2017 Programs


Exploring the Caves of Eastern TN
with Chuck Sutherland
Oct. 20-21, 2017

The Shalom Center for Continuing Education will present a program titled "Exploring the Caves of Eastern Tennessee" on Oct. 20-21 in Pleasant Hill. It will take place in Adshead Hall on the lower level of Fletcher House on the Uplands Village campus (86a Church Drive, Pleasant Hill (Just Off Main St. Across From Pleasant Hill Elementary School).

The presenter is Chuck Sutherland, an expert caver, professional photographer and avid conservationist. A geographer by training, he currently serves as the geographic information systems specialist for the Upper Cumberland Development District. He is also working with the state of Tennessee to create new maps for state parks in the Upper Cumberland, and is using LiDAR data to reveal previously unknown cave entrances.

THE PROGRAM BEGINS ON FRIDAY EVENING WITH A POTLUCK SUPPER AT 5:30 P.M., FOLLOWED BY THE PROGRAM FROM 6:30 TO 8 P.M. 

Note: If you plan to attend the potluck supper before the presentation, don’t forget to bring your own table setting: plates, cups and cutlery! Those who don’t choose to attend the supper are more than welcome to come just for the program that begins at 6:30. ) 

On Saturday, the program opens with a complimentary continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m., followed by the program and Q & A from 9 to 10:30 a.m. 

Sutherland says that for him, caving is a way to better understand the story of the rocks and water. He frequently partners in his caving projects with historians, biologists, paleontologists, anthropologists and geologists. Sutherland has worked with TN Department of Environment and Conservation, the Nature Conservancy of TN, as well as TN Parks and Greenways Foundation, The Land Trust of TN, and the Cumberland River Compact on conservation oriented projects around Tennessee and Kentucky.

Hundreds of his maps and cave photographs have been published in books and magazines, and on the web, including the TNVacation website. Both the BBC and the Discovery Channel have used his photographs, many of which he will be showing during his presentation on Oct. 21-22.

There is no charge to attend either program, although a freewill donation is suggested.

The Shalom Center for Continuing Education is a non-profit educational center that provides opportunities for holistic education in areas of social, economic, cultural, ecological, ethical, and theological importance on behalf of shalom (wholeness, health, and peace). Through quality programs, workshops and courses the Shalom Center seeks to engage those in the community in a learning process that is lifelong, inclusive, imaginative and celebrative, recognizing the integrity of creation and the unity of its inhabitants. 

The Shalom Center offers a number of free one and two-day programs every year, as well as many six-week “Shalom Short Courses” for which there is a nominal charge of $20 per course ($10 for Members). 

To learn more about new programs and courses being offered, send your email to: shalomcenterpleasanthill@gmail.com to be put on the mailing list, or go to our website at :





An Update on Cuba 

Rev.  Elmer Lavastida
July 7 & 8 2017


Adshead Hall (lower level of Fletcher House on the Uplands Village campus)  86A Church Drive, Pleasant Hill (just off Main St. across from Pleasant Hill Elementary School)


Friday July 7:  5:30 pm potluck dinner  
6:30 – 8:00 pm presentation 
(Note: If you plan to attend the potluck supper before the presentation, don’t forget to bring your own table setting: plates, cups and cutlery! Those who don’t choose to attend the supper are more than welcome to come just for the program that begins at 6:30. ) 

    Sat. July 8: 8:30am Complimentary Continental Breakfast
9:00 – 10:30 am, presentation and Q & A 

Elmer Lavastida and Gisela Perez will present "An Update on Cuba" on July 7 & 8. This is the second Ted Braun Memorial Program being offered by the Shalom Center for Continuing Education. The Lavastidas will update us on the important work they’re doing at the B. G. Lavastida Center for Christian Service in Santiago de Cuba and talk about current conditions in the country.


Those who don’t choose to attend the supper are more than welcome to come just for the program that begins at 6:30. There is no charge to attend, although a freewill offering is suggested.

The Shalom Center for Continuing Education is a non-profit educational center that provides opportunities for holistic education in areas of social, economic, cultural, ecological, ethical, and theological importance on behalf of shalom (wholeness, health, and peace). Through quality programs, workshops and courses the Shalom Center seeks to engage those in the community in a learning process that is lifelong, inclusive, imaginative and celebrative, recognizing the integrity of creation and the unity of its inhabitants. 

