October 2015 Newsletter

October 2: First Friday FreeUp -- Building a secular community on the Gulf Coast

November 7: 2nd Annual Carl Sagan Cosmic Day of Honor Potluck Picnic! 

In This Issue...

• From the President

• Friday FreeUp October 2: Building a secular community on the Gulf Coast

• 2nd Annual Carl Sagan Cosmic Day of Honor Potluck PICNIC: November 7

• Want to get involved? Learn more about HWF Membership, Board and Committees


From the President...

Hello Members and Friends,

I want to say to you who missed Shelley Segal, you missed a wonderful evening. She did nearly a two-hour straight set of her original music all relating to our way of thinking, and it was great. I will remember it forever – to have been in such a small venue and up close to hear her lyrics and fine guitar was an extraordinary experience.

Sadly, we only had 12 attendees. Two who were from Mobile had heard her perform before and wanted  to hear her again -- that says something. And what was to be a fund raiser, was not, but thanks to a wonderful donation by a member, we could pay Shelley her fee, so we raised a small bit.

This leads me to ask you to come out to the Friday FreeUp at Sluggo's this Friday the 2nd at 6. We will be discussing “What do our members really want?”  We are wondering what things and events our members are interested in, because we are not getting the attendance that we hope for. Come and tell us your ideas, critique our current programs and events, and tell us what to do or where to go.

Finally, put our semi-annual potluck picnic on your calendar for Saturday November 7th at 4-7pm at Bayview Park, Pensacola, on the beautiful Bayou Texar. It is our Carl Sagan Cosmic Day of Honor. Come and remember a loved one or friend that is no longer with us.         

Thank you for your support, and best regards to you all,

Buz Ryland, President

Humanists of West Florida


Comments or Suggestions?

Please help us make this newsletter more useful and interesting by letting us know what you would like to read about. Send your comments and suggestions to secretary@hwlf.org. Thank you!


First Friday FreeUp:

Open Discussion: 

Building a secular community on the Gulf Coast

Friday, October 2

6:00-8:00 pm

Brainstorm: What's a "secular community"? Do we have one on the Gulf Coast? Do we need one? How would we go about building one? 
An interesting Patheos article (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/barrierbreaker/building-an-atheist-community-means-caring-about-the-people-in-it-not-just-holding-a-lack-of-belief-in-our-heads/) provides a lot of food for thought. 
Come join us for an open discussion. 
Explore, enlighten, vent, and reflect with other seculars, freethinkers, and humanists over a pint or a platter. Meet and Greet at 6:00 in the backroom at Sluggos, Pensacola. Note: Sluggo's is a VEGAN restaurant – that means no animal products. You can handle that for a night, right? (Try some Angry Orchard cider on tap!) Please place your orders as soon as you arrive, and let the servers know you'll be in the back room at the HWF FreeUp. We're informal – we each will eat as our meal arrives.

Sluggos menu (some items no longer available, but this gives you the gist) – http://sluggosmenu.blogspot.com/

Membership: Join or Renew

Membership makes it happen.

In addition to the work supporting the hungry and the homeless, HWF sponsors monthly FreeUps, Freethinker meetups, and periodic picnics and other social events to create a community where non-theists can meet others who share their life view. Through the Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason, HWF supported the “godless” billboards that were placed in Pensacola, Mobile, and Gulfport earlier this year, to let non-theists on the Coast know they aren’t alone. 

Your membership and your membership dues make HWF eligible to solicit donations and apply for grants from corporations and larger organizations like the American Humanist Association. Without your support, HWF won’t exist. Why does that matter? How is HWF different from the many other charitable organizations helping the needy on the Gulf Coast? Because of our stand that we’re doing good for our communities because it’s the rational, human thing to do. HWF’s purpose isn’t just to show compassion for the needy, but to demonstrate that compassion isn’t the sole property of religion. And because a person doesn’t need to believe in god to do good and to be good, there is no need for a state religion to dictate how we live and how we treat each other.

You can join by clicking the big red Membership button on the right, and then select whether you are a new or renewing member. You can pay online using PayPal, or you can send a check to Humanists of West Florida, P.O.Box 15328, Pensacola FL 32514. 

We're a 501c3 organization so your donations are tax deductible


HWF Board of Directors:

President/Treasurer: Buz Ryland, president@hwfl.org

Vice President: Suren Shah, vpres@hwfl.org

Secretary: Kay Rudolph, secretary@hwfl.org


Charles Stauffer, charles@hwfl.org

Sedona Strong, sedona@hwfl.org

Amanda Kondrat'yev, amanda@hwfl.org

Michael Kimball, michael@hwfl.org


Get Involved!


Want to get involved in some of our activities to help build the humanist community on the Gulf Coast? Contact the committee and team chairs and find out how you can help:

Programs, Projects, and Events (PPE) Committee – Buz Ryland (Chair), Suren Shah, Kay Rudolph, Sedona Strong

Civics and Government Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader): responsible for making sure our voice is heard in the public community, and promoting a positive image in the area.

Events and FreeUps Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader): responsible for making awesome, interesting and informative social gatherings, special events and picnics to further fellowship within the community.

Homeless and Hungry Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader): responsible for the homeless outreach programs and coordinating the mass distribution of food to low income families in the Gulf Coast area.

Young and Youth Team (Suren Shah, Team Leader): responsible for identifying strategies to help school children in the area, whether it be academically or with life coaching.


Finance, Fundraising, and Membership (FFM) Committee – Suren Shah (Chair), Buz Ryland, Amanda Kondrat'yev, Sedona Strong

Bylaw Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader):  responsible for reviewing the chapter’s bylaws.

Fundraising Team (Suren Shah, Team Leader): responsible for encouraging donations from individuals and businesses interested in supporting HWF.

Bylaw Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader):  responsible for reviewing the chapter’s bylaws.

Fundraising Team (Suren Shah, Team Leader): responsible for encouraging donations from individuals and businesses interested in supporting HWF.

Grant Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader): responsible for soliciting grants from organizations that support to vision of HWF.

Membership Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader): responsible for rallying the base and building our membership in HWF.


Communications, Connections, and Promotions (CCP) Committee – Kay Rudolph (Chair), Amanda Kondrat'yev, Michael Kimball, Charles Stauffer

Newsletter Team (Kay Rudolph, Team Leader): responsible for keeping our membership informed and active through monthly newsletters.

Publicity Team (Kay Rudolph, Team Leader): responsible for developing tools to publicize HWF to build membership and member involvement.

Social Media Team (Amanda Kondrat'yev, Team Leader): responsible for cultivating the conversation with the public and keeping our group relevant and fresh.

Website Management Team (Michael Kimball, Team Leader): responsible for designing and managing the humanistsofwestflorida.org website.

HWF Facebook Page

Follow us on Social Media:

Friend us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/humanistswfl/ and join in the conversations about how to create a just and sane society.

We also have a Meetup group where we coordinate our community service and social activities. Please join and sign up to receive emails notices to stay informed: http://www.meetup.com/Humanists-of-West-Florida-Community-Service 


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The Mission of the Humanists of West Florida

... is 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.