Members at Large:
Immediate Past President:
Committee Chairs and Other Leadership:
Ann Marie Eisentraut
Facility Use Management:
Service Outreach Coordinator:
Well May is already upon us and it came up so fast that I plum forgot to write this article and had to get poked by our outgoing Communications Chair to remind me (more on that below). April was, as usual, another busy month for us crazy Humanists and I'll probably forget something important in my summary. I just hope I'm forgiven by whoever organized the event that I forgot. If you're more interested in what's coming up than what's already happened, you can find a quick summary of upcoming events immediately below this column.
Events in April
Unfortunately for me (and Kevin Moriarty), our monthly Inquiring Minds Discussion Group happened to coincide with our participation in the annual "Phoenix Pride Parade" and I chose the later (more on that below). Kevin wanted to march in the parade as well but he chose instead to lead our always exciting discussion. The topic this time was "The Morality of Inaction". Sounds pretty straightforward doesn't it? Well, if you haven't been involved in one of these events, you might be surprised at how easily they can get way off the wall. I wish I could have done both! But I will be at the next one. As I've said before, if you haven't been to one of these, you really should try it.
Some of us did march in the annual "Phoenix Pride Parade" and wore our HSGP T-shirts with pride. We represented the allies of the LGBT community and it was probably one of the most interesting events that I've ever attended. Folks at this event were really self-expressing! And the turnout was incredible. I don't know the count, but it had to be in the several thousand in the parade itself and the sidewalks were literally packed with supporters. I believe the protesters numbered somewhere around 30 and they were entirely on one street corner. Everything stayed calm and festive and we had a blast. It took us a while, but we also found the SCAZ booth and table at the park festivities afterward and they were working hard (in the hot sun) keeping people informed about the non-theistic community as well. It was a very good day.
Our HSGP Humanities Project just doesn't let up! They had another five events this month, four of which were outings. At the monthly in-house meeting, our member David Archibald presented a "World Travel & Photography." He reviewed a trip that he and his wife made last year starting with some interactive audience participation that was a unique approach to an event like this. Each attendee read a paragraph written by either David or his wife about their journey to Norway, Russia, and Finland and that was quite interesting. Then he showed us some of the most beautiful photographs that I have ever seen of their travels. I was mesmerized. Finally he then had us list places that we would advise others to visit either in Arizona, the U.S., or the world. That discussion was very intriguing as well.This was a wonderful event and I won't forget it for a long time. It made me really feel the "wanderlust" of the Archibalds!
The outings this month included two poetry readings at the TCA Lounge with Michele Poulos and Jeredith Merrin, an "ASU Composers Concert at the Phoenix Art Museum", and a "Performance with a view: ASU Herberger String Quartet Lakeside" (I wish I had made that one - maybe next time). The Humanities group is certainly serving up some great events!
Our "Odyssey of the Mind" kids, that have been meeting every Sunday for several months, won second place in the State tournament in their division after having won Regionals prior to that. These kids are cookin'! A children's program will continue, on the Sunday's that we have a speaker event only, now that the team is resting from their great success. Thanks again to Brian Calaway, Tracy Trent, and all of the parents that were involved in this and are keeping up a program for the kids.
Our first Sunday speaker this month was Herb Silverman, who talked about his book "Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt.." Besides being the founder and President Emeritus of the Secular Coalition for America, Herb is a long standing powerhouse in the non-theistic community, founded at least two Humanist organizations, is on the board of the American Humanist Association, and is just a great speaker. His stories of his life and experiences were very entertaining and informative and the crowd just loved him. There's a great article about his talk on our main page, written by Linda Wendler, that you should read if you missed him. I really do hope that we can get him back someday in the future.
Game Night was another big success this month with an incredible turnout. It seems that we have a very enthused and dedicated game crowd now. Of course there's always more to it than games with this crowd with some pretty wild discussions as well. But this time, again, I got into a an interesting game that was ... shall we say ... a bit adult, and hilarious pretty much throughout the game. I won't go into details but I will tell you that this game is NOT FOR KIDS. :) Everybody else was having a blast again, as usual. And we had newcomers again who were made to feel immediately welcome. Consider joining us in May if you can.
