Fall 2016 Newsletter

Friday FreeUp: October 7 at Xiscali in Pensacola

Freethinkers MeetUp October 21 at Bonelli's Cafe Italia

Carl Sagan Cosmic Day of Remembrance Pot Luck Pic-Nic November 12

In This Issue...

• From the President 

• Friday FreeUp October 7th: A "Spirited" Discussion 

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


From the President...

Happy Halloween all you heathens,

 Well, our first quarter of this operating year is past and it was a quiet one.

The Board of Directors changed a bit, with Michael Kimball graduating from UWF and heading off to Orlando. Congratulations, Michael, and thank you for being a wonderful member of the Board and the Communication Committee. The Board has new a member, Sandy Carroll, now serving with us. Thank you, Sandy! The Board met in July and installed officers, and once again I am president – but I do hope this will change next year. Sandy Carroll has accepted the VP office, Kay Rudolph is again Secretary and I also remain as Treasurer. The Board meets quarterly (so not too often), but I will remind you that the real work to make this chapter go is at the Team level. You can see the four Program Teams on our website at www.humanistsofwestflorida.org. Thanks to all of you who serve on a Team of HWF! You make it all happen. 

The month of August we planned on a new theme event we call the “Emilie Du Chatelet Come-Fly-a-Kite Ideas Party” at the beach, where our goal is to let fly metaphorical kite ideas as well as fly some real kites. Weather interrupted this event so it was postponed to September 25th. We held it last Sunday and kids and adults built their own kites and flew them on Pensacola Beach. A nice thing about these events is we get to meet new folks, and this event brought us six new people who attended after seeing the MeetUp posting. Although it was a record setting 96 degrees it was reasonably comfortable on the beach with a decent breeze. I think, however, that next year I will suggest we hold the Ideas Retreat indoors and just fly brain-mind kites only.

For the upcoming quarter the Board will meet in early October, and our main event of the quarter will be the “Carl Sagan Cosmic Day of Remembrance” picnic – to be held this year at the beautiful Shoreline Park South picnic gazebo on the Santa Rosa Sound in Gulf Breeze across from the Community Center at 800 Shoreline Dr. The park is very nice and has horseshoes, volleyball, and a kids’ shallow swim area right at our location. Please watch for this event coming on Saturday November 12. In December watch for Human Light Day to brighten the season with reason on December 23, in between all the other celebrations going on.

In the meantime, please watch for our monthly FreeUps on the first Friday of each month. We meet at a restaurant at 6pm and have an hour for eating and chatting, but don't start the “formal” programs until 7; these go on till about 9 pm. So if you need to skip the dining out, please still come by at 7 pm and catch the lively discussions. Watch for these on our Facebook page, MeetUp site, and our website calendar.

Thanks for your continued support in our mission to build a community on the Gulf Coast!

Buz Ryland, President.




First Friday FreeUp: A "spirited"­ discussion

Friday, October 7

6:00-9:00 pm

Xiscali Mexican Restaurant (former location of Hall's Seafood)

920 E. Gregory St., Pensacola, FL
Phone: (850) 435-2907

Word of the Month is "spirit.". "We have the Spirit," spirits, spiritual, spirited, spiritful, Holy Spirit, whole e spirit, Halloween spirit, the Spirit of St. Louis, and Spiritus, just to name a few uses. Let's try and define our own terms and see what a Humanist can call it. It would be interesting hear people's ideas on what being spiritual means to them. Religions have hijacked that term, just like they've hijacked celebrations like solstice and equinox. But Humanists and atheists use the the term without connection to religion. When the spirit moves YOU, what's going on?

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 in 2015, 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: Sandy Carroll, vpres@hwfl.org

Secretary: Kay Rudolph, secretary@hwfl.org


Suren Shah, suren@hwfl.org 

Charles Stauffer, charles@hwfl.org

Sedona Strong, sedona@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.

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 


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 the URL into an email or to Facebook or other favorite social media.


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.