Ah, yes, April in Alberta and snow. But we can handle a few flurries for a couple of days. After all, it is still beautiful. And as a curious note, in Canada, there are several national days in April that are based on food. Did you know that Sourdough Bread Day, Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, and Pigs in a Blanket Day, are all celebrated in April?
We all know what comes after April showers, Mayflowers, er… ah… May flowers, that is.
But the most important thing that is coming in May is, of course, the Western Canadian Reason Conference, or WeCanReason Conference on Saturday, May 6th. The speaker lineup is great: Seth Andrews, Aron Ra, Janice Selbie, Adrienne Hill, Courtney Heard, and Celestia Ward. As well, we have the best possible emcee, Roy Alexander. There will also be some great entertainment and, best of all, the company of like-minded people. If you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, go directly to https://wecanreason.com/ and click on “tickets.”
Once again, RMA has a great WeCanReason Webinar planned for Wednesday, April 26th at 7:00 pm. Dave Warnock of, “Dying Out Loud,” will be speaking for us. Dave’s website was Lois’ Pick last November and now we will get to see and hear him live, on Zoom. For many years, Dave was a devout, evangelical Christian and, for several years, was a pastor. Then, for several years, like many of us, Dave struggles internally, with his beliefs. Finally, about twelve years ago, he concluded that he no longer believed. About four years ago, Dave was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. After the diagnosis, Dave decided to devote the rest of his time to speaking out about the damage that is done by belief in fundamentalist religions and to supporting people whose lives had been adversely affected by such religions. Dave has written a book, Childish Things, about his years of belief and his deconversion. It is available on Amazon.
My pick for this month is the podcast, The Bible was Written Backwards, with Matt Monger. Matt has a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Literature from MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion, and Society, where he currently teaches. In the podcast, Matt dissects the book of Genesis and shows its relation to other literature of the same era. This pick is a little unusual because the podcast is new, with only two episodes as this newsletter is being written. I discovered Matt when he was interviewed on another podcast, which was his first time speaking out as an atheist. I was so overwhelmed by his journey that I went straight to his podcast and listened to both episodes. I was duly impressed. Check it out.
Note: Some events might not appear on this list because they are not yet confirmed. Check the Meetup page to find any new events that might be planned during the month.
Tuesday April 4
Skeptics in the Pub
First Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm
Great friends, great food, great drinks, and great discussions are the standard for Skeptics in the Pub. Catch up with old friends and make new ones in our nearly private room at Bottlescrew Bills, located at 140 10 Ave SW. There is a big parking lot right across the street. When you enter the main door, look for a doorway ahead and to your left and go straight on through to our reserved room. Enjoy.
Thursday April 6
Life Without Religion - Online
First Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm
Life Without Religion, or LWR, is unique among the RMA events in that it is a support group specifically for people whose lives have been badly impacted by leaving a fundamentalist religion or by fundamentalist family or friends who are disrupting their lives. It is the only RMA event that is not open to all. In our meetings, we share our challenges and discuss approaches to dealing with them.
If you are not yet a member but feel that you would benefit from the support of those who have had a similar journey as you, contact Lois at email@example.com. Members will receive the Zoom link by email a day or two before the meeting.
Monday April 10
Second Monday of every month at 1:00 pm
Coffee Chat is the most variable, unpredictable, fun, and friendly event on the calendar. There is no agenda; just bring up a subject and everyone dives into the conversation. And you usually learn something new. Join us by clicking on the link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83479966957.
Thursday April 13
RMA Book Club – ONLINE
Second Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm
The title of the Book Club book for this month is Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, by Steven Pinker. Pinker tells the reader that our current assessment of the world should not be bleak because the ideals of enlightenment – reason, science, humanism, and progress – are timeless. What a great discussion this will be. Join us by clicking on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86222397042.
NOTICE: In case you get a message that this event was cancelled, it was NOT. There was a duplicate event on the Meetup page.
Sunday April 16
RMA Monthly Board Meeting
Third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm
The time, day, and location of the RMA Monthly Board Meeting have been changed. We will be meeting in person on the third Sunday of the month at 1:00 pm at the Sunterra Market Keynote. Everyone is welcome to attend the meetings and share their ideas about the future of RMA, but only board members vote. For more detailed information and a map of the location, see the Meetup page.
Tuesday April 18
Life Without Religion
Third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm
When we find a venue with a private room that is large enough to social distance, or it is warm enough to meet outdoors, these third Tuesday meetings will be in person. This month, the meeting will be online. The conditions discussed for the meeting listed above for April 6 apply to this meeting as well. If you are interested in joining LWR or if you have any questions, contact Lois at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday April 23
Rocky Mountain Atheists Annual General Meeting- Online Sunday Afternoon at 02:00 pm In addition to the monthly board meetings, RMA holds an annual general meeting at which the activities of the recent year are reviewed, new officers and board members are voted on, and future plans are discussed. All members of RMA vote and we need a quorum to make decisions official. If you are interested in being a board member, go to the Meetup page which will lead you to a form to fill out. The AGM will be online this year. Please join us by clicking on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88407364711.
Monday April 24
Movie Night - Online
Fourth Monday of every month at 7:00 pm
The movie for this month is Trust Me, a documentary about the way that media presents bad news, misinformation, and disinformation such that it reaches our natural human instincts and causes polarization, mental health disorders, and more. We see how media covers stories with interviews with experts, interspersed, to show us the proper way to consume media. Just click on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88570930759, to watch the movie and join in on a stimulating discussion.
Tuesday April 26
Once a month as announced
If you thought that we couldn’t match last month’s webinar, then you must come to the webinar this month. Our inspiring speaker is Dave Warnock. After living many years as a Charismatic Evangelical Christian, going through a difficult deconversion, then living as an atheist, in 2019, Dave was diagnosed with ALS, a terminal disease. Since the diagnosis, Dave has devoted his time to reaching out to support others who are either on the long journey of deconversion or have recently made the journey. In addition to writing his memoirs, Dave, along with co-host Genevieve, hosts a live, call in show on YouTube called That GD Show, meaning Genevieve and Dave, of course. Check out his show at 7:00 pm MDT on Mondays and come to hear him speak at our webinar. Just click on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85242599388.
Tuesday April 26
Pub Night With Live Music
Saturday at 5:30 pm as announced
RMA’s very own house band, The Heathens, is once again playing live from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Silver Point Pub & Eatery 5720 Silver Springs Blvd NW #8. Even if you haven’t yet heard them play, you know they are good because their audiences are asking for their return. Come for dinner, a drink, or just to listen to the music. For more detailed information, check out the Meetup page.