Our second Sunday speaker this month was Dale Baich presenting "The Death Penalty in Arizona: Past, Present, and Future." Dale is the Asst Federal Public Defender - Capital Habeas Unit. His talk was anything but fun but that's to be expected considering the topic. His talk was extremely informative and very detailed about the history of the death penalty. Opinions vary as to the efficacy of the death penalty, or the humanity of it, and we touched on both and more. He was quite thorough and I did learn much about this always provocative topic.
The Book Club reviewed The way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler. I have not read this one but I gather it is a semi-autobiographical novel that exposes the hypocrisy of the Victorian era. It was written in the late 19th century but not published until 1903 and is considered one of the best English-language novels of the 20th century. The book club keeps on picking winners.
What Else Happened in April?
Planning is starting early this year for our "Year-end Activities" headed up by Rebecca Beltran and Ann Marie Eisentraut. It looks like we're going to do the "And now for something completely different" bit this year. I am very excited to get in on the planning and really looking forward to the results.
We also had three new ceiling fans installed on our patio and a mop rack that "you could hang an engine block on". :)
Last but not least, we have had some more changes in responsibilities. Our Communications Chair, LuAnn Dahlman, is formally handing over those reins to Linda Wendler and will then take on the task of bringing us a new "Science Night"!! We are all very excited about both transitions and what they hold for the future. Many thanks to LuAnn for her dedicated and skillful service as our Communications Chair since the beginning of 2012. She has done a remarkable job of organizing our website and newsletter and I know she will bring an exciting new element to HSGP with the new Science Night. Also, Linda has proven to be excellent at everything she does so we know we're in good hands there as well.
The statement that's only changing a little bit this time. I'm still loving every minute with this great organization and I'm sure there are many who don't yet know about us that would love it too. Please feel encouraged to tell anybody that you think would be interested about who we are and what we're about. I would really like to see HSGP grow and spread out!! As always, I, along with the rest of HSGP board, am interested in any feedback that you might have to share. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com. Also, find out who your board members and committee chairs are on the left side of this page and talk to them! Let them know what you think about the work that they are doing and what they are providing for HSGP. They put in a lot of hard work and would really like to hear what you think. Now, enjoy the rest of the newsletter!
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, Basha's and Fry's grocery stores both return a percentage of the money our members spend at their stores (see article at lower right for more information).
Last month, HSGP member and Professional Realtor Vici Duarte announced that she is offering a similar service. For any HSGP member, or anyone referred to her by an HSGP member, Vici will donate 10% of her net commission as their realtor to buy or sell a home using her services. If you plan to buy or sell a home, speak to Vici at any HSGP event, or contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also 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 Vici about setting up a similar agreement.
American Humanist Association 72nd Annual Conference
The AHA is proud to hold its 72nd Annual Conference in San Diego, CA, May 30-June 2, 2013 at the Bahia Resort Hotel. Details are available at conference.americanhumanist.org/
Upcoming Meetings and Topics
Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2010: With her wry humor and inextinguishable curiosity, Mary Roach has crafted her own quirky niche in the somewhat staid world of science writing, showing no fear (or shame) in the face of cadavers, ectoplasm, or sex. In Packing for Mars, Roach tackles the strange science of space travel, and the psychology, technology, and politics that go into sending a crew into orbit. Roach is unfailingly inquisitive (Why is it impolite for astronauts to float upside down during conversations? Just how smelly does a spacecraft get after a two week mission?), and she eagerly seeks out the stories that don't make it onto NASA's website--from SPCA-certified space suits for chimps, to the trial-and-error approach to crafting menus during the space program's early years (when the chefs are former livestock veterinarians, taste isn't high on the priority list). Packing for Mars is a book for grownups who still secretly dream of being astronauts, and Roach lives it up on their behalf--weightless in a C-9 aircraft, she just can't resist the opportunity to go "Supermanning" around the cabin. Her zeal for discovery, combined with her love of the absurd, amazing, and stranger-than-fiction, make Packing for Mars an uproarious trip into the world of space travel. --Lynette Mong
Have you ever learned a new word and then suddenly you hear that word everywhere?
What are the implications?
