Many folks in the Living Branches community may remember the hustle and bustle of Souderton in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. But centuries before that, before roads, bridges, trains, or modern industry, there were pioneering people forming the town that many now call home. This course will dive into the early history of Souderton, from its first Welsh settlers, to the early days of the railroad and the town’s industrial boom, to the turn-of-the-century Souderton that shaped the community as we know it today. Learn the long passed, but not forgotten, history of Souderton. About the Instructor: Dan Yocum - An eighth generation Soudertonian and great-great-great grandson of Henry O. Souder, the founder of Souderton, Dan Yocum has a love for the history of this community. He serves the community in various ways, highlighting our rich past whenever possible. Dan is the small business administrator for Univest Bank and Trust Co, where he also oversees the historical archives. In his not-so-free time, Dan is an elected member of the Souderton Borough Council and is a founding member of the Souderton-Telford Historical Society. He serves as the financial secretary and museum chair of the Perseverance Volunteer Fire Company and president of Souderton-Telford Rotary Club.
Money management is different for seniors. This class will look at managing your finances through a biblical perspective. Together we’ll explore aligning your priorities, lifestyle, and God’s call with your finances. We’ll learn about giving, saving, spending, protection, and investing strategies that fit your needs as a senior. About the Instructors: Randy Nyce is an Everence stewardship consultant, helping families, businesses, non-profits, and congregations in the eastern Pennsylvania region with stewardship education and charitable gift planning. Jeff Godshall, CFP®, CTFA, is a financial planner with Everence Trust Company. Jeff is a trust and investment specialist serving on a team of financial professionals who help individuals, institutions, and churches with their investment, insurance, and financial planning needs. Trish Sneddon, CSA, CLTC, is an Everence financial services representative. Trish has a bachelor of arts degree in health care administration, and has earned her certification in long-term care insurance and the ertified senior advisor designation. She previously worked as a nursing home and health services administrator.
Did you know that there are approximately 1,000,000 books published each year worldwide? It is easy to be overwhelmed with all of those choices. This program will guide you through book recommendations for biographies and historical fiction. Learn about lesser known titles that you may have missed. Be reminded of classics and popular bestsellers that you haven’t gotten a chance to read. A list of the titles covered in the presentation will be provided to attendees. About the Instructor: Nicole Husbands - Nicole Husbands is the young adult and outreach services librarian at Indian Valley Public Library in Telford. As a librarian, she answers patron inquiries on a nearly daily basis, often suggesting fiction and nonfiction titles for them to read. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Neumann University and a master’s degree in library science from St. John’s University. Husbands has served as a judge for the Indies Book Award given by Foreword Reviews.
If you have strolled in Delaware county’s open spaces, you have likely been in the presence of apex predators. Great horned owls hide in plain sight. They hunt, mate, and raise their young in a world fraught with danger from above and a banquet below. Come and share a photo and video journey of a pair of great horned owls in Delaware county. This program will feature King Tuft, Queen Ann, and The Little Prince and Princess. About the Instructor: Pamela Dimeler - Pamela Dimeler is a photographer and videographer specializing in wildlife who has a special interest in birds. She has been observing and documenting a pair of Great horned owls in Delaware county for eight years. This past March she was an invited presenter at the International Festival of Owls in Houston, Minnesota. Pamela is the director and founder of Parkside Academy of Music and Dance. A member of the Brandywine Harp Orchestra, she plays the Celtic harp. She serves as a fitness instructor for senior citizens at the Rocky Run YMCA. She resides in Delaware county, with her husband Scott.
This presentation will consist of a collection of stories that depict the Amish way of life in the eighteenth century. The stories will reveal some of the challenges that the Amish faced in preserving their values. About the Instructor: S. Duane Kauffman - Stanley Duane Kauffman was born near the Bratton Township village of Mattawana in the Juniata Valley of Mifflin County, PA. He received a B.S. in secondary education from Eastern Mennonite University and a M.A. in history from Temple University. His further graduate work included a year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. In 2003, he retired after 45 years of teaching history on the faculty of Dock Mennonite Academy. In addition to an active role at Perkasie Mennonite Church, he presently serves on the board of trustees for the Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania. After his marriage to Naomi Hoover in 1960, the Kauffmans moved to East Rockhill township in Bucks county. After Naomi’s passing, Duane became a resident of Dock Woods in December 2018. Tracing back six generations, 24 of Kauffman’s 32 ancestors were Amish. He has written The Mifflin County Amish and Mennonite Story (1991), The Amish of the Chester Valley (2014), and Shem Zook: An Uncommon Amishman (2020), as well as articles for various Amish and Mennonite related publications.
This presentation will explain what the spotted lantern fly is and how it damages plants. We will look at the current quarantine zone and review when and how to help control its spread. About the Instructor: David Sutton - David Sutton is a Penn State master gardener who volunteers with banding and data recording of tree of heaven trees for the PA Department of Agriculture and data recording of spotted lanternfly egg emergence for the local Penn State extension office. Sutton was employed by Rohm and Haas/Dow Chemical, working in marketing and agricultural chemicals. Through a partnership between Rohm and Haas and the Philadelphia School District, Sutton produced Poetvision, a series of videotapes of contemporary American poets, now available online. While serving on the Pottstown borough council, he led the effort to establish the west campus of Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown.