The Shalom Center offers a number of free one and two-day programs every year, as well as many six-week “Shalom Short Courses” for which there is a nominal charge of $20 per course ($10 for Members). 

To learn more about new programs and courses being offered, send your email to: shalomcenterpleasanthill@gmail.com to be put on the mailing list, or go to our website at :
www.shalomcenterpleasanthill.com.






Media, Public Discourse and Democracy Program May 12-13

The Shalom Center for Continuing Education is offering a free program titled Media, Public Discourse & Democracy on May 12 – 13 and everyone is invited to attend. The presenter is William Isom, Director of Community Outreach for East TN PBS and Coordinator of the Rural Broadband Campaign.

           Fri. May 12:
A free and open media is essential to civic engagement and public discourse on policy and social concerns. Unfortunately, commercial interests often overshadow the mandate for education and dissemination of important information. We will review how the foundations of journalism have been derailed since the 1960s and discuss how community members are proactively creating their own democratic media outlets in the South.

      Sat. May 13:
With the advent of new technologies, amazing organizing tools are now available to social justice workers, thus increasing their ability to reach thousands within and outside of their own areas. In rural TN, however, those tools aren’t necessarily accessible, many times due to poor, expensive or nonexistent broadband internet service. We will hear about collaborative grassroots efforts aimed at closing the digital divide in mountain communities, the challenges and successes of this work and how increased publicly-owned options can foster local participation in civic life across issues.
William Isom

The program will take place in Adshead Hall on the lower level of Fletcher House on the Uplands Village campus in Pleasant Hill. It begins on Friday evening with a potluck supper at 5:30 pm, followed by the program from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Those who don’t choose to attend the supper are more than welcome to come just for the program that begins at 6:30. On Saturday, the program opens with a complimentary continental breakfast at 8:30 am, followed by the program from 9 – 10:30 am. There is no charge to attend, although a freewill offering is suggested.

The Shalom Center for Continuing Education is a non-profit educational center that provides opportunities for holistic education in areas of social, economic, cultural, ecological, ethical, and theological importance on behalf of shalom (wholeness, health, and peace). Through quality programs, workshops and courses the Shalom Center seeks to engage those in the community in a learning process that is lifelong, inclusive, imaginative and celebrative, recognizing the integrity of creation and the unity of its inhabitants.

The Shalom Center offers a number of free one and two-day programs every year, as well as many six-week “Shalom Short Courses” for which there is a nominal charge of $20 per course. To learn more about new programs and courses being offered, send your email to shalomcenterpleasanthill@gmail.com  to be put on the mailing list, or visit the Shalom Center website at www.shalomcenterpleasanthill.com.


Black Girl Magic: Shining through Spirituals and Classical Music
Featuring Jayme Alilaw, Brittney Boykin, and Michael Ruff   
Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m. on the Main Stage of the Cumberland County Playhouse
Sponsored by the Shalom Center for Continuing Education, the Pleasant Hill Community Church, Uplands Village and the Cumberland County Playhouse


Black Girl Magic has evolved as a phrase used to celebrate the wonder that is the Black girl and woman. Magic is the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces, and Black Girl Magic has drawn from strength, beauty, courage, talent, and audacity.  Black Girl Magic: Shining through Spirituals and Classical Music honors the contributions made by African American women in the area of spirituals and other classical vocal music. As composers, poets, and performers, African American women have impacted classical music, using their magic to enhance the world. This collaborative infusion of spirituals, art songs, poetry, and informative presentation provides an enveloping introduction to Black Girl Magic!

Featuring Jayme Alilaw, Atlanta-based operatic soprano with a deep passion for traditional Negro spirituals, accompanied by Brittney Boykin, member of the Spelman College Music Department, and acclaimed composer and accompanist.  Michael Ruff, well known to Cumberland County Playhouse patrons, will also be part of the program.

The concert is free but a freewill offering is suggested. Proceeds collected will help the Shalom Center for Continuing Education, based on the campus of Uplands Village in Pleasant Hill, to continue to offer quality education programs that are open to all.