RRUUC’s contemporary issues forum, Coffee Controversy & Conversation (CC&C) has been informing our members and guests for the past 35 years with over 30 programs per season. The weekly programs often focus on social justice issues, but also include an eclectic range of topics including foreign relations, U.S. security, state and federal government policy, art, history, nature and more. The weekly CC&C programs are held mid-Sep. through May at 10:25 – 11:10 am (between worship services.) This season is looking to be very diverse with many topical issues..


January 21 “Nurturing Leadership in Africa: Success Stories” by Gbenga Ogunjimi – Founder of LDI Africa & GoGlobal, Inc.

 The Landmark Development Initiative is helping indigenous organizations compete globally by deploying skilled volunteers from US corporations like IBM, Yahoo and Deloitte to emerging enterprises in over 10 African countries.  Also, to promote diversity on both continents, its Fellows program places aspiring leaders in host organizations in both Africa and the US. The founder and CEO will report on factors contributing to the success of this program.

January 28 – No CC&C due to Congregational Meeting

February 4 – “Ethical Dilemmas in Wildlife Rehabilitation” by Jim Monsma – Director of Second Chance Wildlife Center

Each year, people bring over 3,000 orphaned, ill, and injured wild animals to Second Chance Wildlife Center.  The center’s goal is to rehabilitate the animals until they can be released and survive on their own in the wild. The practice of wildlife rehabilitation raises thorny ethical questions: Is it ever, always, sometimes right to interfere in the natural order by rehabilitating animals who would otherwise perish?  Do we owe wild animals the same considerations and basic medical aid that we owe domestic animals?  Is euthanasia preferable to keeping non-releasable wild animals in captivity for the duration of their lives?

February 11 – “A Plant-Based Diet: Healthier for You & the Planet” by Dr. James Loomis – Director of Barnard Medical Center

Many people consume the “standard American diet,” which is loaded with animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. The SAD diet has been linked to many chronic diseases. The physicians, dietitians and nurse practitioners at Barnard Medical Center believe that a whole food, low fat, plant-based diet may prevent (and even reverse) diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses. A plant-based diet is also one of the most significant things a person can do to help combat climate change.  Dr. Loomis will describe how adopting a plant-based diet turned his health around and changed the way he treats his patients.

February 18 “Overview of the Many Programs Offered by our Neighbor, NIH” by Marina Volkov, PhD. 
Dr. Marina Volkov, a Division Director in the Office of Science Policy, Office of the Director of NIH, will be enlightening us regarding the many research programs in the works at the behemoth national science foundation right in our backyard! Some of the studies have been ongoing for many decades, and some are groundbreaking studies on immunotherapy, for example,  for different types of cancer. Dr. Volkov has a unique role to play in the oversight of these fascinating programs. We hope to start a series of presentations on several innovative studies currently running at NIH. This will serve as an introduction to forthcoming lectures.