Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix   - - http://www.HSGP.org
Board Members:

President:
Richard Dewey

Vice President:
Henry Geist

Treasurer:
Tim Bedient

Secretary:
Rebecca Beltran

Program Director:
Al Wendler

Members at Large:
Vici Duarte
Ann Marie
Eisentraut /
Bruce Stiles
Michal Otten
Anita Romanowski


Committee Chairs & Other Leadership:

Webmaster:
J.B. Wright

Librarian:
Bruce Pettycrew

Fundraising:
Ariane Apler

Membership:
Anita Romanowski

Property Management:
Ann Marie Eisentraut

Facility Use Management:
Vici Duarte

Food Management:
Kathy Pettycrew

Communication:
Linda Wendler

Science Night:
TBA

Book Club:
Roy Towne

Inquiring Minds:
Kevin Moriarty

Game Nights:
Bruce Stiles
Ann Marie
Eisentraut


Service Outreach Coordinator:
Michal Otten

Immediate Past President:
Shelley Newman (2011)

President Emeritus:
Susan Sackett
(2000-2010)


President's Message


I am literally running out of ways to say how awesome we are! This community keeps growing, adding activities, and doing incredible things every month. We are now up to 889 followers on Meetup, 468 on Facebook, and our dues-paying membership has grown to 287! And we now have three distinct children's programs and added a new discussion group. We are cookin' with butane! It is an exciting time for us and I am so proud to be a part of it. I can hardly wait from month to month to see what will happen next. In case it wasn't obvious, all of this is the result of the work of numerous volunteers who never seem to tire. I believe it's because the results are so rewarding. I know that that is my reason, besides my love for this group and for Humanism in general.

With the rest of this article, I'll summarize what happened this past month as best I can. If you would rather skip to what's coming up or find out more about our organization, check out the rest of the newsletter!

Events in September

The HSGP Humanities Project had yet another very busy month with a whopping nine outings and one in-house event! They went to three art exhibits, a play, a concert, a documentary film, a festival in Wickenburg, a panel discussion on art, and an open house at Gammage celebrating its 50th anniversary! Phew! That is some month. And I know that I'm not giving these outings proper descriptions but I don't have room here. You really should check out what these folks are doing because it all looks fascinating! The in-house event was a showing of the very provocative film "Unmanned: America's Drone Wars". I'll bet that that stirred up some discussion! The HP just keeps wowing us!

Our Inquiring Minds Discussion Group tackled another interesting topic with "How are we, as a species, bypassing the evolutionary process?". This was a great discussion with some very interesting, and unexpected, perspectives brought up. There are so many different ways to look at this question and we hit just about all of them. One of those perspectives was that since we are part of nature, we aren't really bypassing the process, we are still part of it. Interesting. All of these groups are. This is well worth coming to if you like deep discussions with the occasional verbal brawl (those can be fun to watch).

Our first Sunday event this month wasn't exactly a speaker but instead, we had a Ted Talk video presenting Alain de Botton introducing "Atheism 2.0" followed by an open discussion period. Well this certainly was controversial. Alain essentially is encouraging atheists to adopt some of the things that seem to attract people to churches, only without the supernatural stuff and the mindless dogma. For instance, he believes that people are really drawn to ritual and group singing and that religion does not need to have a patent on those activities. Some folks think that he has a point. Some think that's garbage. But I think that most everybody agrees that community feels good even to us. It was an interesting discussion afterward and I think that it opened some minds to possibilities. The "Sunday Assembly" was brought up (atheist church?) and we apparently have one starting here in Phoenix. We had a good turnout for this one which was surprising to me considering the change in format, but that's good reference for the future.

I'm falling back into the habit of missing Game Night again and I'm not even sure why this time. One thing that I am sure of though - I wasn't missed. This group is always a blast and very well attended. People seem to find a way to stay completely engrossed in their game of choice for several hours every time. If that interests you, give it a try. If you're new to the group, be sure to find Ann Marie Eisentraut and she'll get you worked into a game. If I happen to make it there, you can find me as well and I'll certainly make you feel welcome.

Our second Sunday speaker this month was our very own resident Science Educator, LuAnn Dahlman, giving us a summary on the "Latest Report on Climate Change". I could not be more bummed that I missed this but I wasn't able to attend. I had really been looking forward to it for some time too. But you know, life happens. One thing that I can tell you about her summary is that she pointed to the "tipping point" that is currently expected to occur in about 20 years if we don't make drastic changes. If you want to learn more about her talk, you can find a great and detailed summary at LuAnn Dahlman.

Our HSGP Book Club reviewed "Brave Companions: Portraits in History" by David McCullough. This is a series of historical stories of some very inspirational people who still have a profound influence on our society today. This is yet another great pick from the book club!

