Volume 16   Number 10
October  2015
Board Members

Richard Dewey

Co-Vice President:
Seráh Blain

Co-Vice President:
Chris Wojno

Tim Bedient

Rebecca Beltran

Program Director:
Al Wendler

Property Director:
Ann Marie Eisentraut

Membership Director:
Anita Romanowski

Members at Large:
Vici Duarte/Ariane Apler
Michal Otten

Committee Chairs & Other Leadership:
J.B. Wright

Bruce Pettycrew


Safety Officer:
Ann Marie Eisentraut

Service Outreach Coordinator:
Michal Otten

Facility Use Management:
Vici Duarte

Food Management:
Kathy Pettycrew

Linda Wendler

Science Night:

Christina Sampson

Information Technology:
James Osborn

Odyssey of the Mind:
Brian Calaway

Lego League:
Brian Calaway

Girl Scout Troop:
Ann Marie Eisentraut

Book Club:
Roy Towne

Inquiring Minds:
Richard Dewey

Ted Talks:
Anna Carter

Game Nights:
Bruce Stiles
Ann Marie Eisentraut
Anna Carter

Immediate Past President:
Shelley Newman (2011)

President Emeritus:
Susan Sackett

President's Message

This year has been spectacular so far and October is already shaping up to be a monster month for us (there's a pun in there for those who are paying attention)! So do keep a close eye on our calendar to keep up with the happenings. Events that are currently scheduled are listed at the bottom of this page, on the left side, but remember that things change and get added so keep checking back or check out our Meetup page or our Facebook page or our website main page to make sure that you don't miss anything.

Let's see if I can give a brief overview of where we're at right now and what important things have been happening at HSGP.


I talked about this at length last month but this is important so I'm going to reiterate what I said. The first planned lecture has already happened as of this writing. It was on October 1st and the topic was "Introduction to Humanism". I was the presenter for that one and it was well attended and I believe it went quite well. The second one is on October 8th and the topic is "History of Humanism" presented by Zenaido Quintana. The third lecture is on October 15th and is entitled "Ethics in Humanism" presented by Seráh Blain. The last lecture is on October 22nd. This topic is "Humanism and Politics" and will be presented by Chris Wojno. All of these lectures are free and open to the public. The dates are all on Thursdays and the start times are planned to be 7:00 pm and we expect them to last around an hour and a half. If you want to know more about Humanism or you would like to get into a good discussion about the principles, you really should check these out. If you call yourself a Humanist, and you haven't read up on the topic, it might be a good idea to come to these as well (you know who you are!). I plan on being at each of the next three so I hope to see you all there! If you do plan to come to any of these, please RSVP on our Meetup page, at the link above, or just email me at the address at the bottom of this article. We'll make sure that you get a seat.


Yep, I covered this last month as well, but I won't cover it again next month so you'd better read this this time! :) The board elections are held during the last meeting in November. That means that there's plenty of time to get your name in there if you are interested in running for a board position. Note that you can run for any board position whether an incumbent is stepping down or not. The only requirement is that you must have been a dues-paying member for at least one year by the time of the elections. We have a nominations committee, chaired by former Vice-President Henry Geist, and details on the positions and nomination slates will be forthcoming. Voting can be done by paper ballot (will be provided) or by voting in person at the meeting in November. Henry, or someone on the nominations committee, will keep you posted on the details as we get closer to the time but you can talk to Henry at our meetings or email him at Board Nominations if you have any questions or you want to run for a board position. The positions currently are as follows: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Program Director, Membership Director, Property Director, Member at Large (1), and Member at Large (2). FYI, the only position that nobody is running for (still) is Secretary. Needless to say, we need a Secretary so if you have any interest in doing that, please let Henry know ASAP.

Humanist Prose Writer's Circle

There is an article about this below but I wanted to make sure that this got your attention. Jim and Rosalie Pearson have been running this group. They also started our Inquiring Minds discussion group and they have been fantastic contributors to HSGP for many years. They up and decided to move to Oregon so ..... we're stuck looking for somebody else to lead a writer's group. Let me know (or any board member - see the left side of this newsletter) if you might be interested in doing that. And if you get a chance to talk to Jim and Rosalie, please wish them well and thank them for the amazing work that they have done for us!!


