More than Brunch on Sundays for Nonbelievers

Post 17 of 40 of the Humanist Lent Writing Project

Sundays might either be really amazing or pretty boring for folks that don’t believe in Gods depening on your perspective. Sure you can sleep in, or go to brunch but what else do you do when a significant percentage of other people are off at a church or other Sunday morning religious service?

Side Note: While the  figure is 40% for average American weekly church attendance, that might be highly over reported so you might not be alone in wanting to sleep in.

Sundays have a lot of options, but beyond that one day a week there are lots of other opportunities to join up with freethinking crowds all across Minnesota.

Check out the highlights below for the first half of April. More events and event details can be found on the events calendar. Don’t forget there are also two big freethinker conferences happening in April as well!

April 1-15 Event Highlights

  • Sunday, April 3, 9-11am
    Lake Superior Freethinkers Monthly Meeting | Duluth, MN
  • Sunday, April 3, 10:30-11:30am
    FUS Service: Spirituality for Skeptics | Minneapolis, MN
  • Thursday, April 7, 7-8pm
    Humanists of Minnesota presents “Corporate Personhood” | Minneapolis, MN
  • Thursday, April 14, 5pm
    Drinking Skeptically | Minneapolis, MN
  • Thursday, April 14, 6:30pm
    Rochester Area Freethinkers Monthly Meeting | Rochester, MN

All events I know about for the first half of April are online now. If you know of any I missed drop them in the comments. I will be adding the rest of April and beyond in coming days.


Why I’m a Lifelong Nonprofiteer

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Conference in Texas

Post 9 of 40 of the Humanist Lent Writing Project

A while back now a good friend of mine Cary Walski presented at the 2010 Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Technology and Communications Conference. She spoke about Metrics that Matter. In the presentation I was interviewed about my work at my former job (First Universalist Church of Minneapolis) and the amazing Laura Matanah was interviewed about Rainbow Rumpus: the online magazine for youth with LGBT parent (of which I am a board member).

This got me thinking about how people tie together different communities and work in the nonprofit sector. I give, volunteer, or work for nonprofit organizations that cover: unitarain universalist communities, jewish communities, LGBT communities, humanist communities, atheist communities, higher education, and more.

Many of these organizations don’t work together in any real way but they are all advancing things that matter to me. At their core I see these and many more nonprofits advancing the ability to make choices for yourself and to make connections to people that might otherwise be hard to find. I see a parallel here to the debate going on at the federal level in defunding public broadcasting. I know myself and other liberal friends of mine have been thinking about do we want things like NPR funded because we like them or because they really should? A friend posted something about this that I hadn’t thought of coming from Minneapolis, home of Minnesota Public Radio — for smaller communities public broadcasting is sometimes the only source for news. I have many ways to get to information in my life but others do not. When it comes down to it, that is why I love being in the nonprofit sector, the organizations I give my time, treasure, and talent to are creating opportunities for people learn, grow, and build community where they couldn’t before.

The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance. – Benjamin Franklin

Minnesota Freethought Organizations

Post 5 of 40 of the Humanist Lent Writing Project

Minnesota has many organizations that support individuals who are nonbelievers. There are meet ups, Sunday gatherings, rallies, coffee nights, seasonal celebrations, book groups, bake sales, happy hours, even a summer camp! All of these organizations operate around the state. Most are based in the Twin Cities area but not all. If you have any additions, please make a comment on this post with the information or email me:

I will be posting in the future about national organizations, conferences, and blogs. Stay tuned.

In the Twin Cities area:

Atheists for Human Rights –
Atheism accepts the natural world as all there is. To live without god beliefs is intellectually stimulating. To find one’s own purpose and be responsible for one’s own life is exciting. To be free of the imagined surveillance of good and evil spirits is liberating. To seek a peaceful world through work and friendship and civic action is life-affirming. – Marie Alena Castle, March, 1994

C.A.S.H.  Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists –
The Best Damned Group On Campus Since 1991:
Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists (formerly Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists) is a registered student organization at the University of Minnesota. We strive to create a community for atheist, agnostic, humanist, and other freethinking individuals. Our meetings are held each Thursday night at 7:00 PM, usually on the East Bank campus in Coffman Memorial Union. Attendance and membership are open to the public and encouraged amongst students and the community, regardless of religious or political ascriptions.

First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis –
The First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, established in 1881 and affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association of North America, is an ethical and liberal religious community dedicated to promoting the ongoing search for truth and to affirming the inherent worth of the individual. We understand reality through human
experience, enlightened reason, scientific method, and the democratic process, and we find the central source of power and goodness within the human heart, mind, and spirit. Individually and collectively, we assume responsibility for our future, our community, our children, and our interdependent world.Our growth and actions as thoughtful, compassionate, and ethical human beings advance our humanist vision of a world of peace and love, dignity and equality, freedom and justice.

Humanist of Minnesota –
Humanists of Minnesota is a nonprofit educational corporation and has been granted a 501(c)(3) tax exemption as an educational, scientific and charitable organization.

Minnesota Atheists –
Minnesota Atheists is Minnesota’s oldest and largest atheist organization. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization that seeks to promote the positive contributions of atheism to society and to maintain separation of state and church.

Or Emet, Minnesota Congregation for Humanistic Judaism –
Humanistic Judaism celebrates Jewish culture and identity.Humanistic Judaism affirms the right of individuals to shape their lives independent of supernatural authority.Jewish history chronicles our continuing struggle for human dignity. Its outcome depends on human decisions and actions.We acknowledge that our Jewish heritage is a primary source for our ethics and commitment to tikkun olam (repairing the world). We create humanistic Jewish rituals and services that reflect the ethical core of Jewish history, literature and culture. We celebrate the major Jewish holidays.

Outside the Twin Cities:

Camp Quest of Minnesota –
Camp Quest of Minnesota is affiliated with National Camp Quest (Ohio), the first secular summer camp for youth in the history of the United States. Camp Quest was specifically designed for children of Unitarians, atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, humanists, or whatever terms might be applied to those who maintain a naturalistic, not supernaturalistic, world view. Our campers are girls and boys ages 8-15. We offer a Counselor in Training Program for 16 and 17 year olds.

Central MN Friends Free of Theism –
Central Minnesota Friends Free of Theism began in August of 1997 with support from Minnesota Atheists and ACLU of Minnesota. We’ve been meeting in a friendly, round-table atmosphere ever since, discussing rationalism, humanism, and atheism as it pertains to our daily lives and the world.

Lake Superior Freethinkers –
Lake Superior Freethinkers is a friendship group in support of: Rational thought, Morality without superstition, Freedom from religion, Separation of church and state. We are a gathering of Minnesota and Wisconsin atheists, freethinkers, skeptics, and humanists.

Red River Freethinkers –
Located in Fargo-Moorhead area. To promote freethinking through education and activism.