United Church of Christ

We the People Series

Fostering meaningful discussion on the issues of our times.

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben


Bishop Gene Robinson

Sister Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean






We the People is a free, public lecture and film series that explores issues at the intersection of current events, religion, and ethics. It is co-sponsored by the Congregational, Episcopal, and Unitarian-Universalist churches of Exeter, in association with Water Street Bookstore and Phillips Exeter Academy, and events are held at each of these locations on a rotating basis.

We the People was founded in 2005 by Rev. Nancy Rockwell, Sue and Ray Jones, Lew Hitzrot, and Don Cole of the Congregational Church, and Rev. Kendra Ford, Bo Stasiuk, Florence Nichols, and Marion Mengert of the First Unitarian-Universalist Society of Exeter. Concerned that many crucial issues of the day were being dominated by one-sided arguments from extreme voices, they wanted to create a forum featuring knowledgeable, well-respected speakers who could foster more meaningful discussions. The goal was, and is, to bring people together for the common good.

Since then, We the People has hosted dozens of lectures and panel discussions on some of the most vital issues of our time, featuring speakers like environmentalist Bill McKibben, death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean, and marriage equality advocate Bishop Gene Robinson. (See a list of past events below.)

We want you to be part of the conversation! You can learn more about upcoming events on our Facebook lecture series page.


  • Mark Fainaru-Wada, author of  The NFL and Brain Damage: Inside the Making of League of Denial, ESPN Investigative Reporter , 2015
  • Josh Levs, author of All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families, and Businesses – And How We Can Fix It Together, Award-winning CNN reporter, 2015
  • Reza Aslan “Youth Revolt: The Future of the New Middle East”. Author and Religious Scholar, 2015
  • Douglas Smith and Jack Herney, One Person/ One Vote, 2015
  • John Nichols, author of Dollarocracy and Washington correspondent for The Nation, 2014
  • Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, with Katrina Kennison, 2014
  • Hedrick Smith, journalist and author of Who Stole the American Dream?, 2013
  • Nicholas Kristof, author and New York Times columnist, 2013
  • Gregory Mankiw, Harvard economist, 2013
  • Matthew McGill, Supreme Court attorney, on Citizen’s United, 2013
  • Bishop Gene Robinson, on marriage equality, 2012
  • Daisy Khan, of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, 2012
  • Katherine Towler, author of A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith, 2012
  • Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, 2012
  • Dr. Warren Farrell, author of Boys to Men, 2012
  • James Carroll, author and Boston Globe columnist, 2012
  • Dr. Amory Lovins, physicist, on winning the global clean-energy race, 2012
  • Bill McKibben, environmentalist and author of The End of Nature, 2012
  • Rev. David McCallum, on “Spiritual Practices for Leaders,” 2011
  • Professor Wick Sloan, on education reform, 2011
  • Chris Waddell, Paralympic skier, on overcoming adversity, 2011
  • Carlos Eire, Yale historian, on Cuba then and now, 2010
  • Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourner Magazine, 2010
  • Dr. George Vaillant, Harvard psychiatrist, on spirituality in the brain, 2009
  • Sister Helen Prejean on the death penalty, 2009
  • Naomi Shehab Nye, poet, on Muslim-American women, 2009
  • David Mindich, media historian, on youth and the media, 2008
  • Jim Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, on “Education & Ethics in the Digital Age,” 2008
  • Bishop Frank Griswold on life and faith, 2009
  • Hadia Mubarak, Georgetown University, on “Muslim Women: Respect or Repression?,” 2007
  • Prof. Fawaz Gerges, Sarah Lawrence College, on “A Broken Middle East,” 2007
  • Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid and Rabbi Arthur Waskow on “Jews and Muslims, Working Together,” 2007
  • Paul Solomon, PBS NewsHour economist
  • David Folkenflik, NPR media reporter
  • Jeff Sharlet, journalist and scholar at NYU’s Center for Religion and Media


  • 3 part Addiction & Recovery series
  • Solar Energy
  • Repealing NH’s Death Penalty
  • Spiritual Response to Climate Change
  • Spiritual Response to Gun Violence
  • Prison Privatization: An Ethical Issue for Our Times
  • The Case for Collective Bargaining Rights
  • Exeter River Watershed
  • NH Constitutional Amendments Forum (co-sponsor with Granite State Priorities)
  • Traces of the Trade: A forum on New England’s role in the slave trade (co-sponsor with Exeter Historical Society)


  • Inequality for All
  • Flow
  • King Corn
  • No Impact Man
  • Food Inc.
  • At the Death House Door
  • Constantine’s Sword
  • Fresh
  • The Botany of Desire