I'm going to keep it brief this month but still cover the highlights on this. We have seen a slight dip in our dues-paying member count this month but, as I've said before, we are higher non-stop this year than we have ever been before and we expect some variation as some people just forget to renew. No problem - it will come back up. We are currently at 310 members. Our Facebook page, which is about advertising our events and tooting our horn (HSGP Facebook Page) is at 364 followers as of the end of September. Our FB group, which is more about discussions about issues of importance to Humanists (HSGP Facebook Group), is up to 753 followers. Our Meetup page (HSGP Meetup) is up to a whopping 1293 followers! That is truly amazing! If you like what you're seeing so far but aren't a dues-paying member, and would like to be, send an email to our Membership Chair, Anita Romanowski, at Membership Chair and she'll fill you in on the details and the benefits.


As I said, short and sweet this month. I also said that October is going to be a "monster" month for us, so do keep an eye on our website at HSGP.org and our Meetup page at HSGP Meetup. Remember that you can click on the "Our Calendar" icon on the left side of our Meetup page to get a calendar view of all upcoming events for about two months. So do get on Meetup if you haven't already! And as I said above, you can also see what events are coming up just by scrolling down below this article.


You can email me at President@hsgp.org or find out who your board members and committee chairs are, on the left side of this page, and talk to them! Enjoy the rest of the newsletter!

Richard Dewey
President, HSGP

Humanist Prose Writer's Circle Disbanding

Jim and Rosalie Pearson have been the organizing forces behind the Humanist Prose Writer's Circle. Unfortunately for HSGP and the Writer's Circle, the Pearson's are relocating to Oregon.

At this time, there are no future meetings planned for the group. If someone is willing to step up to the leadership and continue the program, please contact HSGP President Richard Dewey.

Turn Business into Fundraising for HSGP

One easy way Humanists can raise funds for HSGP is by giving our business to businesses that return a percentage of the proceeds to HSGP. For example, Bashas', Fry's and Albertson's grocery stores will return a percentage of the money our members spend at their store's. Amazon will also donate a percentage of sales that are made through the HSGP link. But first you need to enroll in the program(s) of your choice for this to happen. See article at lower right for more information.

HSGP member and Professional Realtor Vici Duarte has announced that she is offering a similar program. Vici will donate 10% of her net commission to HSGP. If you plan to buy or sell a home, speak to Vici at any HSGP event, or contact her by email at viciduarte@cox.net.

We are looking for other business people who might be interested in increasing their sales and then giving back to the Humanists. If you have an interest in a business, consider if you would like to offer a way to increase your business and support HSGP. Please contact Ariane at hsgpfundraising@gmail.com about setting up a similar program.

Upcoming Meetings and Topics
Oct 14th
ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy

presents a forum at Glendale Community College


In the United States, two major institutions guide youth on the journey to adulthood: school and prison.

The U.S., the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world, spends $88,000 annually on each incarcerated child, while only $10,500 per child on education. Systemically racialized policies criminalize minor school violations and funnel students out of public schools and into the criminal justice system. Students of color are especially vulnerable and most often affected by “zero-tolerance” policies and discriminatory applications of discipline.

Engage with experts, community leaders, and peers as we examine the school-to-prison pipeline and how to change systems that prioritize incarceration over education.

This is the second forum in a series addressing the theme of "Difficult Dialogues."



This event is free, but space is limited - please register at the link above.

Hosted by Michelle Rose

Oct 15th
Ethics in Humanism, Serah Blain
Event:  Humanism Course - Session 3
HSGP Presents a Course in Humanism!

4 Sessions / 7:00 - 8:30 pm / Thursdays / Oct 1 – Oct 22

10/01 – Introduction to Humanism, Richard Dewey
10/08 - History of Humanism, Zenaido Quintana
10/15 - Ethics in Humanism, Serah Blain
10/22 - Humanism & Politics, Chris Wojno

Free and open to the public.

