Each month we have a new spotlight on our Theme, Plate Partner, and featured Small Group.

This spotlight highlights what we will be talking about, who we are supporting in the community, and a place we can go to find connection.

My memory fails me. Things happened. We both experienced them. You saw them your way – colored by experiences in your past, or by resentment or impatience. I saw them my way – colored by fear, by pride, by the fact that I am myself and not you. So our memories of what happened were very different from the start. And then, before we knew it, memories hardened into myths and myths into dogma.

Now we find ourselves divided. We stare across the chasm, but we don’t see each other. Parent. Partner. Friend. Child. Denomination. Nation. Race. Class. Creed. I’m tired of being alone on my side of the chasm. I’m using up so much energy fearing and resenting you. Sometimes I wish you and I could crack the dogma, peel away the mythology, and trade memories.

What would it be like if we could see each other’s pictures of the history we share? If we could see each other? What we need here, you and I, is a little humility and a lot of house-cleaning. Humility: to say “only God sees history whole and knows the whole truth. All I have is my perception. It’s valid, it’s precious, it’s fragmentary. Maybe I ought to try seeing as God sees, from all the angles.” Housecleaning: Memory is selective, and I’m carrying around years of slanted, narrow memories. I can’t see past them. It must be the same for you. What we need to do is let some of them go. Trade a few. Listen. Maybe, if I ask you how things look to you, between us we’ll see something we never saw before.

– Soul Matters Sharing Circle and Students at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York


Housed in the historic St. Paul Baptist Church building and located in Boise Julia Davis Park. The museum presents exhibits and provides educational and community outreach programs including lectures, films, workshops, literacy programs, and musical performances. The museum’s purpose is to build bridges between cultures to explore issues that affect Americans of all cultures and ethnicity.


The BUUF Sages were instigated by a suggestion from the Reverend Armida Alexander, and have been meeting regularly for more than 3 decades since, to hear presentations by regulars, and invited guests, to discuss topics of interest ranging from travelogues to immigration, health care, politics, science, religion, art, technology, literature and philosophy. Our current venue is the Kopper Kitchen, at 2661 Airport Way, where we gather on 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month (skipping the two at Thanksgiving and Christmas-time) at 9:30am, for a no-host breakfast and conversation.

We do so with no committee structure, and no group budget; the average term of the “coordinator” (currently Tom von Alten) has been half the life of the group. Nominations are always open.

Some of the topics we’ve covered in this world, and beyond:

  • travel to Ireland, Vietnam, India, Syria, South Africa,
  • the moons of Saturn
  • Vashti McCollum’s landmark Supreme Court case for the freedom of religion
  • the Burgess Shale and evolution
  • the history of theater from ancient Greece to the wild west to Manos, the Hands of Fate
  • economic models for funding health care
  • women warriors of the folklore of China, India, Vietnam and Serbia
  • summer vacations
  • our family histories
  • the Treasure Valley’s politics, urban planning, refugee organizations
  • the Boise River
  • the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by the Bundy gang
  • the Guggenheim Museums in Bilbao, Venice, New York
  • art in the Byzantine Empire, in Baroque Rome, in California and Boise
  • solar power in Boise
  • the history of nuclear power in Idaho
  • Google Glass
  • mountain climbing
  • billiards
  • “and more.”

We’ve heard from artists, ministers, environmentalists, engineers, professors, psychologists, detectives, organizers, scientists, and from each other. We’re an eclectic bunch, as they say.  “Membership” entails showing up. We welcome newcomers without reservation(s), and invite suggestions for topics, and speakers.