Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix   - -
Board Members

Chris Wojno

Vice President:
Alex Zygmunt

Chris Appleton

Kathy Pettycrew

Program Director:
James Avery Fuchs

Property Director:

Membership Director:
Anita Romanowski

Members at Large:
Christine Walden
Linda Wendler

Committee Chairs & Other Leadership:
J.B. Wright

Bruce Pettycrew

Christine Walden

Safety Officer:
Ann Marie Eisentraut

Service Outreach Coordinator:
Gwindolynn Gentry

Facility Use Management:

Food Management:

Linda Wendler

Matt Ferrin

Information Technology:
James Osborn

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

Humanities Project:
Jennifer White
Mike Franklin

Immediate Past President:
Richard Dewey (2012-2016)

President Emerita:
Shelley Newman (2011)

President Emerita:
Susan Sackett

President's Message

Greetings fellow space travelers! We have a lot to cover this month as it has been a real whirlwind a changes. As you may have predicted, this month was jam-packed full of activism. But I’ll have to get to that in a bit.

HSGP is a is run by wonderful people. No one person can claim to do it all. Sadly, our longtime Property Director, Ann Marie, is relocating; however, the show must go on. We’re looking for a new Property Director and Safety Officer to ensure that our building is maintained and kept up to safety standards. If you’ve been a member for over a year and would like to give back to HSGP, please contact me and consider filling this board position. You’ll have a supportive and helpful team on the board if you need help or guidance. HSGP could use someone just like you! We’d love to hear from you and you’ll have the ability to have a direct say over the business at HSGP. It also looks good on a résumé, too.

Speaking of leadership, our activity leaders are the mainstays of our organization. Although we have a dedicated and valued team, we need more sail--so to speak--for HSGP to continue to grow. By that I mean, we’re looking for more activities and events for our members and our guests to enjoy. If you have an event you’d like HSGP host either at the community center or elsewhere, please fill out the activity form here You don’t have to lead the event, but if you’d like to help get us started with your vision, we’d appreciate any help you can give us.

And now for some serious news. This year, we have major repairs and corrections to make on the community center. That’s right, our little house turned community center still has some homey charm. By that, I mean it needs major repairs on the roof and the fire riser system. Home ownership: the job is never done. Unfortunately, these costs have limited our spending this year and that means some of our programs may be in jeopardy. As a wise woman once told me, you get out what you put in. If you are able, please consider making a donation today to help cover these costs that our normal membership dues will not be able to cover. It’s imperative that we do not let the glow of Humanism dim. Preserve the spirit of Humanism in the Valley, please make a donation today at ! Thank you in advance for your generosity

And now, I’d like to take some time to share a special day with everyone. On Saturday, January 21, 2017, The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix joined millions of women, men, and children around all 7 continents, standing in defense of the rights of women and girls everywhere. Words cannot express how powerful and moving that day was. We took to the capitol and marched through the streets named for our founding fathers in the true spirit of democracy: peaceful demonstration. The air was electric. Throngs of people, estimated to be over 20,000 by , exercised their first amendment rights that day. Thank you to everyone who helped make that day a powerful message about human rights and justice. We can make a difference and we are proud to have been a part of what will likely be a historical demonstration.

This last week also marks HSGP’s return to the capitol not in demonstration, but invocation! I am proud to announce that The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix was invited to the Arizona House of Representatives to deliver an invocation. The invocation took place on Tuesday, January 31, 2017. I delivered the invocation, chiefly authored by our Communications Director, Linda Wendler. I’d like to thank everyone for making this possible. This was an event many years in the making and crafted by many hands. I hope we continue to make you, our members, proud to be Humanists. Click here if you'd like to read a transcript of the invocation I can’t wait until we’re invited back. That wraps up this edition of the President’s Message and that only covered the really big stuff! If you’d like to stay up-to-date with everything we do at HSGP, please sign up for our Facebook and Meetup pages. Some events show up without much warning, so it’s important to stay connected.

