November and the leaves had not yet fallen when the snow came. It sure looks like winter is here. Well, this is Alberta, after all. And the skiers are happy. But there is more to November. First, don’t forget to change your clocks before you go to bed on Saturday night because daylight savings time ends. Which direction do you change your clock? Just remember this phrase; spring forward, fall back. So, at 2:00 am Sunday, turn your clocks back one hour, or do it before you go to bed on Saturday. Then, remember to wear your poppy on Friday, November 11th, because it is Remembrance Day and we want to pay tribute to the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP who put their lives on the line to keep Canada a safe and wonderful place to live.
Do you know what RMA is going to celebrate on November 9? Of course, it’s Carl Sagan’s birthday. Every year, RMA hold a special event to celebrate the life and memory of Carl Sagan because Sagan is important to atheists and critical thinkers. Many atheists who were once believers attribute Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series with starting their questioning about the things they were being taught in church. As well as being an excellent astronomer, Sagan was a great science communicator. When listening to Cosmos, you could feel his awe of the universe and you learned so much about it, especially the fact that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. He made the science so much more real and exciting and human than the creation story in Genesis, that many young people started questioning the scriptures. So, in his honor, RMA is having an online event at 7:00 pm on his birthday, Wednesday, November 9th. Some very exciting advances have recently been made in astronomy that would make Sagan proud and honor his legacy. So please join us on Zoom for our celebration and learn about these discoveries. Also, it is important to be there because an important announcement will be made about RMA. You won’t want to miss it. The Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89769140468.
Once again, the RMA Book Club, is having a very special meeting this month. We are reading the book, Toxic, by Mark Justice, and Mark will be joining us. Mark was raised in a fundamentalist, charismatic family and he remained a devout Christian for many years. Eventually, the contradictions in the scriptures and the many unanswered prayers led Mark to start doubting. When he finally stopped believing the doctrine which he had been taught, he had no one to talk with about it. Being a writer, he found solace in writing about the things that made Christianity toxic to him, and many others. Join us at Book Club and have your questions ready for Mark. The meeting will be a hybrid of in person and online. The Zoom link for the online section is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88199489933.
We have a sad announcement to make. The mother of our very own Roy Alexander passed away on October 27th. We share your grief, Roy. The service for Roy’s mom will be on Saturday between 2:00 and 4:00 pm at Choice Memorial, 105-4715 13th St. NE. Reception will be at 523 Bernard Mews NW.
Lois’ Pick: My pick for November is Dying Out Loud, with Dave Warnock. Dave was a devout Christian for much of his life. Then, like many of us, he saw the flaws in the bible and the doctrine and eventually became an atheist. In 2019, about eight years after he had deconverted, he was diagnosed with ALS, often called Lou Gehrig’s disease. Knowing he only had a few years to live, he wanted to accomplish as much as he could and communicate what he has learned to all who would listen. Seth Andrews produced a short but poignant video of an interview with Dave, which is a must see. The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FChIoVg2Nu4.
Dave’s own webpage can be found at https://daveoutloud.org/. On it, you will find a short bio of Dave, information about his memoir, Childish Things, that was just published, and information about his YouTube show, That GD Show, that live streams every Monday evening. The initials GD mean Genevieve and Dave, of course, Genevieve being his co-host. In addition, Dave has recently started writing for Only Sky. Dave is one of the most congenial, compelling persons you could ever meet. Get to know him; you will be glad you did.
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 planed during the month.
Tuesday Nov. 1 Skeptics in the Pub
First Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm
Skeptics in the Pub has been running longer, much longer, than any of RMA’s other events. It has been located in several different pubs, but Bottlescrew Bills is the best of them all. It is great to relax and have intelligent conversations with like-minded people where you can openly discuss any topic you want to discuss. All of this while you are having a delicious dinner or drinks or both. So, join us at Bottlescrew Bills, located at 140 10 Ave SW. There is a big parking lot right across the street.
Thursday Nov. 3 Life Without Religion - Online
First Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm
There is no easy way to deconvert from any type of fundamentalist religion. Often, your church has been your entire community and, when you leave, you lose everything. The loneliness is all consuming. Some of us had to start our lives over from scratch. That is where Live Without Religion (LWR) comes in. Everyone in the group has been through the process in some way. The reason that LWR exists is to provide peer support for any and all who are facing or have faced this deconversion process. This meeting on the first Thursday of each month is and will always be online. The only way to receive the Zoom link is to be a member and members will receive the Zoom link by email a day or two before each meeting. If you are not a member but feel that you fit this description and are interested in joining, contact us.
