominent and vocal advocate for early outpatient treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection in order to prevent hospitalization and death. We will watch and discuss an excerpt of a May 19, 2021 interview with Dr. McCullough regarding his efforts as a treating physician and researcher. 


5/30/21: This Sunday, we will watch a TED Talk by Lisa Genova on memory and then discuss the key points from her book "Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting". 

5/23/21: This Sunday we will continue the discussion we started last week with Meredith's presentation about talking with someone with an opposing position.

5/16/21: This Sunday - How to disagree, talk through our differences, and remain in covenant with one another.

5/9/21: This Sunday, UUC's Treasurer Joe Pace joins us for a special 9 a.m., 90-minute discussion of UUC's 2021-2022 budget. The budget can be accessed on UUC's Members page of our website. Feel free to direct questions to Joe before and during the meeting.

5/2/21: This Sunday, we'll be listening to an audio file and then John Chase will lead our discussion.  Audio:  How Black Leaders Unwittingly Contributed To The Era Of Mass Incarceration; interview of James Forman Jr by Terry Gross in July 2017.

4/25/21: This Sunday, Susan Talbott, who manages the EPIC Empath LGBTQ outreach program will join us.

4/18/21: This Sunday - our varied paths to UU. Come prepared to share your journey to UU. Join us to share and learn more about other UU's.

4/11/21: This Sunday, we will watch a TED talk by Elaine Fong on Death with Dignity with discussion following.

4/4/21: This Sunday, Meredith Olson will talk to us about how Unitarianism and Universalism went from being Christian denominations to including more sources of wisdom (history of the six UU sources). Discussion following.

3/28/21: This Sunday, we will watch a video where Dr. Essie Larson talks about the risk factors, signs and symptoms of suicide. This is an excerpt from the Suicide Prevention Forum sponsored by the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force of the Unitarian Universalists in Chery Hill. Discussion following.

3/21/21: This Sunday, Stacie Bolen, the Director of Outreach, will provide an overview of some of the services and resources available through the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas. The mission of the Area Agency on Aging is to advocate, educate, and empower seniors, adults with disabilities and caregivers to maintain and promote independence.

3/14/21: This Sunday, Carla Moseley, the community education for the Alzheimer's Association will join us on Zoom to talk about Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body.


3/7/21: This Sunday, the UCC Social Justice Committee is bringing us a presentation by a local charity impacted by the pandemic. This Sunday President and CEO of Hope Villages of America, Mr. Kirk Ray Smith, will speak about The Haven, the domestic abuse center of Religious Community Services in Clearwater.

2/28/21: This Sunday, we will watch a Ted Talk from November 2019 and then discuss it.  Ted Talk: Democracy needs an update -- one that respects and engages citizens by involving them in everyday political decisions, says writer and researcher Max Rashbrooke. He outlines three global success stories that could help move democratic systems forward and protect society against the new challenges this century is already bringing.

2/21/21: This Sunday, we will watch all five performances of Brandon Leake (the amazing and first spoken word contestant on America's Got Talent and the winner of the last season). 

2/14/21: This Sunday, the UUC Social Justice committee presents Jeanne Shapiro, CEO of the Clearwater Free Clinic. Jeanne will show their new 5 min. video explaining what they do and a tour of their new facility on Court St. in Clearwater. Discussion following.


2/7/21: Mark Lichty will show his film on the PA Environmental Rights Amendment []. After watching the film we will talk about the national movement to get environmental rights adopted across the nation and more specifically, where Florida stands on environmental rights.


1/31/21: COVID vaccine information presented by Barb Shimer. 

1/24/21: This Sunday's topic:  Part 2 on SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) brain scan. Video [13 minutes] of scan results from Lisa Moran's visit to the Amen Clinic in Atlanta and t hen a discussion of the suggestions for improving brain health based on the scans.

1/17/21: This Sunday's topic:  Mr. Watson L. Haynes II, President of the Pinellas County Urban League, will be speaking to us about their work during the lockdown.

1/10/21: This Sunday's topic:  Meredith Olson will be talking with us about when UUs have been on the wrong side of history.

1/3/21: This Sunday's topic:  COVID-19 casedemic versus pandemic; COVID testing issues.

12/27/20: This Sunday's topic: Discussion - "What I'm grateful for in 2020"

12/20/20: This Sunday's topic: what is a SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) brain scan and what can it tell you? A report from a visit to the Amen Clinic in Atlanta.

12/13/20: This Sunday, we will take another look at Ranked Choice Voting - a review of what it is (short video), and the pros and cons of using it in major elections.

12/6/20: This Sunday, we will watch a video about Project Drawdown and then talk about it.  

11/29/20: This Sunday, Barb Shimer will lead a discussion on Thanksgiving and Indigenous People.

11/22/20: This Sunday we will watch a video about Stacy Abrams and follow it up by talking about what she has accomplished in Georgia with voter registration.

11/15/20: This Sunday at Open Issues, you are invited to come discuss our desires for America.  How do we want the United States to be seen in the world? What do we want to accomplish? What do we want to leave future generations? What are our priorities?


11/08/20: Looking Beyond the Elections - No matter who wins the elections, the work for justice continues. For the past nine years UUC has been an active member of an interfaith, multicultural group of congregations working to make Pinellas County and Florida a more just community.


11/01/20: This Sunday, we will use SEFT (Simplified Emotional Freedom Techniques; AKA 'tapping') to reduce our stress around the upcoming election. Bring your 'hot buttons' and prepare to release some stress.


Remember the time change! Fall back Saturday night.


10/25/20: In celebration of Halloween (day of the dead), this Sunday at open issues participants are invited to share their personal "ghost stories" (due to time constraints, speakers are limited to 3-5 minutes). 

10/18/20: This Sunday we will watch an excerpt from the Netflix show "Down to Earth with Zac Efron".  We will watch a segment from Episode 2 talking about the water purification system in the City of Paris, France.  Following the short (12 min) video; we will talk about safe, pure water as a human right.

10/11/20: This Sunday at open issues we will watch a short video: The problem with the U.S. bail system by Camilo Ramirez. Discussion following.

10/4/20: This Sunday at open issues we will discuss the six 2020 Proposed Florida Constitutional Amendments on our ballots for 11/3/2020 as well as the Pinellas County and City of Clearwater referendums.

9/27/20: The topic for open issues this Sunday is:  Behind the scenes of local elections.


9/20/20: This Sunday we will have an open discussion about voting our UU values.  Avrio (who unfortunately works on Sunday) has generously provided several thought provoking questions for discussion.  We will strive for this will to be a non-partisan discussion.


9/13/20: This Sunday Elizabeth Drayer will speak with us again. Her topic will be "How do we manufacture our first world toys without making a toxic mess."


9/6/20: This Sunday at open issues we will watch a short (under 10 minutes) TED Talk -by Jose Antonio Vargas titled "3 Questions to Ask Yourself About US Citizenship"; discussion following



Recent + Upcoming:

We've Gone Virtual!

Join us on Zoom at 9:30 am Sunday mornings. Some (but not all) sessions are recorded.

Meeting ID: 927 6821 7534

*You can join the call at 9:25; we will wrap up by 10:20 am.

**This is not the same link as the 10:30 service.

Drop Box

Follow this link (here!) for Drop Box access to shared information, slides, handouts, and resources from previous Open Issues events. Storage space is limited, so download anything you need as materials cycle through frequently.

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