Does learning the name of a color change how you look at it?
What is language?
Do some languages make you smarter?
Is it hard to notice words that you don't know?
If you happen to use language, then come and share your experiences and insights for the benefit of the group.
Our game night club gives us a chance to get to know more people in our community as we have some fun and raise money to support the Humanist Community Center. Join our diverse group to play games such as Dominoes/Mexican Train, Bridge, Catchphrase, Taboo, Apples to Apples, Guesstures, or any other game you bring along. Please feel welcome to BYOB as well as any snacks you would like to enjoy or share.
If you use MeetUp, please consider RSVPing so we can see who is coming. And please consider bringing a $5 donation to help us fund our wonderful community center!
If you have questions or comments, send email to email@example.com.
Susan Sackett grew up in Connecticut and Florida and received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from the University of Florida in Gainesville (1964;1965). After teaching elementary school in Miami for two years, she moved to Los Angeles, where she taught for a short time. But her lifelong dream of working in Hollywood persisted, and she quit her teaching job to work in the entertainment industry.
In August 1974, she began an association with Gene Roddenberry, creator of the television legend Star Trek, serving as his personal executive assistant for over 17 years until his death in October 1991. She also served as his production assistant on the first Star Trek film and worked closely with him on the next five Star Trek movies. In addition, she served as Production Associate during the first five seasons of the television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation. Susan and her writing partner, Fred Bronson sold several stories and a teleplay to that series.
She is the author of 10 books, including her recent Star Trek memoir, Inside Trek (now available as an eBook at Amazon.com). Paperback copies will also be available at the meeting.
Humanism is of paramount interest in Susan's life. It was Gene Roddenberry who introduced Susan to Humanism. Realizing that she, too, was a Humanist, she joined the AHA in 1989. In 1994, Susan left California and relocated to Arizona, where she served as president of HSGP from 2000 to 2010. Thanks to her efforts, HSGP received "Chapter of the Year" from the American Humanist Association for 2001.
Since 2005, Susan has been on the Board of Directors of the Washington D.C.-based American Humanist Association, where she serves on the Executive Committee as Secretary, chairs the Awards Committee and serves on several other committees.
In August, 2011, she was elected a Vice President on the Executive Committee of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), which meets primarily in Europe six times a year.
Susan has been a Certified Humanist Celebrant since 2001. Her celebrant website is www.secularweddings-az.com
Visit her personal website at www.insidetrek.com
Note: The doors will open at 9:00am for breakfast and socializing. The meeting will officially start at 10:00am.
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.
For most of the month of May yours truly will be taking a much needed vacation lolling on the beaches of the Gulf Coast of Florida. Hope you all can manage to muddle through without me.
Before I go, I'd like to leave you with these words:
In continuing to address last year’s survey responses:
There were comments of HSGP having a “churchy” feeling. Well, the fact that we have our own “meeting hall” may make it feel that way. However, with a focus on socializing, education and exposure to the myriad facets of society, we can hardly be compared to a church. Nobody is being told how to think, feel or believe. We are freethinkers and free to think as individuals. We have varying interests and want to be involved, which is why HSGP hosts various programs and events.
Some people wanted more emphasis placed on non-belief systems. Others want to be able to discuss non-belief openly. Feel free to discuss away. I’ve personally shared my journey to non-belief and my current opinions about religion with numerous members. Previously I had made a comment about religion-bashing. My point was that as humanists perhaps we shouldn’t concentrate so much on militant religion-bashing as to serving the greater good of society.
There were those who suggested we host religious speakers to talk about their beliefs and religious customs. Okaaaay, now there’s a recipe for opening up a can of worms.
All in all, we are an interesting, eclectic group of highly intelligent people.
Please encourage people you know to visit our humanist community.
Welcome new members:
As always, contact me if you need any membership information or have a change of address, phone number, or email. Additionally, let me know if you would like to have an announcement published in this column.
