Jerry Sillman of Maryville will address the Unitarian Universalists congregation of Blount County during their March 2 service.
The March 2 program is set to begin at 11 a.m. at the Everett Center There will be a coffee hour and children’s religious discussion at 10 a.m. Amy Allocco will also lead a topic discussion.
“I’m going to talk about how to get where you’re going. Its simple enough. The subtitle is how to know when you get there,” said Sillman. “It’s a sermon that enables you to face minor episodes in your life that change your life.”
Sillman said one example would be a flier for fencing lessons on the street in Denmark that enabled him to meet the woman who would become his wife. Sillman said his wife had a sister who had signed up for fencing lessons but then fell and broke a leg. Because of this, the girls’ mother made her go in her sister’s place. She ended up enjoying the sport. “She eventually got into it and got active as a fencer,” he said.
Later in life, the young woman moved to Washington, D.C., where Sillman was also living, and taking fencing lessons at the YMCA. When someone stole her clothes from a locker, she hitched a ride with Sillman.
“I had just purchased a 1936 Packard and being a gentleman, I offer to take her home and that was it.
“I laugh when I look back over it. If her clothes had not been stolen, we would not been met. I offered her a ride home, and we kept going together,” he said. “There are so many things I track back in my life that changed my life. How do I get around those happenstance to reach self fulfillment?”
Allocco is completing her PhD in religion at Emory University and recently returned from 14 months of dissertation fieldwork in South India. In the forum she will be focusing on the variety of relationships Hindus construct with the gods and goddesses and the multiple ways they might encounter the deities in any given day.