October 15, 2017 Service about Humanism
We had a really interesting discussion of what it means to be a Humanist in today's America. Bob started us off with a quick review of some of the many books he has been reading lately on the topic of Humanism. Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspires to the greater good of humanity without a reliance on supernatural beliefs. That is to say Humanists are more concerned with creating meaning in our lives and treating each other ethically without a reliance on (or need for) rewards or punishments from God. Here is a more official definition:
Although a lot of atheists are humanist, there is no direct connection. It is not that a humanist denies the existence of God, it is simply that ethical and moral behavior are inherently valuable traits and, probably, a requirement for our continued existence on this planet. You can be a Humanist and still be a believer. (It seems that a person can be an atheist and NOT be a humanist, but that makes for a very grumpy outlook on life.) Actually a more dramatic problem is the Christian (or any theist for that matter) who is NOT a humanist. Phil Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame) proclaimed that the reason for not killing and torturing a neighbor is because God forbids it. If this truly is the only thing that stays your neighbor's hand, then I would not want to be around when he is having a crisis of faith.
Anyway, Bob recommends Humanism as the Next Step by Lloyd and Mary Morain. To quote the book blurb: "...its joyful presentation will surely be a delight for the newly aware Humanist who's just discovering that there's actually a name for the earth-oriented, human-focused, non-religious lifestance."
Every week we have an interesting conversation about truth, meaning, religion (or lack thereof), justice (or lack thereof) and sometimes the environment in America today. Every week there is a new presentation and a new topic of conversation. If this sounds like a group that would benefit you spiritually or intellectually, then we would be delighted to have you join us. As our sign says, we are freethinkers and don't enforce a set of dogmas (however, we are pretty much all humanists here, some religious humanists and some secular humanists. So, if that is a problem for you, then you may not enjoy the conversation nearly as much as you might otherwise.)
Oct 8, 2016 Service about US
If you have been thinking about coming out to join us, then we would love to have you. In today's service, Karen talked about who we are as a community. And we are a fairly liberal group of people who gather to discuss spirituality and social justice issues. We learn together. Each Sunday is different than the last.
Somewhere, there are people
to whom we can speak with passion
without having the words catch in our throats.
Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us,
eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate
whenever we come into our own power.
Community means strength that joins us our strength
to do the work that needs to be done.
Arms to hold us when we falter.
A circle of healing. A circle of friends.
we can be free.
We are seeking. We believe that everyone is seeking at their own pace. We do not always agree, but we agree that this is a safe place for you to find your way, and to seek the truth. You do not have to believe in stated creed for we do not insist that you have one. We celebrate the diversity of all of us together.
If this sounds like you, then by all means come join us some Sunday.
October 1, 2017 Service about Environmental Justice
Today Becca spoke to us about Environmental Justice (our 7th principle is
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part and our 2nd principle is Justice, equity and compassion in human relations )
In any analysis, fair treatment means that no one should bear a disproportionate share of the burden. When hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, it reawakened the environmental justice movement. Land use decisions caused health concerns that fell disproportionately on the poor and dispossessed. It happened again this year in hurricane Harvey. A new landfill was declared in Port Arthur, Texas right in the middle of a poor neighborhood and they had no say in the matter. They have no promise that there will be any recompense for dumping the debris in their community. They bear a disproportional amount of the burden.
There is a community that tracks environmental injustices. They have compiled maps indicating worldwide where you can find these problems. Check out http://www.ejolt.org/. It stands for Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade.
Then check out http://www.envjustice.org/. They are more up to date on the environmental justice movement.
September 24, 2017 Service Day
Today we didn't hold a service. Our community communed over a pot luck dinner... and we performed a general clean up of the building and grounds. We do this periodically. We sometimes call ourselves the beloved community. The important thing is, that we discuss things... a wide range of things so long as the discussion rests within these boundaries:
By the way, the food was great. Come join us.