Wednesday Nov. 9 Sagan Day Celebration
Once a year on Carl Sagan’s birthday.
Every year, RMA celebrates the life and work of Carl Sagan, one of the greatest science communicators of all times. He inspired budding scientists and astronomers; he challenged everyone to think critically; and he cared about people. This year, our celebration will be online. Join us as we look at some of the great advances that are currently being made in astronomy and find out why Carl Sagan was in awe of the universe. The Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89769140468.
But that is not all. At the beginning of the event, our RMA president will be making a very important announcement about our organization. Don’t miss it.
Thursday Nov. 10 RMA Book Club – ONLINE
Second Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm
The RMA Book Club is having another special meeting this month. For the second month in a row, the author of the book of the month will be joining us for a Q and A. The book is Toxic: One Apostate’s View of the Christian Faith, Bible, and God. The author is Mark Justice, the “apostate” in the title of the book. I must confess that, when I started reading the book, I wanted to say, “Come on Mark, why don’t you say what you really think.” Yes, Mark pulls no punches. He says “out loud” what many apostates are thinking when they are going through the deconversion process. He has also assembled a tremendous amount of information about internal contradictions in the bible. His insights into human nature are also vivid. Be there. The Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88199489933.
Once again, the Book Club meetings will be a hybrid because those meeting in person don’t want to miss interacting with the author, who is coming to us on Zoom from Ohio. So, all of the descriptions in the online meeting announcement apply to the in-person meeting. For details, see the Meetup page.
Saturday Nov. 12 Blood Donor Clinic
Four times a year, as announced
As part of our Community Services, RMA has a blood drive four times a year. Donors meet at the Canadian Blood Services, Blood donation center in Eau Claire Market. RMA has reserved spaces at the clinic and donations are scheduled to begin at 11:20 am on Saturday November 12. To ensure that you are able to donate, visit the website, https://blood.ca/sites/default/files/10552-BloodInfo_PamphletEN_Final.pdf. Also, a picture ID will be needed. When donations are complete, the group will have lunch together at a place yet to be determined. For more details, see the Meetup page.
Saturday Nov. 12 Pub Night with Live Music
It’s new; it’s exciting. RMA’s house band, The Heathens, is going pro. They will be playing from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Silver Point Pub & Eatery 5720 Silver Springs Blvd NW #8. Have dinner and/or drinks while listening to great music. For more information, check the Meetup page.
Monday Nov. 14 Coffee Chat
Second Monday of every month at 1:00 pm
Do you prefer a leisurely coffee while you chat with friends in the afternoon instead of a night out on the town. Then join us for Coffee Chat. Conversations will wander through fascinating places with intellectual people. It might be funny for a while and then serious. We never know just where we will go. So, join us while our minds take us to places unknown. The Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81809379272.
Tuesday Nov. 15 Life Without Religion
Third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm
We are not sure yet but we might have a place that is large enough to social distance indoors, where we can meet in person. We will let you know as soon as we know. But we will also have an online group for those from out of town and those who prefer not to be indoors with groups of people. We might even try to have a hybrid meeting for the first half of the meeting.
The information for the meeting on November 3rd applies to this meeting as well.
Wednesday Nov. 16 RMA Monthly Board Meeting
Third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm
The RMA Board has been very busy behind the scenes, making plans and preparations for the months ahead. If you are interested in the planning process and might even like to contribute some time, you are welcome to attend the meeting. But only board members vote. The location listed on the Meetup page might change, so keep an eye on it.
Sunday Nov. 27 Music Jam Session
Fourth Sunday of every month at 7:00 pm
Not ready to go professional but you enjoy toying with music. Then come to the Jam Session. If you play an instrument, bring it. If you don’t bring an instrument, just sing along. Back in the days when I was still a Christian, we used to joke around and say, “and if you can’t sing, whistle, and if you can’t whistle, raise your hand and we will pray for you.” But we promise that if you can’t sing, no one at the Jam Session will pray for you. Regardless, enjoy the comradery. For details about the location, check the Meetup page. Because it is indoors, Covid-19 vaccinations are required.
Monday Nov. 28 Movie Night - Online
Fourth Monday of every month at 7:00 pm
The movie for this month is the documentary, All the Rage, Saved by Sarno. People have been struggling with chronic pain for years. Sometimes a source of the pain is known but sometimes it isn’t. But it isn’t any less painful. Recently, some dramatic new treatments for chronic pain have been discovered and these are featured in this documentary. Join us for the movie and an intriguing discussion afterward. The Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82828588918. Got an idea for a good movie? Let us know.