In closing, I know that these are troubled times. It’s hard to look at the news and watch what we’re becoming. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take action. It’s up to us to take Humanism to the streets and live it in everyday life. Remain peaceful, remain respectful, and remain courageous. Thank you.

Annual Darwin Day Lunch, February 12

Join us to celebrate the 208th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth in 1809. Let's dine together in celebration of our common ancestry with fish and dinosaurs and vegetables!

Starting time is Noon with Appetizers and Beverages. Feel free to bring adult beverages. Lunch will be served when it is ready. In the meantime we'll play some games, give away some prizes and share some conversation.

Primordial Soup, Grilled Fish, Rotisserie Chicken, Vegetables, Bread, Dessert

Suggested Prices:
"Worms"*: $20 per hungry adult
"Down House": $15 per light eater
"HMS Beagle": $10 per child 6-12
"Barnacle": No charge for children 5 and under! (Yes: we have high chairs!)

Volunteer on SignUp Genius to set-up, prepare food, grill fish, replenish the table, clean-up, and have fun with the children.

Sign Up Now!

Help us plan the food with an RSVP on Meetup Darwin Day Lunch

Who would like to be the exalted Grillmeister? Make a comment when you RSVP, then bring your apron and chef's toque to the party.

Want to pay in advance? Click here to make a One Time Payment and make a note under "other". This will not be tax deductible for that portion that is the value of the meal.

*The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, with Observations on their Habits

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'and Fry'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

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 our fundraising committee at about setting up a similar program.

Upcoming Meetings and Topics
Feb 25th
Lights Out by Ted Koppel
Event:  Book Club

Join us to discuss " Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath" by Ted Koppel.

from Amazon...

"In this New York Times bestselling investigation, Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared......With urgency and authority, one of our most renowned journalists examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways to prepare for a catastrophe that is all but inevitable."

If you purchase this book from Amazon through the Amazon Smile program, HSGP will benefit. Click on the link below.

Mar 01st
Topics chosen by attendees
Event:  TED Video and Interesting Topic Discussion Group
TED Video and Interesting Topic Discussion Group

Topics chosen by attendees


Attendees who have topics present (5 minutes per presentation discussion lengths vary)

TED video (or any public domain video) is voted on for presentation order

Videos are watched and discussed in order as time permits

Ted Talks Discussion Guideline

• Try to offer something meaningful to the discussion. Avoid bringing in pet complaints, favorite topics, etc., unless they are directly relevant to the topic at hand.

• Wait your turn. Do not interrupt others. This includes side commentary.

• Respect time and need for all to contribute. Acknowledge and yield to group leader's cues to finish your statement.

• Respect all participants. Refrain from making disparaging remarks about other participants and the group leader during the discussion. Participants may be directed to leave if using disrespectful tones or statements.

• Racist, sexist or other forms of hate speech will not be tolerated. You will recieve one warning. After that, you will be asked to leave the meeting.

• Group leader reserves the right to determine what is appropriate, when boundaries have been crossed, etc.

• Group leader determines who gets to talk and for how long. Depending on group size and temperment, this may include formal time limits.

• If you believe a participant has gone off topic, you may signal this by knocking on the table.

Mar 04th
Cognitive Bias
Event:  Inquiring Minds Discussion Group
Topic: Cognitive Bias

How does cognitive bias affect our behavior in ways that are harmful to us, to society, to humanity? How much is nature and how much is nurture? Given what is happening in our country these days, and also around the world, does helping to understand cognitive bias give us more effective tools to proactively deal with important issues that we face? This is yet another great topic that I'm sure will spark a lively discussion.

If you are interested, a group of us like to go out to lunch afterward. We will wrap up the meeting around noon so you just might be hungry by then.

If anybody can get there early, by around 9:00, I will need help setting up tables and chairs. I'm not supposed to lift anything heavy right now. Much appreciated.

Do some research on your own if you like and find some articles or links to help with the discussion and feel free to post related articles in the comments section on Meetup.