The sun is our closest star to study. Through this presentation, you will learn about the three parts of the sun’s atmosphere and the features that can be seen with properly filtered telescopes. You will also learn how heat and light are produced inside the sun, its dynamic features that come and go, and what we can see when the sun is in the active phase of its 11 year cycle. About the Instructor: Dr. Albert Lamperti - During his tenure as a teacher/researcher at Temple University School of Medicine, Dr. Albert Lamperti taught histology and neuroanatomy to first year medical, dental, and podiatry students. During that time he took up astronomy as a hobby and has been learning ever since. When he taught astronomy for non-science majors at Chestnut Hill College, he would tell the students his background and tell them that anatomy and astronomy are both visual sciences and that he is a visual learner. Dr. Lamperti has been active since 1985 in the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers and in the Astronomical League, a national umbrella organization over astronomy clubs in the US. He is one member of a four person National Observing Coordinator Team for the A.L. and coordinates two of the 70 observing prams the A.L. offers.
We may not all be tea drinkers, but we have all heard about tea. It is the second most frequently consumed beverage in the world. From where did it originate? How is it made and what other kinds of tea are there besides black tea? Pour yourselves a “cuppa” and join us for a fun time learning about this amazing beverage and some of its fascinating history. Instructor: Jane Irvin-Klotz - Jane Irvin-Klotz is a member of the Norristown Garden Club and the Old York Road Garden Club. She is a member and volunteer for the Philadelphia Horticultural Society and the Morris Arboretum. She holds a B.S. in elementary education and an associate’s degree in horticulture. She has lectured on various plant topics for over 25 years.
Do we have an obligation to act in the face of a changing climate? And do moral arguments really move people to respond to this challenge? This class explores some ethical and theological reasons that we should care about what is happening to our planet, and how those reasons can motivate people to effective responses. We will talk about how faith communities have a role in responding to climate change, with a particular focus on how Anabaptist perspectives apply to climate change. Instructor: Dr. Doug Graber Neufeld - Dr. Doug Graber Neufeld is Professor of biology at Eastern Mennonite University, where he advises environmental sustainability majors and teaches courses in environmental science and biology. He also directs the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, a collaborative effort between two Mennonite colleges (Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College) and a Mennonite relief and development agency (Mennonite Central Committee). Dr. Neufeld earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin after three years studying blue crabs at a fishing village along the Gulf of Mexico. He held postdoctoral fellowships in Arizona and New Zealand. His primary interests are in the areas of climate change communication, environmental toxicology and monitoring, and international water issues. He has lived in Cambodia and Kenya where he worked on water projects with Mennonite Central Committee.
Immigration is an issue of political and social conflict in the United States. This course will attempt to better understand the historical context of our immigration concerns and how biblical understandings can guide our response. March 2 - Session 1 - Immigration Stories in Biblical Times March 9 - Session 2 - Nation of Immigrants: Immigration to the United States March 16 - Session 3 - Immigration Issues in the United States Today March 23 - Session 4 - Immigration and a Christian Faith Response Instructor: Mark Derstine - Mark Derstine grew up on a family farm just on the outskirts of Souderton. He graduated from Eastern Mennonite University (B.A.). He studied at an inter-faith seminary in Washington D.C. and later graduated from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana (M.Div.). He served on the pastoral team at Blooming Glen Mennonite Church from 1978 to 1987, and as a chaplain at Souderton Mennonite Homes from 2005 to 2015. In between those pastoral roles, Mark was employed in sales as an insurance agent with Lacher Associates in Souderton. Mark and his wife live in Telford, with two married daughters and three grandchildren living nearby.
Join us for an exciting class as we learn about autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles. We’ll look at a brief history of autonomous vehicles and then explore some of the technologies that are needed for perception, planning, and obstacle avoidance. We will consider the benefits of assistive driving and vehicles specialized for delivery and road cleaning. We will note how comfort and safety concerns are issues in their construction. Instructor: Dr. Shu Kong - Dr. Shu Kong is a postdoctoral researcher at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He obtained a Ph.D. in computer science at University of California at Irvine in 2019. His research is motivated by a desire to create intelligent systems that benefit human life through computer vision and machine learning. His current focus is on visual perception and learning in the real open-world. His research of visual perception has been applied to autonomous driving. He also actively applies his algorithms to interdisciplinary research such as building vision-aided high-throughput systems that study ecology on pollen grains, and the study of health and aging with nematodes.
