Join us for presentations on hot topics, with lunch and lively discussion! Hot Topics are held the third Friday of the month. A lunch of soup, sandwiches, and dessert is included.

Reservations are strongly encouraged at least one week prior: call 419-824-3707 or email

Fridays, 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Franciscan Center Board Room
$10 member/$15 non-members, per meeting


Saving History
September 15

Irene Martin, Preservationist at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library will explain her work preserving photographs, letters, documents, and newspaper articles so they will last for future generations. Her advice will also help you to preserve your own family history!


Local Conservation at the Toledo Zoo
October 20

Wild Toledo is a Toledo Zoo conservation initiative to increase the habitat for native plants and animals not only on Zoo grounds but in the entire Toledo area, while conserving native biodiversity.  Wild Toledo encompasses many conservation projects including prairie restoration, meso-predator monitoring, native butterfly and hellbender rearing and release, reptile and amphibian surveys and native bird initiatives.

Dr. Ryan Walsh, PhD. is a Wild Toledo biologist at the Toledo Zoo. Ryan’s current research interests and duties in Wild Toledo include urban prairie restoration, rare plant conservation, vegetation sampling and pollinator conservation, as well as butterfly sampling, rearing and conservation.


Americans’ Attitudes About the News Media

Why are Democrats 47 points (!!) more likely than Republicans to support news media’s watchdog role? The Pew Research Center has asked this question since 1985. While Republicans have been more likely to support a watchdog role during Democratic presidencies and vice versa, the distance between the parties has never approached the gap that exists today. This partisan split is found in other attitudes about the news media.  Compared with 2016 Democrats and Republicans are now more divided on whether the press favors one side in its political coverage and on how much trust they have in national news media.

Veteran presenter Norm Thal also teaches the class “Great Decisions” and effectively keeps the arguments lively and on track.

As part of the discussion, we’ll find out how participants get their news, and see how they compare to the national audience.


Christmas in Gubbio and Other Stories Francis Might Tell
December 15

11:15 am -12:30 pm, includes buffet lunch.

It was 1223 in Gubbio, Italy where the Christmas feast was celebrated in church with the story told in Latin. To make the Christmas miracle real for the simple people of Gubbio who did not understand Latin, St. Francis gathered animals and friends for what is now known as the first live Nativity. It filled the people with wonder at the Bethlehem miracle. The crèche remains an essential part of the season to this day.

Enter into the spirit of the season as one of Francis’ “brothers” (storyteller Sheila Otto) tells you the story of first Christmas in Gubbio and other tales that Francis himself might tell. In addition to being a storyteller, Sheila is also a historical reenactor and portrayed Dr. Mary Edwards Walker for Lifelong Learning during the summer. A delicious hot buffet luncheon is included, so please join us!