Please go to our Meetup page to RSVP and to see related articles: HSGP Inquiring Minds Meetup.

Hosted by Richard Dewey the first Saturday of each month.

Mar 05th

Join us for a presentation by Andre Salais on "Who Owns Your Brain: How Big Data is Used to Control Your Vote".

Andre is an activist in the secular movement with seven years of professional experience in legislative analysis, lobbying, policy research, political campaign strategy development, domestic and foreign policy consulting, policy writing, and campaign field organizing. Andre’s official activism roles include:
- Partner at a secular media company dedicated to producing content for skeptics
- Host of Unbelievers Radio
- Political Strategy Director for Together We Can
- Director of the Atheist Candidates Project
- Owner of Method Social Kinetics LLC, an explicitly humanist political and social strategy company

Andre’s academic interests are in the study of religious social systems and their impact on political behavior, covering areas such as: adaptive social systems and evolutionary modes of cultural information transfer, the relationship between religious beliefs, communal violence, and conflict behavior, and secular thought on statecraft, applied political ethics, and policy making.

In his personal life, Andre is a target archer, avid gardener, and lover of ducks and beagles.

A Children's Program is available during the Speaker Meeting.

Please see the HSGP Meetup for the Children's Program at this meeting for more information and to RSVP with the number of children attending.

Please consider volunteering to help make this event possible. Click on the SignUp Genius button below for a list of volunteer opportunities.

Sign Up Now!

Mar 10th
Event:  Humanities Project Monthly Cultural Presentation & Meeting
Mar 11th
Event:  Service Outreach - Crochet Sleeping Mats
Mar 11th
Event:  Game Night - Joint Event with Mensa
Mar 19th
Speaker:  Bart Campolo
Mar 24th
Event:  Roy Zimmerman in concert
Mar 25th
Apr 05th
Event:  TED Video and Interesting Topic Discussion Group
Apr 08th
Event:  Service Outreach - Crochet Sleeping Mats
Apr 08th
Event:  Service Outreach - St. Mary's
Apr 08th
Event:  Game Night - Joint Event with Mensa
Apr 09th
Apr 14th
Event:  Humanities Project Monthly Cultural Presentation & Meeting
Apr 20th
Event:  Richard Dewey
Apr 23rd
Apr 25th
May 03rd
Event:  TED Video and Interesting Topic Discussion Group
May 07th
May 12th
Event:  Humanities Project Monthly Cultural Presentation & Meeting
May 13th
Event:  Service Outreach - Crochet Sleeping Mats
May 13th
Event:  Game Night - Joint Event with Mensa
May 21st

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.

Message from the Membership Director

As Humanists, we have an obligation to practice humanistic values for the betterment of people in need, the earth and all living things. This month's column is dedicated to encouraging the readers to take a more active role in helping to accomplish at least the human aspect of these ideals.

You may or may not be aware that for several years Kathy and Bruce Pettycrew have been collecting donations from HSGP members and visitors for Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development. We urge you to contribute to this very worthy ongoing project by bringing your contributions to the HSGP Community Center during any meeting or event. There is a small collection box at the back of the room in the right-hand corner.

What are Tumbleweed's needs? I'm glad you asked. Here are the links to their website and wish list:
Tumbleweed Website home page:

Tumbleweed Wish List:

Last year HSGP formed a Homeless Taskforce to provide needed items to people living on the streets. After a few months the taskforce kind of disappeared into a black hole. Some of us would like to start it up again, but we need a strong leader to head it up. It was suggested that I take it over. Although I'm am enthusiastic about remaining active with the task force, my monthly crocheted sleeping mats workshop (see below) and my numerous Membership Director duties would make it virtually impossible and too exhausting for me to head up the task force. Please contact me if you or anyone you know would like to restart and facilitate this project. It could even be more than one person.

Two years ago, we gathered and packaged supplies to hand out to people on the streets. We would like to also continue with this project. More information to follow.