In the first session of this course we will cover the history of sugar in our diet, the impact of sugar on our health, where sugar hides in our diet, and how to read nutrition labels. In the second session, we will discuss the hidden sugar in nutrition labels, where students are discovering sugar in their food at home, and top tips for reducing/eliminating sugar from the diet. March 11 - Session 1 March 18 - Session 2 Instructor: Dianne Moore - Dianne Moore is the founder and owner of MooreBetterFood. She is a functional nutrition and lifestyle practitioner who focuses on nutrition and wellness. She is certified through the Functional Nutrition Alliance, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. She holds a masters in social work degree from Temple University and a master of science degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
C.S. Lewis was one of the most acclaimed apologists for the Christian faith in the twentieth century. His fiction and nonfiction works provide a popular introduction and defense of the truth of Christianity in a way that is accessible to many who would not otherwise give a hearing to the gospel message. Lewis’ writing style and imaginative genius make his works a delight to read. He has had a profound impact on the Christian imagination, and the course will demonstrate this from a case study of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (LLW), as well as references from other Lewis books. It will be very helpful, but not absolutely necessary, to read (or reread) LLW before attending the course. LLW is readily available for free online. Instructor: Tom Sanders - Tom Sanders is a resident of Dock Woods and has been an avid reader of C.S. Lewis and books about him for over 50 years. Lewis is one of a handful of authors who has profoundly shaped his understanding of and love for the scriptures and the glory of God in Christ. Tom is an experienced adult Sunday School teacher and taught high school chemistry for five years at Germantown Academy. After a 33 year career as a research chemist, he retired from Rohm and Haas/Dow in 2011. He and his wife Shirley raised two boys, both of whom are active in studying and living out their faith.
Bucks county has been the home of many well-known artists. However, who are the artists that actually lived in Hilltown township? One nearly-forgotten artist is John Falter who illustrated more than 100 magazine covers while living near Blooming Glen from 1940 to the early 1950s. Falter used local scenes and events to create Saturday Evening Post covers. Many of Falter’s illustrations and accomplishments will be shown by viewing original covers. The artwork of Margaret Merritt Jurin will also be shown, reflecting Depression-era childhood and life in Hilltown. March 29 - Session 1 April 8 - Session 2 Instructor: Ivan Jurin - Ivan Jurin is a lifelong resident of Bucks county, living 63 of his 70 years in Hilltown township. He was a social studies educator for nearly 40 years as a classroom teacher, grades seven through ten, and as a supervisor of social studies for the Pennridge School District. Local history has been a lifelong interest. A collector of early American historical prints and photographs, he writes and teaches about our visual culture. He is currently creating a book to show American life during the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era through the photography of William H. Rau. He serves as a board member of the Hilltown Historical Society.
This course will provide an overview of Global Education Motivators’ 40 year evolvement in global education. It was founded in 1981 to help schools and the community meet the complex challenges of living in a global society. Global Education Motivators (GEM) is a United Nations non-governmental organization which seeks to empower youth globally for a better tomorrow. Wayne will discuss the formal relationship of GEM with the United Nations and the evolvement of real world experiential learning for teachers and youth. April 13 - Session 1 April 20 - Session 2 Instructor: Wayne Jacoby - Wayne Jacoby is a co-founder and current director of Global Education Motivators, which is presently based at Chestnut Hill College. He served as a secondary school teacher from 1964 to 1995, mostly with Springfield High School in Montgomery county. Wayne developed a relationship with the United Nations first with Model UN, and then through GEM. GEM has a formal status with the UN Department of Global Communications and a consulting status with the Economic and Social Council. GEM has helped create UN based student conferences and is currently running three international youth conferences with the UN on the sustainable development goals.
Ah, Bach! Johann Sebastian Bach! He is one of the greatest composers who ever lived. In the first session we will explore Bach’s instrumental and keyboard music. We will listen to excerpts from two of his Brandenburg Concertos and Orchestral Suites, the famous Fugue in G minor for organ and much more. Session two will focus on Bach’s Mass in B minor. We will listen to excerpts from this magnificent example of choral music sung by the Bach Choir of Bethlehem under the direction of Greg Funfgeld. April 15 - Session 1 April 22 - Session 2 Instructor: Jim Smith - Jim Smith was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Lansdale. He graduated from North Penn High School and earned a degree in music education from Mansfield University. Jim taught elementary vocal music at Hiram Dodd Elementary School in the Allentown School District from 1973 until his retirement in 2007. He serves as the organist at Sanctuary UMC in North Wales and occasionally plays the organ in the Dock Woods Chapel. Jim and his wife Sue lived in Quakertown for 32 years. They moved to Dock Woods in 2014.
In this two session course, we will briefly look at the depth of Christians’ disagreement about politics and then discuss relevant biblical principles. We will talk about concrete ways to truly listen to each other - both for the sake of Christian witness and also the well-being of our democracy. April 27 - Session 1 April 29 - Session 2 Instructor: Dr. Ronald J. Sider - Dr. Ronald J Sider has taught courses on faith and politics for several decades. He is the distinguished professor emeritus of theology, holistic ministry and public policy at Palmer Theological Seminary at Eastern University. He is the founder and president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action. Dr. Sider has published over 45 books, including: Just Politics: A Guide for Christian Engagement, Fixing the Moral Deficit, and Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. Ron and his wife, Arbutus, live at Dock Woods.