Humanists of West Florida

February 2015 Newsletter

First Friday FreeUp, Feb. 6!, Build a Garden for Homeless--Scheduled!, Adam Lee at USA

In This Issue...

• From the President

• First Friday FreeUp February 6! 

• GulfCoastCoR billboard update

• Opportunity is knocking! Satoshi Forest gardens, Adam Lee speaks at USA, Cold Weather Shelter continues to need supplies

• Get Involved! HWF Committee Action

• Want to attend and HWF Board Meetin?

• Your Board of Directors

• Partners for Secular Activism: Upcoming Classes Available


From the President...

Hello members, associates, and friends--

I want to write this month about the programs and projects we have. We have created seven Teams that are working to make our chapter a productive and effective actor in the public community, and for our own members and friends of our chapter community. Those Teams are Events, Food Distribution, FreeUps, Highway, Homeless, Invocations, and Mentoring.

Just this month your Food Distribution Team held our second distribution of food. It was held at the Woodland Hts. Community Center at the Pensacola Villages federal housing project and we served about 150 families approximately 10,000 pounds of food. This was done on the National Day of Service, honoring Martin Luther King Jr. We had 20 workers and I want to again thank you all for your service. It is my hope that we would do this every year on this same day. It is also my hope we could do another food distribution perhaps this summer in another low income and needy area. This is a Team that can have many people on it, so please volunteer to this team by emailing me at and when we start the next planning activities for it you will be notified and you can be a part of the process where your ideas can help us all.

Our Teams can use more members. The Event Team plans special events like live speakers, entertainers, and our picnics, etc. Do you have ideas or suggestions or can you help us with planning? Please join us.

Our FreeUp Team plans the monthly meetings we hold, usually on the first Friday of the month, where we offer a subject for discussion from TED Talks, or YouTubes, or a book. You could help this program with your ideas.

The Homeless Team has been doing things like handing out hygiene packets, counting the homeless, and this February we will build raised bed gardens. Do you want to help some of the most needy? You can join this Team and be notified when a project is happening and be involved in this “doing good.”

The newly created Mentoring Team can use more members to help the many students who need it. It was just reported in the PNJ that 34% leave high school in Escambia County without a diploma. One third of the students are not prepared for life. You can join this Team and help.
All Teams have a Team Leader who coordinates the actions. Almost all Team communication is done on line, so very few if any physical meetings. If you feel you could lead a Team please let us know. We can always use more leaders. So, please consider if one of these Teams is a place you can give of your skill and service and help your chapter continue “Building community for non-theists on the Gulf Coast.” Once again, you can join by emailing to
Thank you for your service,
Buz Ryland

Buz Ryland, President
Humanists of West Florida



First Friday FreeUp:

TED Talk: Are Faith and Reason Reconcilable?

Friday, February 6

5:45-7:00 pm 

Bayview Senior Center

2000 E. Lloyd, Pensacola, FL 32503

The Topic: "Are faith and reason reconcilable?"

Join the Humanists of West Florida at our monthly First Friday FreeUp for some thoughtful discussion to energize your weekend. This month we'll discuss whether faith and reason are reconcilable, after watching Bill Moyer interview Neil deGrasse Tyson on the subject. Come share your thoughts in an open forum!

Water and light snacks will be provided—you're welcome to bring snacks and beverages of your choosing--alcohol is permitted, please drink responsibly--PLEASE PLAN TO TAKE LEFTOVERS WHEN YOU LEAVE! Thank you!


GulfCoastCoR Billboards Update:

As we reported in a special update in January, the Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason, which HWF is a part of, put up four billboards between Mississippi and Florida. The billboards were delayed due to the local billboard companies stalling to keep us from putting them up. Unfortunately, they also took the billboards down two weeks early as well.

The United Coalition of Reason, the organization responsible for financing and making the signs happen, is in conversation with the billboard representatives about getting the billboards put back up for the remainder of the time that they had agreed to. At this time we do not know what the results of this will be, but will keep you informed.

After the billboards went up we did manage to gather a few people from some of the various groups represented by the GulfCoastCoR, to take a picture. It was a VERY cold and windy day, and also a weekday, so we just had a small group of people. We had hoped to do a larger photo shoot on a weekend. If the billboards DO go back up, please contact a GulfCoastCoR media representative if you would like to be notified of another photo shoot for the billboards. This was an historic event for our area!

Buz Ryland
Co-Coordinator and Media Rep. (Pensacola, FL)

Amanda Scott
Co-Coordinator and Media Rep. (Mobile, AL)

Corey Woerner
Media Rep. (Biloxi and Gulfport, MS)


Volunteer Op!

Saturday, February 21

Satoshi Forest-Gardens is ON!

On Satruday, February 21st the Homeless Team is bringing materials to Satoshi Gardens to build garden beds! We need YOUR help! We need muscle, and skill to build and plant these gardens. Contact Buz Ryland ASAP if you would like to help.


Secular Morality for the Modern Age

Atheist, Adam Lee, will deliver "Secular Morality for the Modern Age" in Mobile, AL.

Where: University of South Alabama, Humanities Auditorium, Room 170 
When: 6:00 pm Saturday, February 7th 2015 
Hosts: Jaguar Productions, USA Philosophers, and the Secular Student Alliance at USA 
Why: Where else can you join in and observe a public Q&A with an Atheist in the South?

Adam Lee advances the humanist philosophy through his book and blog titled Daylight Atheism which supports the secular viewpoint by arguing a non-religious view offers a liberating opportunity to live a moral, joyful, and purposeful life. Lee also writes for Salon, Patheos, Freethought Today, Canadian Freethinker, Free Inquiry, and Secular Future, among others.