What else happened in September?

There are so many things happening that it is really hard to keep up! First, we did start sponsoring a secular Girl Scout troop this month, led by our new member, Alisha DeCou, and we are all very excited to see where this will lead. And as I mentioned last month, Brian Calaway has started another kids program called "Lego League" and is starting up the "Odyssey Of The Mind" program for yet another season. Be sure to check our schedule and/or Meetup page for details. And to think that a couple of years ago, we were having trouble getting kids programs off the ground. This is looking great!

Our membership chair, Anita Romanowski, ran her second class on weaving (crotchet?) sleeping mats for the homeless made from plastic bags! There was a great turnout at this one and it looked like everybody was really enjoying it. I am sure that the recipients of those mats will be very pleased as well.

We have one huge improvement that I'm sure everybody will appreciate: we filled in the hole in the parking lot and added four new parking spaces! And the best part is, all of the labor was donated by volunteers and one very important member, Bob Brown, who supplied the cement mixer and the mini-cat that did most of the heavy work. But there were also several volunteers, again including Bruce Stiles and Ann Marie Eisentraut, Henry Geist, Hal Saferstein, and Cindy Ballantyne (sorry if I missed anybody) who worked hard to make this happen. The materials costs were much less than originally thought so we are very happy with the results! This may be a temporary solution but it will do for quite a while.

We thought that we had the sound system problem licked but we were wrong. Sorry folks. We'll keep poking at it until we get it fixed. It's usable as-is but we would really like it glitch-free. We'll keep you posted.

Our Volunteer Coordinator, Michelle Rose has developed a new volunteer system and we are looking forward to unveiling it. That may happen before you finish reading this so keep an eye out for an announcement. Remember, HSGP only functions with the work of volunteers and fundraising. I am very excited that we have people focusing on both (I mentioned in a previous newsletter that our fundraising chair is Ariane Apler).

The column that I added a couple of months ago (lower right of the newsletter) has an invocation from our very outspoken member, Dianne Post. This is yet another really good one and I hope that you enjoy it. I would like to reiterate that all members are free to contribute to this column. If you have something that you feel would fit, email me at the address below. All Humanist poems, prayers, invocations, inspirational quotes, etc. will be considered.

And now for the statement that only changes occasionally, (again, not this time). As always, we are interested in any feedback that you might have so please feel free to email me at humanist@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
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 Apler at ariane.apler@arcor.de about setting up a similar program.

Upcoming Meetings and Topics
Oct 25th

Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape Our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik

From Amazon: An eye-opening adventure deep inside the everyday materials that surround us, packed with surprising stories and fascinating science

Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that Mark Miodownik is constantly asking himself. A globally-renowned materials scientist, Miodownik has spent his life exploring objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world.

In Stuff Matters, Miodownik entertainingly examines the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor and the graphite in his pencil to the foam in his sneakers and the concrete in a nearby skyscraper.

Come and join the discussion on this book and find out what other books members are reading.



Oct 26th
Anza Day at Canoa Ranch, Green Valley, AZ
Event:  Humanities Project Outing: Day Trip
AZ Humanities Free Event

Anza Day at Canoa Ranch, Green Valley, AZ What a wonderful opportunity for a day trip full of Arizona history, arts and culture. You know, humanities!

Join Arizona Humanities for a day of history, culture, and storytelling at Canoa Ranch. Anza Day at Canoa Ranch brings together scholars on Arizona and Southwestern history for public lectures as part of the Canoa Anza Days event on Saturday, October 26th. Learn about the history of Canoa and the surrounding area as well as how its history affects the present.

The Friends of Canoa Heritage Foundation received a Project Grant from Arizona Humanities for this program.

See a video at http://www.azhumanities.org/event/anza-day-at-canoa-ranch/

Free and open to the public.

This is a go on your own event. Enjoy!

Oct 26th
Annual Fall Festival of the Arts
Event:  Humanities Project Outing: Art Festival
Arizona Consortium for the Arts presents the Annual Fall Festival of the Arts! We will celebrate our consortium's 7th Anniversary.

Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park, in the beautiful outdoor courtyard.

Free Admission! Free Parking! Fun for the whole family.

Come to see an amazing array of music and dance by local performers, exquisite works by local artists and artisans, Cosplayers, readings from the UNSTRUNG, booth representations by local nonprofit and community organizations, activities for children of all ages, live painting, jewelry making, face painting and more.

The event is in collaboration with the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park and the Arizona Consortium for the Arts. The festival is partially funded by the City of Tempe.

For information visit www.artizona.org and

http://www.arizonahistoricalsociety.org/museums/museum-at-papago-park-tempe/ Would you like to be a vendor at our festival? it is free to be a vendor - please email to info@artizona.org.