Class size limited to 80.

To reserve a seat, please send an email to Richard Dewey: President@hsgp.org with your full name and contact info.

Or you can RSVP directly on our Meetup page at: Lecture #3. Be sure to reserve a seat for all four of our lectures!

Thank you!

Oct 18th
Event:  Work PARTY
Time to do some chores, both outside and inside. (If you happen to know this guy, invite him.)

Oct 19th
Religious self-identification is on the decline in the United States. Some analysts have cited the cause as being a post-9/11 perception that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness. But how accurate is that view? In her new book, Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, Karen Armstrong sets out to discover the truth about religion and violence in each of the world’s great traditions, taking us on an astonishing journey from prehistoric times to the present. While many historians have looked at violence in connection with particular religious manifestations (jihad in Islam or Christianity’s Crusades), Armstrong looks at not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism.

Karen Armstrong is one of the most original and inclusive speakers on the role of religion in the modern world. In her public speaking and bestselling books, including A History of God, she examines the differences and profound similarities between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and their impact on world events. A former Catholic nun who left the convent to study literature, Armstrong is an authority on world faiths, religious fundamentalism, and monotheism. She was a key advisor on Bill Moyers' landmark PBS series on religion, has addressed members of the U.S. Congress, and was one of three scholars to speak at the UN's first ever session on religion.

A Free Humanities Project Event, hosted by Mike Franklin

Oct 20th
Event:  Humanities Project Outing: Concert & Coffee
Oct 22nd
Event:  Humanism Course - Session 4
Oct 24th
Event:  Book Club
Oct 24th
Event:  Service Outreach
Oct 25th
Speaker:  Sikivu Hutchinson
Oct 31st
Event:  Flying Spaghetti Monster Dinner
Nov 04th
e:  TED Video and Interesting Topic Discussion Group
Nov 05th
Nov 07th
Event:  Inquiring Minds Discussion Group
Nov 08th
Speaker:  Katrina Hernandez
Nov 13th
Event:  Humanities Project Monthly Cultural Presentation & Meeting
Nov 14th
Event:  Service Outreach
Nov 14th
Fundraiser:  Game Night Fundraiser
Nov 22nd
Speaker:  Richard Miller
Dec 02nd
Event:  TED Video and Interesting Topic Discussion Group
Dec 05th
Event:  Inquiring Minds Discussion Group
Dec 06th
Speaker:  Caroline Bissell
Dec 11th
Event:  Humanities Project Monthly Cultural Presentation & Meeting
Dec 12th
Event:  Service Outreach

The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix is open to presentations on a variety of topics, many of which are controversial. Please note that the opinions expressed by our guest speakers do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or philosophy of HSGP.

Membership Matters

by Anita Romanowski

October - prelude to the festive holiday season, beginning with spooky, ghoulish Halloween. Favorite of ghosts, goblins, Spidermen, zombies, ice princesses and other assorted costume-garbed children ringing your doorbell and threatening to do mischief if you don't give them sweet, delectable goodies. Bwahahahahaha!

Winter Solstice Party:

Preparations are under way to celebrate our annual Winter Solstice Party Fundraiser on December 19. As I announced at the September 13 meeting, we need to start gathering donations for the Marketplace sale. We really need to start this early to give us time to sort, price and organize how the items will be displayed. This is a great opportunity to go through your home to find gently used treasures that you no longer want or have use for. Here are some suggestions:

* Unopened bottles of wine or booze (purchases cannot be consumed on the premises or property)
* Jewelry
* Small appliances
* Kitchen items, accessories, household linens, dishes, etc.
* Electronics in working order
* Art
* Handmade craft items or offers to custom make something
* Usable clothing, especially children's
* Toys, games
* Books, DVDs, cds, science/technology magazines, even vinyl records
* Holiday decorations
* Gift cards/certificates to goods or services from local businesses. Email me for a copy of the donation request letter with HSGP's tax number
* Homemade baked goods, packaged and labeled
* Anything you think would be appealing for purchase

Items can be brought to the HSGP Community Center during any regularly scheduled events. Please affix a note with your name, phone number or email and the estimated value of your contributions. Contact me with any questions or suggestions.
Stay tuned for further updates.

