Jul 062014
 
Caring for Alberta's Highways: Society of Edmonton Atheists

Caring for Alberta’s Highways: Society of Edmonton Atheists

A few years ago, the SEA adopted a section of the QE II highway; we make sure it gets cleaned, and the province puts our name on a sign. The first set of days we’re cleaning this year is this Saturday and Sunday, from 9-11:30am (the early times avoid us being out there when it’s sweltering hot).

If you can offer a carpool, or need a carpool, please contact us, or if you’re on the Facebook group, post a notice on the event (Saturday, Sunday)

Meeting Location, 9am:
South end of the Sparrow Drive Service Road in Nisku, at the cul-de-sac just south of the Blackjacks Roadhouse.

SEA will supply:

  • Safety vests (but please bring one if you have one)
  • Water
  • Garbage Bags
  • Some work gloves (bring your own if you have a pair)

Volunteers should bring:

  • Ski pole, or stick with nail on end to pick up garbage
  • Sunscreen/hat/sunglasses – be prepared for the weather
  • Bug spray
  • Work gloves (latex gloves are not suitable)
Jun 182014
 

For awhile now we have been asking for submissions for our website, stories about your deconversion or anything creative you would like to share with us like drawings or poems.    A lady named Sharon came by book club one night to pass along her story to me, and it reminded me a lot of how we all take different types of journeys on our way to atheism.   Sharon isn’t quite in the atheist camp yet, but has left her Christianity behind.  While reading this I tried to relate to the stages I went through (even though I was never a Christian I did believe in ghosts/supernatural/afterlife at one point).   Can you remember a stage like that for you?  What helped you move from agnostic to atheist?   Did it take you a longer time to let go of the idea of a ”soul” and than the idea of a God?  If you consider yourself agnostic, does any of this resonate with you, or do you have a different view?

Here is her story, which I’m sure is always subject to change as she leaves her faith behind.  Thank you for sharing with us Sharon!

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Continue reading »

 Posted by at 9:10 AM
Jun 152014
 

Summer Solstice Party bannerThe summer solstice is almost here again! Officially, it’s Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 4:51 AM in Edmonton. Since we’re a fan of picnics and potlucks, we’ll be celebrating it about 12 hours later in Coronation Park.

Where: The location is the RED canopy (Site #1) at Coronation Park (between Westmount Mall and Telus World of Science). Click here for a map. Parking is by the community hall on the north end of the park, however, you can drive around the loop and drop things off at the picnic site.

When: Saturday, June 21, starting a 4pm, and continuing until everyone leaves. We have a canopy, so this will be rain or shine. As last year demonstrated, even if Old Strathcona is experienceing torrential downpours and high winds, Coronation Park can have lovely weather.

What: Since this a potluck, picnic, fun social time, and all that good stuff, here’s what you should bring:

  • Hat, sunscreen, bug spray and other weather-appropriate summer items
  • Food: bring about as much food and non-alcoholic beverages as you think you (or you and your family) will eat over a course of a few hours. Salads, snacks, dips, desserts, and cold casseroles, and other typical potluck foods are great. Don’t worry too much about whether there will be duplicate dishes, we’ve never had a problem yet.
  • BBQ: There are wood BBQs and fire pits, so feel free to bring your own meat or veggies to cook up. Please remember to bring fire-safe utensils for cooking it.
  • Games: bubbles, balls, croquet, kites, whatever you think would be fun.

The SEA will provide disposable plates, cups, utensils, and napkins for everyone, although you can bring your own if you really want. We’ll also have a scavenger hunt for the younger kids, like last year.

Help: We will need a few volunteers. Please contact us if you can help with one of these:

  • A cooler with ice for drinks
  • A cooler with ice for meats, or other perishables
  • Some firewood, kindling, and lighter (not a lot, think file-box sized)
  • Help during the picnic with the scavenger hunt

 

 

 

Jun 082014
 

Pride 2

Another year, another great parade!    Our new Flying Spaghetti Monster made his debut this year at the parade and although his noodleness did lose his hat in the rainstorm (and a few noodles, which we will re-attach),  we managed to make it to the end with smiles the entire way.   A shout out to Nathan Phelps for coming up from Calgary to march with us too, what an honour!

Pride 1

At the booth, the wheel of statistical probabilities was a hit again this year.  We upgraded to a proper wheel this time and you could win a hug from an atheist, candy or a FSM blessing.  New pamphlets were available as well as all our usual merchandise, and the booth was pretty busy for the bulk of the day.    Overall, a very successful and fun filled day.

A big thank you to those that marched in the parade, those that helped at the booth and those that cheered from the crowd,  it was a whole lot of fun and we look forward to next year!

 Posted by at 11:25 PM
Jun 042014
 

Together In Pride
On Saturday June 7th we will be participating in the Pride Parade here in Edmonton.   The muster point for those of you marching with us is at 102 ave and 108 street and you’ll need to arrive by 11:30am.      Please wear a brightly coloured shirt and whatever else you may need to deal with the weather on the day.   We are carrying the Flying Spaghetti Monster so will need some volunteers to help and others of us can carry signs or wave around noodly ribbon appendages.   We are not allowed to give away any food or throw things like confetti, so please don’t bring anything like that.  Bubbles might be okay though   ;)   Have fun, smile and engage the crowd!    If you want to be in the crowd and watch the parade that’s great too, just don’t forget to cheer for us and if you have a camera take plenty of pictures.

PRIDE MAP

After the parade we have a booth set up in Churchill Square.  We will have the ”statistical wheel of probabilities” again where you can spin to win things like FSM blessings and hugs.  We’ll have new pamphets and info available as well as merchandise for sale.     Drop by and say hello!