Continuing Sleeping Mats Workshop:

My next workshop will be held on February 14. Keep watching Meetup for my monthly announcements. Any questions can be sent to my email address located below my signature here. Bring supermarket grocery bags if you have them. If you don't have any bags, not to worry, we currently have a significant supply. Don't know how to crochet? No problem. You actually don't have to crochet; you can just make "plarn". However, I would like more people to crochet so we can get more mats completed. I or some of the "old-timers" will teach anyone who wants to learn. I also have some 10mm hooks available for $5.00.

Welcome New Members:

Jim Barrows
Sherry Celine
Susan Roxburgh


Volunteer Opportunities

We are always in need of volunteers to supply breakfast casseroles, help set up before and clean up after meetings and events, serve on various committees. We have a brochure with a complete list of volunteer opportunities on the info table at the front of the meeting hall. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Matt Ferrin at for additional information or questions.

To volunteer for a Sunday meeting opportunity or other event, click on this button and select the event for which you'd like to volunteer.

Sign Up Now!

You can also find the SignUp Genius button on the home page of by scrolling down.

Your Participation is Welcome

This column is for the members. I'd like it to also be about and by the members by encouraging all of you to send me announcements of life events, questions about HSGP, contribute a piece for this column or suggestions of subjects you'd like to see posted here.

Please contact me if you need any membership information or have a change of address, phone number, or email. Anita Romanowski Membership Director

HSGP Service Outreach Project

February 11, St Mary's Food Bank

For details and RSVPs check out the Meetup announcement at Volunteer at St Mary's Food Bank

by Gwyndolynn Gentry

My email is

Children's Programs

The HSGP-sponsored Girl Scout group is an all ages group.

For more information contact

Please note that the Sunday Speaker meetings now have a children's program. For more information see

HSGP & Social Media

by Jennifer White

Social Media plays a vital role in keeping up with and taking part in the issues that Humanists care about.

What do Humanists care about and what are Humanist values?

HSGP’s motto: “To foster the secular humanist community and advocate for humanist values in Greater Phoenix.”

About Humanism (from the American Humanist Association): “Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.”

We are responsible for leading ethical lives, and for aspiring to the greater good of humanity. How we do that is personal to each of us. Social Media is central to how we are able to express ourselves and organize to the extent that we are ready to be active, championing the causes that we deem important to making the world a better place.

Humanism is politically non-partisan. However, it is a progressive philosophy. That means we champion causes that promote for all people: equality, government representation of all, civil liberties, justice, dignity, environmental stewardship, sustainable and available energy, opportunity, peace, excellent public education, quality affordable medical care, sound science, freedom from hunger and homelessness, shelter from oppression and violence, protection of children, humane treatment of animals, and so many more.

Get active. However active you choose to be, social media is essential for:

* finding out
* staying informed
* showing your support
* getting out the word
* organizing
* finding like-minded people
* learning what the opposition is up to
* finding events to sign up for
* sharing events
* creating events
* expressing your opinions
* recruiting friends
* communicating with political leaders/legislators

Use Social Media to follow HSGP:

* Like and follow HSGP on Facebook. We have a page at and a discussion group at

* You can find our events, all Humanist-related, on our HSGP website and on Meetup at

* Twitter account @HSGP to be active again soon.

Learn more about Humanistic political actions you can take, both from the comfort of home and out in the community. Go to these Facebook pages for a great start:

Secular Coalition for Arizona

Secular Coalition for America

ACLU of Arizona

ACLU Nationwide

American Humanist Association

Americans United for Separation of Church and State (national)

See you soon! I look forward to engaging with you at a meeting, letter-writing event, protest march, seminar, meet-your-legislator day, or any of the many events coming up in 2017!

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 comes a time in the affairs of man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation."
........attributed to W. C. Fields

"It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get." ........attributed to Confucius

Quotes courtesy of

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) or your local Fry's Food Store HSGP can receive a percentage of the money you spend. In addition, when you shop at 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.

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. 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