Forum at USBC to explore religion and spiritual life throughout Beaufort’s history

“Religion and Spiritual Life” is the topic of Beaufort Three-Century Project’s (B3C) March community forum, the second in a year-long series— Ancestors to Future Generations:  Look Back, Look Forward Beaufort.  The forum will be held from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 18, 2010 in the MacLean Hall auditorium (Building 12) at the Technical College of the Lowcountry, 921 Ribaut Road, Beaufort.  It is free and open to the public.

The March forum will highlight Beaufort’s rich spiritual history through a documentary film about the Lowcountry’s sacred places and practices, supplemented with a presentation by historian/archivist Bob Barrett that will include important timelines, facts and stories related to places of worship and events not covered in the film.  Three musical pieces representing different traditions, including a Hebrew chant, Latin chant, and Call-and-Response song, will also be part of the program.  The content of the forum presentations was created through a lively collaborative planning effort by more than 15 advisors and contributors from Beaufort’s different faith communities.

The second half of the forum will include a facilitated discussion among the audience members moderated by Susan Shaffer, Adjunct Professor of Religion at the University of South Carolina Beaufort.  This component in each forum is designed for community involvement in identifying key issues, endeavors and directions for the future related to the various monthly topics.  Participants will help answer questions such as:  What is important from our past to remember, preserve, and honor?  What do we value as Beaufortonians?  What do we want Beaufort to be in the future?

“Some places might find it difficult to come together for a community-wide conversation about religious commonalities and differences, but Beaufort seems to be just the right kind of place for this discussion, especially in context of our upcoming 300th anniversary,” said B3C Project Coordinator Deborah Johnson.  “Spiritual practices are very personal and it might seem prudent to dance around this topic.  However, the group of leaders who helped us frame this particular forum made it clear that we have much to learn from each other, and what better way to do that than through a “look back, look forward” approach?” said Johnson.

This project is sponsored in part by The Humanities Council SC, a program of the National Endowment of the Humanities.

For more information about the Beaufort Three-Century Project call 489-1711; e-mail; or visit


Mission: In recognition of the 300th anniversary of the City of Beaufort’s charter, the Beaufort Three-Century Project taps our community’s cultural memory through a three-year process of exploration, studies, and special events that honor the past to better chart the future, culminating with the tricentennial celebration on January 17, 2011.

Future forums are tentatively scheduled on the third Thursday of each month throughout 2010:


April 15, 2010:                    Environment

May 20, 2010:                    Arts

June 17, 2010:                    Health & Safety

July 15, 2010:                      Recreation

August 19, 2010:               Education

September 16, 2010:      Communications

October 21, 2010:             Neighbors & Neighborhoods

November 18, 2010:       Government & Military

December 16, 2010:        Wrap-Up Session