By Tracey L. Hurd, Executive Director
The image of life as a narrative or a book unfurled captures me. There is something comforting about envisioning us all as players in a grand unfolding, mutually held together by the weight of a solid book’s binding. There’s progression, yes, a moving forward, but the option to go back – to return to page three—is ever-present, too. Life as an unfolding story gently suggests a metaphor of life as change happening without true loss.
Change as a Constant: Adapting, Surviving, Thriving is the theme for the upcoming Spring 2012 Lecture and Discussion Forum series. It’s the first full series that we will launch with our new name, WomenExplore Lecture and Discussion Forum. It is a lyrical but unplanned coincidence: two changes at once. The new series name provides a larger umbrella for the variety of topics that anchor our sessions and it names a focus on women that has been part of the program from its inception. WomenExplore signals our progression, but the pages of the Theological Opportunities Program are held dear and intact. We are one story.
I joined this narrative of change and continuity as Executive Director on the first of February. Muna Killingback left for full time work at U. Mass, Boston, in the late fall. Sitting on the board of WomenExplore, she maintains her close ties with this community and program. I come here after years in primarily academic settings—as a former Scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Center, program director at the Unitarian Universalist Association, and faculty member at Boston College. The dual commitment to learning broadly about issues in the world today, and deep thinking about how those issues touch our own lives, drew me in. I attended a session with a friend, and came back again and again. I am honored to be part of a program that is so full of possibility and transformation.
This spring’s line up is stunning. There will be excellent lectures from leaders in fields presenting cutting-edge research that wrestle with chaos, journey, clutter, sensuality, grief, home, competition, partnering, aloneness and growth. There will be shorter focusing presentations preceding the lectures, where we will learn about how these topics have taken shape in lived experiences of a participant of the WomenExplore community. The focusing presentations and lectures, together offer synergy and tension. Time for engagement, discussion and questions is therefore an essential part of each morning.
So much awaits us. Come! Bring a friend. We have a truly wonderful spring series. It will be interesting and engaging, and better with you there. There is a place for you in the unfolding story of WomenExplore’s Lecture Series and Discussion Forum.