BOOTH LOCATION

We are also pleased to announce that Nathan Phelps (son of Fred Phelps from Westboro Baptist Church) is coming up to march with us.   After leaving the church at 18,  Nathan became a strong advocate for the LGBT community and is also a vocal atheist.    We are more than excited to have him join us this year!   His newest project has just been announced this week,  a documentary of his journey.  Check out the kickstarter page and trailer ”NOT My Father’s Son”

See you on Saturday!

 Posted by at 12:09 PM
Jun 032014
 

Unfortunately our guest speaker scheduled to come talk about Buddhism tonight is in bed with the flu.  Rather than spread his germs around we are going to postpone his talk and have a discussion about something else instead.

Right now, we are leaning towards a discussion that will touch on the David Silverman event and the topics he raised, discussing what it means to be an  ”out atheist”  and the differences in how we go about that.   Firebrand or Diplomat: Which are you? While  “firebrands” may favor a more passionate, confrontational approach, speaking directly about absurdities and contradictions of religious institutions, “diplomats” prefer a more respectful, more sympathetic, less confrontational approach towards religion and religious beliefs. Is one view better than the other? Do these two views compliment each other? How do we work together within our own movement despite our different approaches?

Hope to see you out!    Stanley Milner Library, tonight at 7pm, in the Centennial room which is on the lower floor.

Karen Kerr, President
LOGO updated 2013

 Posted by at 3:33 PM
May 292014
 

The Society of Edmonton Atheists have some big plans this year and we kicked off our fundraising event last night at the David Silverman event.

Our original goal was to have an ad that said ”Don’t Believe In God? You Are Not Alone” but after some discussions with David there are some valid reasons that isn’t the best message for the price tag involved. We need to have something that is new, something that stands out a bit and will get us some additional media attention.   On top of that it was pointed out that message has been used by relgious people :  ”Don’t believe in God?  You’re not alone…I had doubts once too”

All this being said, there are a few points we need to understand about advertising here in Alberta.  The Pattison group own the rights to the bus ads in Edmonton, and Jim Pattison is a Christian.  They originally classed us in the advocacy category, and then after some questions they changed their mind (but did not tell us why).  If we go with a stronger message we may get pushed back to advocacy, a price tag we can’t afford.   So, we’re awaiting clarification of our quote to see if a wording change will make a difference.

David and I, brainstorming, came up with this bus ad idea  (bear in mind this is an early mock up, fine tuning certainly has not happened, and it’s just an idea):

Godless ad 4

So, we are now awaiting some information from Pattison.  Will the new wording put us back into advocacy and can they explain exactly why?  If so, would changing the word IS to AND be acceptable?  Do the members agree to this ad?  There are all sorts of things that need to be discussed before we can move forward on the actual art work and message….and before any of those details are hashed out we have to raise the money.

We are working with a goal of $8,000 which was our original quote for the first bus ad wording.  If you are interested in helping we’ll be accepting donations at all events (just find a board member) or you can use our donation button  and let us know in the notes section you are donating towards the bus ads specifically.

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We appreciate every amount!  Thanks for helping to support SEA and get the message out to other atheists that we’re here and that they aren’t alone!

 Posted by at 8:02 PM
May 232014
 

Alexander Delorme is the current President of the University of Alberta Atheists and Agnostics group.  He accompanied our car pool to Kamloops for the Imagine No Religion conference that was held last weekend and he has shared some thoughts on the event.
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I spent this past weekend in Kamloops, British Columbia, at the Imagine No Religion 4 conference. This annual conference is propped up by a number of Canadian humanist and secular organizations, and consistently features an A-list lineup of speakers. This year’s speakers offered a wide range of topics, from evolution to rhetoric to popular culture, and effortlessly entertained the crowd with natural and engaging stage-presence. Perhaps most wonderful about the conference, however, was the opportunity to meet friendly and thoughtful people and to forge boundary-defying bonds with freethinkers, scientists and philosophers of all stripes.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 9:54 AM
May 222014
 

There have been some changes to the way Pride is being run this year and all volunteers are required to sign a waiver/release form PRIOR to the event.   Please note if you are still unsure if you can make it but are hoping to, you CANNOT sign it on the day of the parade.   I’d rather have too many signatures than the other way around.  Please note this needs to be submitted by June 1st.

  1. Waivers must be signed by all people in your entry and submitted prior to June 1st 2014 .  This is crucially important as your parade package will be based on the number of signatures on your waiver.  If you do not return the waiver you will not be allowed to participate in the parade. A single waiver may be used for multiple signatures.    Signatures must be dated and have the signator print their name beside their signature.

You can send us a signed copy via email (scanned copy) to info@edmontonatheists.ca or to any board members you know via email or facebook.  Alternatively, we will have it available in person at LogiCON on Saturday May 24th,  brunch on Sunday 25th, at book club on the 25th, and at the David Silverman event on Wednesday 28th.   If none of these options work for you please get in touch with a board member and we’ll see what we can arrange.

Click this link to download the release form.  You are required to enter your name, signature and date on page two of this document

Waiver and Release Form

Please dress in colourful clothing, and try to avoid t-shirts with messaging on them.   We have a few hand held signs but if you plan on bringing your own please be aware that the SEA board will have final say on whether it can be included (there are much stricter rules this year and we do not want to offend or risk not being allowed to participate).

Thanks everyone, we’re looking forward to showing our support and having plenty of fun at the Edmonton Pride Parade 2014!

 Posted by at 12:03 PM