Membership Committee:

Is there anyone out there who would like to join the all-important Membership Committee? We are in need of the following:
* One, preferably two, people willing to make phone calls on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
* Become a Greeter to welcome new people to our Sunday meetings. Give them a tour of the Community Center, talk to them about HSGP, get to know them and generally just make them feel that HSGP is a welcoming refuge for secularists. Ideally we would like to have 6-8 friendly, outgoing people who would do this on a rotating basis; two people per Sunday meeting, so each person would only have to serve every 3rd or 4th meeting.
Contact me for details.

Because of the diligent work of this committee, HSGP has grown to possibly the largest Humanist community in the country. Quite impressive for Arizona. Thank you Kathy Petticrew, Vici Duarte, Jeanne Devine, Chris Wojno.

Welcome new members:

Alexis Black
Jim Austin

As always, please contact me if you need any membership information or have a change of address, phone number, or email.

If you would like to have an announcement or general request appear in this column I'll be happy to post it for you.

Humanistically yours,
Chair, Membership Committee

HSGP Service Outreach Project

by Michal Otten

On Saturday, September 26, five humanists came together to prepare and serve brunch at UMOM. We also helped make salad for dinner that night and prepare sandwiches and pack lunch for the next day.

This was our third outing to UMOM. They have been extremely welcoming to our group, and I hope we get to continue our partnership with them. It is so gratifying to serve food directly to members of our community in need; they are always so thankful (and patient when our line slows down!).

This is a unique and rewarding volunteer outing to participate in. I truly hope you will consider joining us next time we go!

Due to my crazy schedule, my friend Gwyndolynn will be planning the October volunteer outing. Check Meetup and Facebook for details, coming soon. I am sure she will plan something new and exciting for our group to do!

Have you been wanting to attend a volunteer outing, but been unable to do so as a result of your schedule or where you live in the valley? Are you are interested in volunteering for a certain cause, or have a connection with an organization we aren’t working with yet? I am working to put together a committee to help research and schedule volunteer outings for our group for 2016 and beyond. If you are interested, please contact me!

Please also let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions for future events. I can be reached at Michal.Otten@gmail.com .

Keeping Up With HSGP
Social Media Tips and Hints #20.2

by Jennifer White

I am going on vacation in October, so I am rerunning the article from May 2015. Enjoy and see you in November!

I have come across some interesting Humanist places on Facebook and I thought I’d share a few of them with you.

The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix has TWO presences on Facebook. We are just cool that way. First is our public group, originally created by Susan Sackett several years ago. Here HSGP meetings and activities are promoted, as would be expected. Also, questions, observations or articles are posted, which often generate discussions on Humanist- related issues. This group is visible to the public, but only approved members of the group can post and comment. As the host, I accept members as they ask to join.


More recently created is our page, which is prettier and looks like most Facebook pages you are probably used to seeing. The page also promotes HSGP activities, and articles and memes that reflect Humanist ideas--#soundslikehumanism. Go and “like” it.


An interesting one is The British Humanist Association page. They are much like us, only with a British/European point of view. Their credo is similar to ours, yet different:

“The BHA is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity.” See for yourself.


More far-flung is the Humanist Society (Singapore). They focus on Humanism in Singapore and all Asian countries. They describe themselves briefly: “A society of humanists, atheists & agnostics.” Catch a glimpse of the Humanist views in Asia.


I have been watching Nirmukta for a long time. They are a Humanist group in India, criticizing problematic traditions and politics in their own culture. “Nirmukta was founded as a website in 2008, and since then its online presence has grown into three websites: the main parent site at www.nirmukta.com , the community forums at www.nirmukta.net

Today, Nirmukta is a national organization with regional groups in 5 major Indian cities and plenty of initiative for founding many more all over the country, and bringing about much needed social and political change in India.” Heavy stuff.


I know about the public group called African Humanist Associates from Bwambale Robert in Uganda, who is a member of our HSGP Facebook group, and checks in with us periodically. Bwambale is a frequent poster on this public group of Humanists, which welcomes opinions and discussions of the special challenges and joys of the African continent.


