Apr 122018
 

Thanks to everyone who came out to our Annual General Meeting and helped shape the next year for our Society.   We are adding a quarterly volunteer event at the Food Bank, we will be having a 10 year anniversary party/1 year memorial for Michael Vester this year, and look forward to continuing to share events with other local like minded groups, including the Secular Humanists, Secular Ethics group in Stony Plain, and the Unitarian Churches in the city.   We also voted to include a low-income membership, on a case by case basis.  This will be added to our website soon.

A few bylaw concerns came up during the meeting, which we were too late to vote on that night as members need prior notice, however, we did work on the re-wording and will have an General Meeting prior to the next round table event in May to quickly vote on these so they can be submitted this year with our filing.  This would allow us to implement them for next April’s AGM.
Our current bylaws allow us to have one person sit as Treasurer and Secretary, which we wanted to update.   You can find the proposed changes in red here:   2018-BYLAWS PROPOSED CHANGES (changes include adding line 34, removing line 37,  updating line 43 and adding a word to line 46.)

A big thank you to our previous board members and congratulations to your new 2018-2019 board!

 Posted by at 10:58 AM
Feb 282018
 

In the spring of 2015 my son was enrolled at Sir George Simpson school in St. Albert, and we had an email message sent to all parents about sex education classes that would be offered.   At the time, I was already aware of the issues with the Pregnancy Care Centre providing abstinence-only based sex ed classes, due to the stories out of Edmonton, where they were banned from presenting.  I immediately contacted the Principal of the school to express my concerns and to withdraw my consent from my son participating. I made it quite clear that I was not withdrawing consent because I was not willing to allow him a proper sex education, but rather that this was NOT a proper sex education and that instead I would be teaching him at home.

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 Posted by at 5:16 PM
Oct 242017
 

Join us on Saturday October 28th, 7pm for this special event!
University Campus, Alberta School of Business
Room 1-6

Dr Elliot Hanowski works at the University of Manitoba Libraries, and will be coming to talk to us about the History of Activist Atheism and Humanism in Canada. He is one of the founding members of the International Society for Historians of Atheism, Secularism and Humanism (ISHASH) which brings together historians worldwide who are contributing to this growing field. He is also an editor with the journal Secularism and Nonreligion.

Free event, although ticket-by-donation would be appreciated (suggested: $5 students and SEA Members, $10 everyone else)

 

 Posted by at 9:40 AM
Sep 082017
 

The Society of Edmonton Atheists has submitted a letter of support to review and amend the current Bill C-14 legislation on your behalf.  We would urge anyone that feels strongly that advanced directives, severe mental illness, or mature minors who would fulfill the requirements for MAID if they were older, should be included under this legislation, to also submit personal stories of support.

From the Dying With Dignity website:

Dying With Dignity Canada has called for the CCA to consult Canadians directly about how the current assisted dying framework affects their right to choice. Unfortunately, the CCA has opted only to consult “groups and organizations affected by, or involved in MAID.” Submissions may only be 1,000 words long, which is not enough space to detail how the federal assisted dying rules unfairly discriminate against particular groups of suffering Canadians.

However, there is no limit on the amount of “evidence” (such as academic research, historical documents, traditional knowledge and court decisions) that can be included as attachments. This got us thinking: Don’t the personal stories of our supporters count as evidence? Of course they do. In fact, the experiences of individuals who have cared for someone who was denied choice, or who fear they may be denied their right to choice themselves, should be at the heart of any major policy discussion about the future of assisted dying in Canada.

Voice Your Choice by Sept. 15!   Submit it by email to consultation@dyingwithdignity.ca.

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 Posted by at 8:57 AM
Sep 072017
 

It’s back to school time and we cleared out all my kids closets to find a few bags worth of clothes they have outgrown.  I’m offering to collect that old shirt that you have meaning to donate or that pair of jeans that don’t fit anymore and you want to give away on Sunday night at our Coffee Night event.  Coffee Night is usually the 2nd Sunday of the month, at the Second Cup at Oliver Square from 7pm – 9pmish (sometimes 10pm).  Come when you can, you don’t have to be there right at 7pm.

Where will you be donating the clothing?
I’ll be taking our donations to Big Sisters and Big Brothers of Edmonton


So, why Big Sisters/Big Brothers? 
This non-profit has always been a favourite of mine, their mentoring program really can change the lives of the youth involved.   At 16 years old I called to volunteer, to be told I had to wait until I was older. Literally, on my 18th birthday, I called back and went through all their mentor training, and was matched up with a lovely young girl who shared interests in singing and acting with me.  We were matched up for 7 years until she finally became too old to be a ”little” anymore.   To this day we are still friends and in 2010 I attended her wedding!

Does it have to be kids clothes?
Nope, I believe they use what they require for lower-income families in their own organization, but the rest is sold to thrift stores at a set price per weight, so all sizes of clothing are fine.  You can even donate items in good condition like shoes, drapes, linen, toys, books and games!

 Posted by at 10:54 AM
Jun 222017
 

Sadly, a founding member of the SEA (member 001!), our friend, Michael Vester passed away on Sunday, June 18th. Michael was instrumental in starting the group, getting it incorporated as a non-profit, was the very first SEA President, and was the driving force behind our first few years marching and having a booth at the Edmonton Pride Parade.   In 2010 he was voted in as the first lifetime member due to this involvement in creating the group and he was always a strong supporter of the group both financially and with his time.

If you were new to the group, when you met Michael you were sure to hear the story of how he was raised an atheist but was taken to Sunday School as a child (the nuns ensured he was thoroughly turned away from religion) and that he was a ”third generation atheist”.

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 Posted by at 4:33 PM
Jun 012017
 

Last night we had the pleasure of hearing Gail Miller, one of the directors of the Critical Thinking Project, speak to us about the project and what it’s goals are.

The focus is on developing nations, education quality and giving tools to deal with dogma, witchcraft and violence.  The underlying foundation is one of fairness and tolerance, using critical thinking skills to become less discriminatory.  Dr. Christopher DiCarlo started this as a sample program for high school students in Ontario and is now taking the project to developing nations.

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 Posted by at 1:31 PM
May 262017
 

This event was a few weeks ago now, however I wanted to wait for the video to be uploaded in case anyone wanted to watch it.   This was an event sponsored by the Institute for Christian Studies and Society at the University of Concordia.  Rabbi Daniel Friedman (Beth Israel Synagogue), Reverend Jim Gimbel (President, Concordia Lutheran Seminary), and Dr. Doris Kieser (St. Joseph’s College) were the guest speakers and the event was public and announced via facebook.

A friend invited me, so I decided to go.

Before the presentation even started a lady sitting in front of us was handing out some pamphlets from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.  The pamphlet, Caring Not Killing, can be viewed on their website.  With close to 60 people in attendance, I suddenly was very aware my friend and I would be alone in our views that PAD was a human right, should remain legal and was the compassionate way to allow people to end their lives if they so chose to.

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 Posted by at 11:06 AM