This is a go-on-your-own event. Enjoy!

Oct 30th
One Drop of Love: Community Dialogue - Free Excerpt
Event:  Humanities Project Outing: Presentation
In celebration for National Arts and Humanities Month, join us for a performance excerpt from One Drop of Love and a dialogue to explore family, history, racism, love and a path towards reconciliation. One Drop of Love is a multimedia one woman show that is produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon written and performed by Fanshen DiGiovanni Cox.

The Mesa Arts Center will showcase the full performance on Saturday, November 1st. Prior to the performance, Arizona State University’s Center for Race & Democracy and Arizona Humanities will be hosting an evening of community dialogue on Thursday, October 30th with creator Fanshen DiGiovanni Cox. A panel discussion lead by Dr. Matthew Whitaker, Dr. Kelly Jackson, and Chandra Crudup will follow.

This event is FREE and open to the public.

Nov 01st
Event:  Flying Spaghetti Monster Dinner
Nov 08th
Fundraiser:  Game Night Fundraiser
Nov 09th
Speaker:  Will Humble: Director of Arizona Dept of Health Services
Nov 09th
Event:  Children's Program
Nov 09th
Event:  Children's Program
Nov 14th
Event:  Humanities Project Monthly Cultural Presentation & Meeting
Nov 23rd
Speaker:  Bruce Stiles
Nov 23rd
Event:  Children's Program
Nov 23rd
Event:  Children's Program
Dec 07th
Event:  Children's Program
Dec 07th
Event:  Children's Program
Dec 12th
Event:  Humanities Project Monthly Cultural Presentation & Meeting
Dec 13th
Fundraiser:  Game Night Fundraiser
Dec 20th
Event:  Solstice Celebration
Jan 10th
Fundraiser:  Game Night Fundraiser
Jan 11th
Speaker:  
Jan 11th
Children's Program:  Children's Program
Jan 11th
Event:  Children's Program
Jan 25th
Speaker:  
Jan 25th
Event:  Children's Program

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

Boy, just when you thought it was safe to go outside again without an umbrella, the monsoon struck again. At the time, my husband and I were in Las Vegas to celebrate the 100th birthday of a very lovely lady. So we missed the storm. I read about the storm on Facebook. Hopefully, none of you suffered too much damage.

Requests for Member Input: Al Wendler, HSGP's Program Director, has quite a challenging job searching for interesting, provocative and stimulating presentations for our twice-monthly Sunday meetings. He has an ongoing invitation to members for program and speaker suggestions. Let Al know if you have a suggestion for a specific type of program and/or know of a speaker who might have something of interest to present to our very elite group.

Additionally, the Board would like suggestions on specific educational programs that can be offered to members, the public and children.

Greeters Needed:
Are you an HSGP member; do you attend HSGP's Sunday meetings regularly; are you an early riser; do you have an outgoing personality; are you familiar with a lot of our members? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I need you.

When people come to HSGP for the first time we want them to feel welcome. Therefore, we created a "greeter" position. At each Sunday meeting, two volunteers stand by the community center entrance to welcome first-time visitors. These volunteers greet and welcome people to the center. They then take first-time visitors on a tour of the building, answer questions and explain about humanism and the history of the creation of our community center.

So far, I have six people who volunteer for this position on a somewhat rotating basis. However, due to other commitments, their participation is often scattered and unpredictable. Consequently, the same 2-3 people are always volunteering. If you think this rewarding volunteer position is something you'd like to be part of, please contact me.

Welcome New Members:
Alle Staker
Andy Bergen
Brenden Busse
Laura Nye
Tim Bradley


Anita Romanowski
Chair, Membership Committee
humanistsocietyphx@yahoo.com

HSGP Service Outreach Project

by Michal Otten

Volunteer Opportunities in 2015

As a humanist, I truly believe it is important to get out there and serve our community however we can. While it has been amazing to work with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance the past few years, I am looking to expand our volunteer efforts to several additional organizations in the Valley. I’m hoping to be able to schedule outings at least once a month, and for us to rotate between a variety of organizations.

So far, I have scheduled with St. Mary’s and Lost Our Home Pet Foundation, an awesome organization that works to ensure that all pets have loving homes when families face major life challenges. I am also in communication with the Ronald McDonald House; the Human Services Campus, which is home to more than a dozen social services agencies; and UMOM, which is the largest homeless shelter for families in the state of Arizona. I hope you all will join us to help make a difference in our community.

These outings will all be posted soon on Meetup.

If there is an organization you would like us to become involved with, I’d love to hear your suggestions! Please email me at Michal.Otten@gmail.com with your ideas.

