Parkway Speaker Series 2022


The Parkway Speakers Series Announces its Offerings for the First Four Months of 2022

Select Sundays | 11:15am | Heritage Room and Zoom

Because you have a story to tell…


January 9, 2022

“What can Christians do to Promote a Just Solution in Israel and Palestine?” By Paul Roesler.

Paul, a Professor of Political Science, will discuss the history of the seemingly endless and unsolvable Israel/Palestine conflict. He’ll also discuss the UCC’s recent positions regarding the conflict to address the question of how Christians should respond to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. We’ll end by having a conversation on what response would be helpful to encourage a just solution. Be there for this important, provocative, and timely presentation.


January 16, 2022

“Mom and Dad, I need to tell you something; I’m Gay. OMG, what do we do now?” “Turn to PFLAG, a Tenant of Parkway Church, Fighting for a Diverse and Inclusive World,” featuring Beth Gasparovic and a Panel of Parents of LGBTQ+ Children.

For many LGBTQ youth, breaking the news to Mom and Dad is the scariest part of coming out. Ever wonder how parents of gay and lesbian children face their unique parenting challenges? Many find help in PFLAG, a community of individuals who are committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

“Once my parents were behind me, I knew that I could handle anything else.”

Want to support a coworker, friend, or loved one but are not sure how? Or do you consider yourself an LGBTQ+ ally but are confused by how quickly language and understanding of LGBTQ+ identities seem to change? Please join us on January 16th and get some answers from a panel of PFLAG, who will share their personal stories.

(Please note that if you have questions and prefer to ask them without identifying yourself, consider submitting them to Kevin Cameron before January 16th.)


War and Peace in February- Two Programs for Our Youth, as Well as Adults.

February, 2022 (Exact Date to be Determined).

“The Adventure of my Life, A Tour of Duty with the Peace Corps.” By Denyse Schrenker, a child of Parkway.

The Peace Corps is an independent agency and volunteer program run by the USA, providing international social and economic development assistance by volunteers, described as “missionaries of democracy”.   Critics such as Richard Nixon predicted it would become a “cult of escapism” and “a haven for draft dodgers.”  Ms. Schrenker sees it differently and experienced an amazing, life altering African adventure with pluck and humanity.



February 27. 2022

“Day of Days, My D-Day Story,” by Major General (Ret.) John Raaen.

On June 6, 1944, Major General John Raaen, then a Captain in the 5th Ranger Battalion, landed in the first wave on D-Day at Omaha Beach. During this first time in combat, MG Raaen, distinguished himself on the beaches of Normandy. For his valorous actions in the face of fierce enemy opposition, he was awarded the Silver Star. Later and during the Battle of the Bulge, he was injured in a severe Jeep accident.

Throughout the postwar years, General Raaen held several significant commands in the United States, Europe, and during the Korean and Vietnam wars. In April 1979, he retired at the rank of Major General after 36 years of service to the Army. He now lives in Florida and is 97 years old.

This will be historic presentation. Parents bring your children.


March 13, 2022

“The Conductor: Timekeeper, Herder, Cheerleader and Scold,” by David Peek.

Conductors serve as messengers for the composer. It is their responsibility to understand the music and convey it through gestures so transparent that the musicians in the orchestra understand it perfectly. Those musicians can then transmit a unified vision of the music out to the audience. Easily said, but how does that really work? David Peek knows and he will share his secrets as to how he so deftly conducts the Town & Country Symphony.


March 20, 2022

“Religion, and It’s Role in World History” by Jan Worley.

Back once more is our friend Jan Worley, an instructor at the Community College. He will lead us in discussing the question: What is religion and what are similarities of the major religions?  His presentation will also include a survey of world history that shows how religion has influenced every period of that history. This will be a two-hour presentation.


April 3, 2022

“In Search of Birds, my Travels as a Long-time Birder,” by Claudia Spener.

A birder is a person, who searches for birds. Birding has become the fastest growing recreational activity among young people in the United States and is a relatively inexpensive hobby that can be done by anyone.


Birding provides a challenge, along with peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in the beauty of nature. Ms. Spener, a serious birder, has many fascinating stories to tell of her worldwide search for birds and how she has put together what is known as her “life list” of birds she has seen and identified.


April 24, 2022

“As I Recall It; Memories of Historic Times from 1967-1974,” by Ellie Swenson.

Recently, Ellie Swenson, a Parkway member, came across notes, she made to herself, as she contemporaneously reacted to and recorded her impressions of turbulent times in America from 1967 to 1974. Remember the walk on the moon, more troops in Vietnam, then the pullout, the secret war in Cambodia, the Supreme Court’s approval of school busing, Kent State, passage of the Civil Rights Act, Nixon’s visit to China, Watergate, Nixon’s resignation with Gerald Ford becoming President, and then pardoning Nixon, and on and on.

We will use Ellie’s memories as a springboard to remind our audience of their own recollections  and encourage the sharing of memories of those remarkable and turbulent times. Where were you on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong put his left foot on the lunar surface and famously declared, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”?



Unless otherwise noted, all programs will take place in the Heritage Room and run from 11:15 AM to 12:15 PM, with zoom access for those joining remotely via the usual church access numbers:



Meeting ID: 846 9147 6997 | Passcode: 181565 | Dial (312) 626-6799






Post Date: December 30, 2021


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