Chair, Membership Committee
HSGP Service Outreach Project
Food and Water Drive
In our ongoing effort to support those in need in the Phoenix metro area, HSGP will be holding a summer-long food and water drive to benefit Tumbleweed Center For Youth Development and St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance. As the weather starts heating up, we will be collecting bottled water (individual sizes please) to benefit Tumbleweed. In addition, St. Mary’s has put out an urgent request for peanut butter, and they always have a need for other healthy sources of protein too (such as canned or dried beans and canned meat or fish). Please join us is helping these two organizations. If you want to learn how to help these organizations without putting too much of a dent in your wallet, come check out our Strategic Grocery Shopping Workshop on May 26th!>
Volunteering at St Mary's Food Bank
Saturday, May 25, 2013 - 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
HSGP is turning out to help fight hunger in Arizona. St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, the world's first food bank, is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization that alleviates hunger by efficiently gathering and distributing food to sites that serve the hungry. Serving two-thirds of Arizona's 15 counties, the organization is committed to volunteerism, building community relationships and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need. This will be our last visit to St. Mary’s until the fall, so please join us! For more details and to RSVP, visit the HSGP Meetup page.
Strategic Grocery Shopping Workshop
Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Would you like to coupon shop but not quite sure how? Interested in saving money on your grocery shopping? We will be offering a free coupon workshop for HSGP members and friends who are interested in using strategic shopping to either make better use of their own grocery budget or to help local charities. Not only will you will strategies to help with your own grocery bills, you can learn to shop smart to help your favorite local charities. For more details and to RSVP, visit the HSGP Meetup page.
Keeping Up With HSGP
Social Media Tips and Hints #2
by Jennifer White
Welcome to the second installment of my semi-regular article, with helpful hints for using Facebook and Meetup.
If you’ve been to Meetup lately, you may have noticed that our group page has a new, fresher look. On April 30, Meetup.com updated the colors and options for designing group pages. I chose a color palette that is very similar to the one we had before. Also, we now have the option of putting images in the background, which is pretty cool. I didn’t find an image that was suitable and not too busy-looking for our page, so I kept it simple. Check it out at Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix.
I hope you like it.
All the Meetup group pages have been updated, so see how all your groups have gotten face lifts.
Some other Meetup groups to check out:
Americans United of Greater Phoenix
FFRF Valley of the Sun
You can control who is able to see what’s on your facebook timeline, including your basic information, such as birthday, hometown, job, etc. Also, you can control who is able to see who your friends are. Some information you may want to be public, that is, available to anyone on the internet, and some you may only want to share with your facebook friends, or even a subset of them.
Go to your timeline and click on “Update Info” under your cover photo (the large photo on your timeline page). You’ll see boxes that contain different kinds of info for your timeline. Click on the “edit” button for each box to make any changes, and to select who can see that info. For instance, click the “edit” button in the “Work and Education” box. Next to each entry, you will see the audience that has been selected for that piece of information.
“Public” means everyone.
“Friends” means all your facebook friends.
“Friends except Acquaintances” excludes those people who you have labeled as acquaintances.
“Only Me” is obvious.
“Custom” means you can specify individuals or lists of people who can or can’t see it,.
And finally, you can choose a list that you have made, such as family, co-workers, club members, whatever.
After you are satisfied, click “Done Editing”.
Next time, I will talk about organizing your facebook friends into lists, making it easy to keep up and communicate directly with them.
For more information about controlling who sees what in your timeline, go to Facebook Help
HSGP Humanities Project Fundraiser
Books & Music Cart
HSGP's Humanities Project has introduced a Book & Music Cart for your shopping pleasure. Books on the cart are for sale (music coming soon) at a great price. The deals are even better on the 2-for-a-dollar bottom shelf (the ingenious installation of tap lights will help you explore what's available down there). The cart is parked 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 cart: 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 cart next time you're at the Humanist Community Center and consider buying or donating to this fun new effort.
“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
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 get a percentage of the money you spend.
To activate this no-cost-to-you revenue stream for HSGP, you need to pick up a Community Support Card for the store where you intend to shop. See Bruce Stiles for a Bashas' card, or Vici Duarte for Fry's cards. Once you've done your shopping and you're ready to pay for your groceries, use your credit card (or cash) to put cash value on your Community Support Card, and then use it to pay for your order. You can recharge your card at any time, and HSGP will receive a percentage of the money you spend.
If you shop at any of the 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 . |