Suzi Gablik at Concord Grove

Mornings with Magritte, Visionary Art,
and the Big Picture: An Evening with Suzi Gablik

March 21 and 22, 2002

Suzi Gablik’s presentation “Mornings with Magritte, Visionary Art, and the Big Picture,” offered at the Concord Grove Educational Center, was enthusiastically welcomed by the local community. Her talk scheduled for March 21 sold out, and a second sold-out evening was added.

We extend our thanks to everyone who participated, and to the local art instructors who shared information on this event with their students.

Thomas Moore Speaking at Concord Grove
Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, offering an all-day seminar entitled Deepening Life in Today’s World in the Concord Grove Educational Center Conference Room, April 12, 2003.


Zero Energy Homes
in Michigan
With Architect Christina Snyder


This comprehensive, two-hour lecture and presentation with architect Christina Snyder explores award-winning, Michigan-designed homes that produce as much energy as they use, and the principles on which they are based.

Christina Snyder, an architect and adjunct professor at Lawrence Technological University, will present the award-winning entries of the State of Michigan’s first Zero Energy Home Competition, and discuss how the lessons learned from the competition can be applied in home construction and remodeling projects, along with future directions to explore in sustainable design.

An optional dinner will follow, with a showing of the film “Ecological Design: Inventing the Future.”

Advance registration is not required for the presentation, but it is required — along with your sandwich choice — if you wish to stay on for dinner.



Presidential candidate Joe Schriner, his wife, and three children drove from the Ann Arbor, Michigan area to attend a presentation on light pollution at Concord Grove Educational Center, but got lost and missed the presentation by only a few minutes. Fortunately, we had videotaped the presentation, and were able to show the talk and slides to Joe, Elizabeth, and the kids when they did arrive, quite unexpectedly. . .

Presidential Candidate Visits the
Concord Grove Educational Center
June 6, 2003


One of the planks of Schriner’s platform isn’t cutting taxes, but making Americans look at how they’re spending their money and then cutting out the unimportant expenses. He and his family are living examples of this “voluntary simplicity.”

Presidential Tour Bus

During Campaign 2000, Joe Schriner and his family campaigned in every state in the nation. The family’s story appeared in more than 200 newspapers, from major papers like the L.A. Times, Milwaukee Journal, Savanah Morning News . . . to the weekly Rising Sun Herald of Maryland, with a circulation of only 2,000. They have also been featured on over 90 regional TV network news shows, National Public Radio, and other programs.

A former journalist and substance-abuse counselor, Schriner has generated a small following that has kept his candidacy going week to week with donations totaling $10,000. . . .

“You read down this list of campaign ideas and you can’t help but want to support them,” says a woman outside a coffee shop here, where Schriner hands out leaflets.

Schriner left his jobs behind in 1990 to research projects in which average citizens united to address local issues. During eight years, he filled 40 notebooks with ideas.

In Oldenburg, Indiana, he chronicled how a group of nuns devised a way to keep the family farm alive. In Taos, New Mexico, citizens formed an environmentally conscious community, using solar tools and organic agriculture. And on the South Side of Chicago, ministers built a transitional-living facility to get people out of gang war zones.

If such people were held up as models, and “it took hold, big government would go away altogether,” says Schriner, a Republican. He sees this as a return to an America in which neighbor helped neighbor, and a way to bridge gaps among groups who fear one another because they never interact.

— Christian Science Monitor

Joe Schriner — Just an Average Joe
or Something More?

Joe and his family travel the country, interviewing hundreds of experts and talking to thousands of ordinary citizens, taking notes on worthy initiatives, and compiling a party platform.

We found Joe to be well-informed — not really an “average Joe” at all — with a serious commitment to understanding the pressing but often ignored issues of the contemporary world.

He commended the work of the Concord Grove Educational Center — pointing out that initiatives like this are very important and under-supported — and said that he would mention the work of the educational center in an upcoming book and campaign diary.

Mr. Schriner has a background as a professional journalist and a psychotherapist. He told us that he is really “left of the Green Party” and that his description as “an average Joe” was suggested by someone — and that it stuck.

“We’re actually left of the Green Party. It’s hard to do, but we are,” said Schriner.

The rest of Schriner’s politics are a mix: He’s pro-life like a Republican; he supports programs for the poor like a Democrat; and like a Libertarian, he wants students to develop social and civic responsibility.

— Newark Advocate


The Gnostic Gospels

Discovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945, the Gnostic Gospels represent one of the most important archaeological finds of modern times — at least equal in significance to the Dead Sea Scrolls. These ancient papyrus codexes, written in Coptic — and the earliest intact Christian manuscripts ever discovered — have helped transform our contemporary understanding of early Christianity and the great diversity of early Christian ideas and writings. This film, originally produced for the BBC, documents the ideas of the early Gnostic Christians, the discovery of the Nag Hammadi manuscripts, and includes interviews with leading scholars Elaine Pagels, James Robinson, Gilles Quispel, and others. Discussion to follow.


Light Pollution
Local Problems and Local Solutions
Presentation by Edward A. Ketterer


Each year billions of energy dollars are wasted by poorly designed lighting fixtures that send unneeded glare upward, impairing our enjoyment of the night sky. In this presentation by Edward A. Ketterer of the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association, we will learn how glare-free lighting can contribute to the quality of life in our local neighborhoods.

This illustrated talk will present information on light pollution and lighting designs, and the simple steps that individuals and businesses can take to eliminate light pollution.

Information will also be provided on the economic and environmental impacts of light pollution, and how good lighting designs can save money and natural resources, in terms of our individual households and our local communities.


The Parabola Discussion Group
of Greater Grand Rapids

Published for over twenty-five years, Parabola is a quarterly journal devoted to the exploration of the quest for meaning as it is expressed in the world’s myths, symbols, and religious traditions, with particular emphasis on the relationship between this store of wisdom and our modern life. Available by subscription and on newsstands, each issue is devoted to a particular theme, and features articles both from traditional sources and contemporary writers.

The Concord Grove Educational Center is pleased to host the Parabola Discussion Group of Greater Grand Rapids. We will meet four times per year to discuss the articles and themes of each quarterly issue, two to three weeks after that issue appears on newsstands.


Turkish Music Concert
with Latif Bolat


Special West Michigan Appearance
at Concord Grove Educational Center


Latif Bolat plays Turkish folk music and devotional Sufi songs which are called Ilahis and Nefes, from the Anatolian peninsula. The lyrics of Ilahis or Nefeses are taken largely from the great thirteeth-century mystical poets Rumi and Yunus Emre. This concert will feature many Bektashi songs from the Bektashi tradition of the Sufis. The program also includes Traditional Turkish folk songs and songs composed by Latif Bolat. During the night, poems will be read from the Sufi poets Yunus Emre and Rumi.

Latif Bolat is a native born Turkish musician who has lived in the United States for the past fifteen years. One of the most renowned Turkish musicians in North America, he has performed across the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Indonesia, and Turkey. By creating an intimate, almost “storytelling” atmosphere, he explains Turkish folk and mystic music and its cultural elements.

The most important characteristic of this music is the trance quality, with its mesmerizing rhythm and devotional lyrics. The Sound Magazine says of Latif Bolat’s music: The effect is very powerful, very soothing. Hurriyeth, the largest circulating daily paper in Turkey calls him a Turkish musical envoy in America. San Francisco Weekly writes: . . . his walnut hued voice rolls without effort from his body and wafts into the highest reaches of the balcony, causing many in the crowd to lower their heads in supplication.

Latif Bolat’s CDs include Infinite Beginning, Ashk Olsun (Let there be Love), and Eyvallah.