Presenter: Rabbi Ed Stafman

  • Date: Monday, Feb 27
  • Time: 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: Holiday Inn

Spirituality, a somewhat vague term, is permeating American religion in many new and surprising ways, sometimes ancient and sometimes modern. Using data from the 2014-2016 Pew Research Center studies on religion, and other recent research, and with Jewish spirituality as an example, Rabbi Ed will explore how spirituality is changing the face of American religious life.

Participants are invited to explore related questions: Why do people increasingly claim to be spiritual rather than religious? How does this trend reflect and/or inform other demographic trends? What are the implications of this trend for the future of religion in America? Are there “winners” and “losers” in this shift?

RabbiRabbi Ed Stafman has served as Rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom since 2008 following eight years of rabbinic study and ordination in the ALEPH Rabbinic program. Rabbi Ed spent 27 years as a trial lawyer in Florida and specialized in defending death penalty cases. He holds an MA in Religion from Florida State University and has completed the coursework for a PhD.

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Kathryn Earley 2When my husband and I were looking for our place to retire, one of the places we visited was Bozeman.  While we were here we went to the library, where I happened to pick up a Wonderlust brochure.  Here was university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects.  No homework, no exams, no papers, just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It was also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.  I was hooked! Over the past several years, I’ve come to feel strongly about supporting this valuable community resource for lifelong learning, and fortunately there’s a community of dedicated volunteers who feel the same way.

This past year was our first as Friends of MSU Wonderlust, whose mission is to support and promote MSU Wonderlust.  We’ve contributed funds to getting a new projector at Hope Lutheran Church, where many of our classes are held, and to Gallatin Community Radio, which broadcasts many of our Friday Forums.  We’re also sponsors of and taking part in Active Aging Week and the Prime Age 50+ Expo.

In September Friends will sponsor the MSU Wonderlust reception.  Join us at the Country Bookshelf on September 9, 5 pm – 7 pm, where you can meet instructors and other people interested in learning.  Also in September we’ll be a sponsor of the Bozeman Public Library’s celebration of Yellowstone National Park, Our Yellowstone.  

On October 3rdand 4thMSU Wonderlust is hosting an interactive symposium for practitioners and lifelong learners, Lifelong Learning: New Opportunities for Aging Communities.  This symposium, sponsored by Friends of MSU Wonderlust and MSU’s Office of Research and Development, will provide an opportunity to share knowledge, experiences, innovations, and strategies.

Save the dates: Wednesday, October 3, 5 pm – 7 pm, for the opening reception and presentation featuring Dr. Renee Reijo Pero of MSU and Dr. Rick Knopf of Arizona State, and Thursday, October 4, 9 am – 4 pm,for in-depth sessions on various topics, featuring speakers from across Montana and the U.S.  For details on the symposium and on all MSU Wonderlust program offerings, see www.montana.edu/wonderlust   

Kathryn Earley, President of Friends of Wonderlust