You can also check out Bwambale’s own page at
/www.facebook.com/bwambale.robert .

Back in the U.S., here is a closed group—you must join to see what they post—called Military Atheists and Secular Humanists. Part of their description: “Looking to build a core group of serious and active members, military or civilian, who wish to be a part of a meaningful community. We are Active Duty Soldiers, Army spouses, parents, retirees, from many backgrounds coming together for shared goals and friendship.” If you have a military connection, you may find this group of great interest.


According to their description, “African Americans for Humanism is engaged in developing humanism in the African American community.” Also, “Today as in the past, many African Americans question religion and religious institutions. More and more of us stand for reason over faith. Freethought over authority. Critical thinking in place of superstition. Many of us are nonreligious; some are nontheistic.”

I see that Humanists from HSGP and other secular communities have “Liked” this page, so it is familiar to many of you.


Though these two pages don’t have “Humanist” in the title, they are close enough! One is Secular Woman, “ a national organization focused exclusively on amplifying the voice, presence, and influence of non-religious women.”


The other is Women Without Religion: “This page is for women without religion and those interested in the perspectives of women without religion. Given that religions thrive on misogyny and subjugation of women it is also about empowerment of all women and equality.” Right on!


I hope you find something new to you here, and that you enjoy browsing these Humanist Facebook pages and groups. I’m sure you will run across many others as well. Share them with us on our Facebook group.


HSGP Humanities Project Fundraiser
Books & Music Bookshelf

HSGP's Humanities Project has a Book & Music Bookshelf for your convenient shopping pleasure. Books, CDs and DVDs on the bookshelf are for sale at a great price. The deals are even better on the 2-for-a-dollar bottom shelf. The Bookshelf is located under the bulletin board near the entrance to the restrooms.

The prices on these items are so great that some folks are using it like a rental library: They buy a book for a super-cheap price, read it, and bring it back as a donation. The book goes up for sale again, and they "buy" another one! Cool!

Take a look at the Bookshelf next time you're at the Humanist Community Center and consider buying or donating to this fun new effort.

Human Inspiration

"Homo sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority, then forgets that symbols are inventions."
Attributed to Joyce Carol Oates.

"The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination."
Attributed to Carl Rogers.

Quotes courtesy of http://www.brainyquote.com

Programs to Support HSGP from Grocery Stores and Amazon

If you shop at any of the Bashas' stores (Bashas', AJ's Fine Foods, Food City), your local Fry's Food Store, or your local Albertson's HSGP can receive a percentage of the money you spend. In addition, when you shop at Amazon.com using our HSGP link, we receive a percentage of the sale.

To activate any of these no-cost-to-you revenue streams for HSGP, go to the HSGP Supporting Businesses page Supporting Businesses and follow the instructions for the program you want to use.

If you shop at any of the local stores that participate in this program, please consider obtaining and using an HSGP community support card whenever you make purchases. When we support our local merchants, they support us!

Susan Sackett, Certified Humanist Celebrant, would like to remind you that she is available for all your life passage ceremonies, including weddings and commitment ceremonies, baby namings, coming-of-age celebrations, funerals/memorial services, and even divorce celebrations! Special 10% discount for all HSGP members and their immediate families! Humanist Celebrant. Discounts for HSGP members! Contact her at Susan Sackett .

Have you joined our parent organizations? If so, you still must pay dues to be a member of HSGP - your enrollment in either of our parent organizations (American Humanist Association or Council for Secular Humanism) does NOT automatically include membership in the local chapter, HSGP. And conversely, if you join HSGP, you are not automatically enrolled in our parent organizations! Each is separate and must be joined separately. Why not join all three today? Humanism depends on your financial as well as emotional support!
HSGP is a Chartered chapter of the American Humanist Association and also a chapter of the Council for Secular Humanism.

American Humanist Association
1777 T. Street
Washington, DC 20009-7102
Council for Secular Humanism
Box 664
Amherst, NY 14226-0664