Keeping Up With HSGP
Social Media Tips and Hints #16

by Jennifer White
Let’s review our internet presence.

First and foremost, we have our Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix website at www.hsgp.org. Since you are probably reading this on the website right now, you are familiar with it. Take a look around the website. There is a lot of good stuff there! A warm welcome and our Mission are there on the home page, along with information of who we are and what we do.

You can see all the events that are coming up in the future, and you can peruse the past events as well. You can even search particular types of events, like Book Club, Inquiring Minds, or Humanities Project.

Have questions about HSGP and Humanism? You can find many answers on our web site. You can learn about membership, how to support HSGP, who the leadership is and how to contact them. You will find lots of links to websites of interest to HSGP members and visitors, such as groups that we support, affiliated groups, fellow non-theistic/free-thought groups and companies. You can also find links to our other internet sites, such as Facebook, Meetup, Twitter, and Humanism Rising, the official HSGP blog.

I talk a lot about Facebook and Meetup. They continue to grow and be vital to spreading the word about HSGP and giving fellow humanists a platform for discussion. If you haven’t yet, check them out by clicking on the links on the bottom of the home page of this website, or just below this article.

Be sure to check out our very own blog, Humanism Rising. That link is also on the bottom of the home page and below this article. Please consider contributing to our blog site. You can write about how you became a Humanist, or about a Humanist who you admire for the Profiles in Humanism series. You can blog about almost anything Humanism-related. You can also comment on blog posts you read there. Unlike Facebook which is almost totally unmediated, Humanism Rising posts need to be approved and possibly lightly edited before they are published. If you have something that you'd like to see published on the blog, contact our Communications Chair by clicking on the link under “Communications” in the sidebar at the left side of this newsletter.

Every month, the blog publishes "The Bookworm Report" by Russell Pizer and the October entry is ready to read.

HSGP also has a Twitter account at https://twitter.com/hsgp . I think everyone is familiar with Twitter, even if you have never seen it. Basically, people “tweet” remarks up to 140 characters. You can follow other tweeters, and others can follow you. You can keep up with whatever topics are trending in the world. Twitter’s immediacy has made its importance to publicizing grass roots events like Arab Spring very compelling. It’s not all serious—you can also follow your favorite celebrities. Sadly, our Twitter account is dormant. We really need someone to be our Twittermeister and communicate to the world! If you are interested, please contact me at Jennifer2226@cox.net. It really is a lot of fun.

There are other popular sites, like Instagram and Reddit, where we can have more of a presence. I will write more about them in the future.

Have fun exploring our website and everything else the internet has to offer. What do you think: how else can we raise awareness of HSGP and humanism?

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

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest."
Attributed to Elie Wiesel

"People who try hard to do the right thing always seem mad."
Attributed to Stephen King, The Stand

Quotes courtesy of http://www.goodreads.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 .

A Humanist Invocation
Sept 10, 2014, INVOCATION, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Phoenix, AZ

My name is Dianne Post. I’ve been a resident of Maricopa County since 1980. I’m speaking as a humanist.

I ask you not to bow your heads, but instead to open your eyes.

Look at the world as it is but imagine what it could be if we all brought our good hearts to work every day.

The word “invocation” has several meanings:

First one 1. a : the act or process of petitioning for help or support;

Today I petition for support for our democracy: a democracy that includes all people regardless of their individual characteristics or choices

A democracy that does not elevate one person, one ideology or one belief over another

A participatory democracy that stands for human rights and social justice.

Second meaning b : a calling upon for authority or justification

Today I call upon the authority of evidence, facts and reason as justification for the decisions made by this governmental body.

Decisions that will benefit all of the people of this county, not just the rich, not just the vocal, not just the powerful – but all of us

Third meaning of invocation is

: a formula for conjuring :

Today I conjure up the best of what’s in all our hearts

kindness and concern for others

acceptance and understanding

the ability to think for ourselves using reason and knowledge

the last meaning is

: an act of legal or moral implementation :

Implementation is, of course, the most important aspect of any “invocation”

What do we want to implement?

We want to lead meaningful lives

We want to be free from dogma and fear

We want to have compassion for our fellow citizens

We want to leave the world a better place than we found it.

We owe it to ourselves and all with whom we share this fragile planet now and in the future to make our lives the best we can.

Let us embrace a code of ethics driven by a sincere thirst for justice. A code that does not depend on threat or punishment, but can only be found within ourselves by understanding the connections to our mutual well-being.

A friend of mine, Olivia free-woman said, “The table of peace will be set with justice.” May we have both in our hearts this day and everyday.

Thank you.
JOIN AHA and CSH
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
www.americanhumanist.org
Council for Secular Humanism
Box 664
Amherst, NY 14226-0664
www.secularhumanism.org