Downtown Community Forum
The Downtown Community Forum (DCF) has contributed to the development of a better-informed citizenry since 1985, by showcasing the diversity of opinion within the Rochester community. DCF gatherings provide an opportunity to explore important issues and exchange ideas in an ecumenical, nonpartisan, democratic, and value-centered setting.
DCF’s Coordinator is Pat Merle. You may reach her via the contact form link at the bottom of this page.
Fall 2012 Programs
Freud’s Last Session
On Tues, Oct 23 join Downtown Community Forum at Geva Theatre Center for Freud’s Last Session. Click Here for details.
In this riveting play, Freud meets with C.S. Lewis and they engage in a battle of minds over God, love, sex, music and the meaning of life. This deeply touching play was last season’s Off-Broadway smash.
“Prologue” at 5pm: a unique behind-the-scenes pre-sh-ow discussion. A Geva actor or staff discusses characters in the play, production elements, the play itself and answers questions.
Panel discussion: Following the play, from Roberts Wesleyan and St. Mary’s, Rev. Scott Caton, from the field of psychiatry, TBD, and a facilitator, Deborah Mourey, SCORE volunteer and Principal of Mourey Consulting, will discuss the play and the issues raised with plenty of opportunity for audience participation.
Tickets for the play and the prologue and panel discussion are only $30. Available from the Geva Box office at 232-4382. Mention Downtown Community Forum for this special price.
History of the Downtown Community Forum
St. Mary’s decided to mark its 150th anniversary in 1984 by holding a series of highly relevant, non-partisan lectures and panel discussions in conjunction with the sesquicentennial of the City of Rochester. After the year-long program ended, a number of enthusiastic individuals approached the church about extending its informal lunchtime discussions throughout the year.
The grassroots interest in the lectures helped St. Mary’s Church leaders answer a question that had been plaguing them for many years: How do we best serve the needs of our community while maintaining a strong connection with our own parishioners? They commissioned Sister Joan Sobala, then a senior pastoral associate at the Church, to meet with other urban ministries to learn how they were organizing their outreach efforts.
By the Fall of 1985, Sister Sobala recommended that the ongoing lectures and panel discussions be formalized into the St. Mary’s Community Forum. The community-wide response was extremely positive and the Forum quickly became an important Rochester resource. In 1986, the parish decided to change the name of the program to the Downtown Community Forum.
Contact Pat Merle, DCF’s Coordinator
The form below goes directly to Pat Merle, who will respond to you promptly. Thank you.