Winter 2016 Newsletter

January SECOND Friday FreeUp: January 8 at Taste of India

HWF Food Distribution on January 16

Charlie Darwin Chili Cookoff : February 13

In This Issue...

• From the President 

• MLK National Day of Service, January 16: HWF-sponsored Food Distribution 

• Friday FreeUp January 8: What's on your mind? 

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


From the President...

Happy New Year 2016 to our members, associates, and friends.

           How were all your season's celebrations? Starting with Thanksgiving we humans have quite a number of things to celebrate during the final days of the year. For me the reason for the northern season's celebrations is the axial tilt that effects our length of daylight, and delightfully brings out all the lights and decorations to get us to the Solstice, and then the 12 days of Yuletide to the New Year. Many others celebrate in less natural ways. I hope the southern season's celebrations are because they realize the sun will not burn them up and the tilt will give them seasonal relief as the days pass, but I am not sure they are that natural either. Still, the best gift of New Year's is another year of living.

          So here comes the sun and the new year and we of the Teams that make things happen for HWF are busy planning. We are doing our monthly FreeUp on the 2nd Friday January 8th at the Taste of India on Gregory St. Pensacola, and we are introducing a discussion game where people put a card into the pile with a subject for discussion, the cards are shuffled, and then we go around the table with our opinions on the subject in 90 seconds. Come and try it out and watch for the announcements on the MeetUp sites. We will not have a FreeUp for February as we are planning a larger Reality Revival event for the celebration of Darwin Day. Charles birthday is February 12, and we are planning to celebrate on Saturday the 13th, with what we hope evolves into an annual Charlie Darwin Chili Cookoff. We have the Long Hollow Meeting room reserved so either warm up your crockpots, or come as a judge and you decide the winners. Also, we have David Beddick (Thor the Brewer) and now new micro brewery owner of  A Little Madness Brewery providing craft beers for us. We would like this annual event to grow and also be a fund raiser to support our community activities.

          Speaking of activities we have our third annual MLK National Day of Service Food Distribution happening on Saturday January 16 from 8 to noon at Attucks Court Federal Housing Development, 1300 N. G Street, Pensacola 32501. This is again done in partnership with the Escambia Area Housing Authority at a location of very low income, elderly and disabled. Many do not have transportation other than public, and bringing the food to them works better that making them get to some church's parking lot, and trying to carry boxes of food home. Come on out and join the work Crew — it is work, but rewarding to our personal sense of compassion for the needy.

           Back to events and  activities. The Board has given the Events Team the challenge to make four events happen each year, one each quarter in the second month of the quarter: February, the Charlie Darwin Chili Cookoff; May, the Tom Paine Reason picnic; August, the Madame Blavatsky Come-Fly-a-Kite Beach party; and November’s Carl Sagan picnic. We want to select these specific dates yearly and put them on the calendar, so we all know in advance when they’ll occur. We hope this helps in planning for all of us.

          Finally, we have decided to cut back on the newsletter and do the Human Element once per quarter. It will come out on the first of the new quarter and will have all the information about what's happening for the next months to come. We feel that most of us are keeping in touch via social media and the open rate on the newsletter was not great. We do hope more will read the quarterly issues, and we welcome your suggestions for how we can make the newsletters more useful and interesting to you. The next Human Element will be April Fools.

Thanks to all of you for a very good 2015, and again, Happy New Year!

Buz Ryland, President

Humanists of West Florida


MLK National Day of Service, January 16:

HWF-sponsored Food Distribution

We have a strong team signed up for the event on January 16, so all systems are "Go!". 

Want to do even more? We really need a Team Leader for our Food Distribution Team, to take point in arranging future food Distributions. Buz will walk you through the process, so don't worry that you'll have to reinvent the wheel. We've done a number of food distributions now and have the system down pat.

Contact Kay Rudolph at secretary@hwfl.org.


Cold Night Shelters need support

Cold night shelters have already been opened in the three counties (Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa) and at some point it's going to get cold here.

Father Nathan Monk at the The Beacon Shelter for Women and Families (2105 W Gregory St., Pensacola) has put out a call for supplies and volunteers. For more information on how you can help call (850) 454-9910, or visit https://www.facebook.com/TheBeaconPensacola/

Learn more about the local shelters and how you can help:

Escambia County: http://www.pnj.com/story/news/2015/11/23/cold-weather-shelter-helps-homeless-heatless/76227296/

Santa Rosa County: http://www.pnj.com/story/weather/2015/11/21/santa-rosa-county-opens-cold-weather-shelter/76169192/

Ft. Walton: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/article/20151124/NEWS/151129593


SECOND Friday FreeUp:

Open Discussion: What's on your mind?

Friday, January 8

6:00-9:00 pm

Taste of India

810 E Gregory St, Pensacola, FL 32502

Open discussion, with a twist: 
After our initial meet and greet, we'll pass around index cards for people to write out a question or comment,. Then Buz will read off each card one at a time and we'll have a round-the-table discussion about its topic -- limiting each speaker to 90 seconds at a shot -- until we wear out the topic, and then we'll go on to the next card. 
Check out Taste of India's menu at http://www.opentable.com/taste-of-india-pensacola 
(Don't feel obliged to order -- just come for the company!) 

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.


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!

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.