August 2017: Your Humanist Community and the West Valley Initiative

President’s Message

What’s new in August

Howdy my fellow Humanists! You’ve made it to August and we’re just getting warmed up, literally and figuratively. We’ve got many irons in the fire this upcoming month and we’re going to need you to make it happen. Before I get too far ahead of myself, I’d like to begin with our vision.

Building the community

Since before I stepped foot into the Humanist Community center in Mesa, I knew what I wanted. Freshly minted and outed as a non-believer, I did what most people do: find cool people and do fun things with them. Traditionally, this is a role that has been served by churches and other religious organizations, but religion does not hold the monopoly on services humans need to live happy lives. HSGP is an oasis here in Phoenix. It’s a pocket of fresh air and a fulfillment of our nature as social animals.

I believe many of us would agree with the declaration made in the Humanist Manifesto 3,

Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.

That’s who we are. That’s who we must be to greater numbers of people. A community is more than bricks and stone. More than a place to play games or hold lively debates, a community is a group of people who care for each other and want everybody to live fulfilling and happy lives. That’s who we are and we can do so much more. Therefore, I am pleased to present our newest program.

New! The West Valley Initiative

Recognizing our shared need for socialization and community, it is with great excitement that I announce our newest initiative: The West Valley Activities. I’ve started conducting research into the potential demand for events and the opportunity for a Humanist community in the west valley of Phoenix. The preliminary results are encouraging. There are several people in the west valley not only willing to attend events, but help lead them, too.

To that end, I’m putting together a small team to help establish a wing of the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix in the West Valley to help serve their need for community. We’re at a very special time in which the fastest growing religious demographic is the non-religious. I know that there are those of you out there who wish to create something amazing. Now is your chance. Send me a message and we will provide training and guidance to allow you to step into becoming the leaders that we need you to be. This is your opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the future of our community.

Newly minted non-believers and those of us who have left faith behind long ago need community. It’s an exciting time, ripe with opportunity and throngs of people excited to build the future. That’s where you come in.

The Path of Leadership: Board positions

The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix holds board elections every year. There are great opportunities to make a real difference and play a key role in growing our secular community here in Phoenix. Engines of change and progress are fueled by ideas, love, and passion for what you do.

This community has become my second home and my second family. I know there are others who feel the same. If you share my passion to ensure that our secular brothers and sisters have the same opportunity for community and friendship then we need you on our teams. We have board and leadership positions open to all qualified members of HSGP.

Everybody is encouraged to take part in leadership. It’s your organization, after all. You may run for any board position, however the following positions are expected (at the time of this writing) to be vacant during the next election:

  • Property Director
  • Program Director
  • Membership Director

We’re looking for people with ability and love for our community. Richard Dewey has graciously agreed to run our Nominations committee for the 2017 elections. We accept and encourage people from all backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses to take a more active role in guiding HSGP into the future. As evolution has demonstrated, diversity is strength. Please lend us your strength and tell Richard that you’d like to run for a board position, today!

Summer Socializing

Our calendars are overflowing with events! You asked and we listened. You wanted more opportunities to socialize outside of the community center and we’ve made that happen.

If you want to meet different people, please try one of our new HSGP outings, happy hours, or mingle nights. If you love them, please thank our host of these events, Sherry! She’s putting in a lot of hard work to ensure that each event is a success and that everybody has a chance to make a new friend. Show her your appreciation the next time you see her.

Consider joining us at our next event. Check Meetup for dates, times, and locations.

Like what we do? Leave a Facebook Review!

As the vaguely limerickal title implies, if you love what we do, please leave us a like and a review on our Facebook Page. These reviews help us get more recognition. Please feel free to be honest. We’re always willing to positively engage with criticism and make the community better for everybody.

Wrap up

One last bit of news. The only total solar eclipse to cross North America in nearly all of our lifetimes is August 21. Don’t miss it! Wear your eclipse glasses (never look at the sun!) and enjoy this, possibly, once in a lifetime experience!

That’s it! See you next time space cowboys and space cowgirls.

Message from the Membership Director

HSGP has begun using a new database which I am in the process of learning.  Due to this, my recent illnesses, numerous doctor and dentist visits, a vacation, and a partially disabled husband, I’ve gotten quite behind in my duties.  If you have joined or renewed dues since April and have not yet received your mailed acknowledgement, please email me.  If you’ve received duplicate correspondence, please excuse the error.

On that note, this old lady has been the Membership goddess for about eight years now.  It’s been an incredible experience.  I have so enjoyed this position of recognition, respect and popularity.  However, I feel the time has come to pass the torch to some fresh muscle and brainpower.

I’d like to begin training a new, younger, more technologically savvy person than myself.  This can be a two person position, along with a support team. I will be leaving the position at the end of 2017 and would really like to begin teaching a replacement as soon as possible.

The Membership Director position is a high profile and prestigious board position.  It has been my pleasure to serve in this capacity all these years.  If you would like to carry on the torch of soliciting and maintaining a membership that is hoped to become an integral part of creating a better world for all living things and the environment, please consider taking on this task.

I will continue to hold the monthly sleeping mats project, and be an active volunteer with HSGP.

Anyone interested should email me at to arrange a meeting.

Continuing Sleeping Mats Workshop:

This workshop is held on the second Saturday of every month, except December.  The next one will be held on Saturday, August 12. Here’s the link to my Meetup page,  Any questions can be sent to my email address located below beneath my name.  Please bring bags now, as our supply has shrunk a bit.

Don’t know how to crochet?  No problem.  You actually don’t have to crochet; you can just make “plarn” (plastic yarn).  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.  For those who want to crochet, you’ll need to bring a 10mm (size N) crochet hook.  I also have some 10mm hooks available for $5.00.

Come join us in this very worthy project.  Make new friends, have fun socializing, bring snacks, learn a new craft.


Optional request:  The HSGP Community Center is owned by the members.  Subsequently it takes money to run and maintain the center.  It would be greatly appreciated if you could see your way to place a small donation in the jar on the card table by the entrance door.

Welcome New Members:

Virginia Balogh

Maria Brown

Terry & Lisa Connacher

Monica Dame

Vince Gonzales

Charlie Morriss

Ron Russell

Walt and Yvonne Thome




Prior to every meeting and event a volunteer request is emailed and/or posted on Meetup with a link to SignUp Genius where you can schedule your volunteer choice and time.

If something comes up and you can’t commit to your volunteer choice, please let us know so we will know to compensate for the gap.  We so appreciate your willingness to volunteer.


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


Summary of August events at Humanist Community Center

TED Video and Interesting Topic Discussion Group    August 2, 7:00 PM

Inquiring Minds    August 5, 9:30 AM

Sunday Speaker: Changing Demographics in America and What that Means for Humanist Politicians    August 6, 10:00 am

Humanities Project:  Tell Us a Story    August 11, 7:00 PM

Crochet Sleeping Mats for the Homeless    August 12, noon

Game Night    August 12 6:30 PM

Philosophy under the Influence    August 13, 6:00 PM

Sunday Speaker:  Charter Schools Unraveled    August 20, 10:00 AM

Book Club: The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu    August 26, 10:00 AM

Philosophy under the Influence    August 27, 6:00 PM

Thought for August

We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to life when each arrives….. Gary Zukav (from