Connect with Lee through his writings at Daylight Atheism via:

For information on the national Secular Student Alliance, visit:

Details of the USA Philosophers visit:

A group of people in the Humanists of West Florida and the Gulf Coast Freethinkers will be carpooling to this event. If you would like to attend and carpool, please join the GCFT meetup group to RSVP


Cold Weather Shelter UPDATE:

Nathan Monk continues to need volunteers to stay at the Women's Cold Weather Shelter during the time his shelter is open, from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m. There are two primary shifts, 6 p.m. - 12 a.m., and 12 a.m. - 8 a.m. If you are interested and able to stay at the shelter during this time frame, please contact Nathan Monk directly.

The shelter also needs:

• Eggs

• Breakfast meats

• Frozen breakfast sandwiches

• Pizzas

• Family sized meals

• Hot dogs

• Hamburger patties

If you would like to make a meal, get the large aluminum casserole dishes with the aluminum lids, fill them to the top, cover them completely in cling wrap and label them. This will feed about 20 people.

If you don't know what to buy or cook, Visa gift cards to buy supplies are also helpful. Please contact Monk by phone (850-454-9910) to schedule an appointment to drop off supplies, or come when the shelter is open from 6PM-8AM.


Want to attend a board meeting?

Members are welcome to attend our board meetings if interested in seeing the board at work, or would like to bring a matter to the board for consideration.

Our board of directors keeps VERY busy and needs to stay on task to prevent elongated board meetings. For that reason, the board asks that members who would like to attend let the President know a week ahead of time that they will be attending, and whether they would like to speak to the board, or just listen.

Visiting members are asked to wait until the facilitator asks them to present their questions or comments as per the agenda, and not interrupt during the meeting so that the board can stay within the 2-hour meeting scheduled.

The next board meeting is scheduled for February 15, 10:00 am. For more information please contact Buz Ryland at

HWF Board of Directors

President/Treasurer: Buz Ryland,

Vice President: Suren Shah,

Secretary: Kay Rudolf,


Charles Stauffer,

Sedona Strong,

Amanda Kondrat'yev,

Michael Kimball,

Become an HWF Member!

Here's a list of some of the things we've done so far:

• Gave out Personal Care Packets for the Homeless

• Adopted 2 miles of Nine Mile Road for beautification

• Purchased and gave out 15000 pounds of food to families in need

• Began monthly FreeUps to build social community and spark discussion

• Received $1500 grant from AHA

• Received several generous donations from local businesses and individuals

• We'd like to do so much more, but we need YOUR help! Come join us!


Partners for Secular Activism

Partners for Secular Activism is a new nonprofit educational organization based in the Washington DC area. The PSA President is John Shook, PhD., and you can email him at

The mission of Partners for Secular Activism is to facilitate education about secular, scientific, and civic issues and activities for the public. By bringing knowledgeable scholars and expert communicators together with audiences wanting more information about issues that matter to their lives, we will elevate the general understanding of reasoning, science, civics, ethics, and topical issues affecting the public. Courses announced by PSA are open to anyone, and they deliver educational value for everyone. (

Online classes for February:

Online classes for December and January are announced at and MindfulPathsFor.Us

Discounts are available for forums and workshops! Use the discount code 123645 to get $10 off when registering.

February WebinarIntro to Biblical Scholarship on the New Testament, with Dr. Richard Carrier  – $59

February ForumChristianity is Not Great, with John Loftus  – $59

6-month WorkshopBecome a Humanist Celebrant, with Han Hills, Professional Celebrant  – $59

These one-month classes are accessible online 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when you have some time. There's nothing 'live' to be missed, and you aren’t using video, just text-based forums. Instructors respond individually to all questions and love extended conversations. Sign up for email alerts about coming classes at

-- Partners for Secular Activism is a 501c3 nonprofit educational organization, founded in January 2014.

Know someone interested in earning a master’s degree? The ‘Science and the Public’ program from the University at Buffalo, NY, is a part-time and completely online Masters of Education degree. This is America's only entirely online program for the secular promotion of science and science-based policy - go to


Would you like to guest post in our newsletter or our blog?

We want to keep our newsletter informative, and local. If you are interested in writing about local events and activities, inform readers about local personalities activities in our greater communities, or even have photos or artwork related to humanism you'd like to share, please submit your 500 words or less article by the 20th of each month for consideration. (Not all submissions will be published, depending on the space available.)

HWF Facebook Page

How are we using Social Media?

We now have a Facebook group!

If you hang out on Facebook, please come join us for conversation!

We also have a Meetup group to schedule our community service projects so please join it and choose to receive emails from that group if you'd like to participate! 

Also, please "like" our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, circle us on Google+ (follow links below)!


Please share this newsletter with anyone you think might be interested! If you look at the top of this newsletter in your email box, you should see a link that says, "Display problems? View this newsletter in your browser." Click that link and when it opens in your browser, copy and paste it into an email or on Facebook or other favorite social media.

Not a member yet? Join us today!

Like what we're doing and want to help HWF out financially? We're a 501c3 organization so your donations are tax deductible! Thank you!


The Mission of the Humanists of West Florida... to facilitate the advancement of humanist thought and action in Pensacola and surrounding areas by interconnecting groups of humanists, atheists, agnostics and non-religious. We will strive for equal participation in government and societal life through building strategic partnerships with other humanist and freethought organizations and with our religious neighbors to advance the greater good of humanity.