IIt’s OCTOBER! The ghosts and goblins will soon be out and about. But there will be candy, too. The history of All Hallows Eve is fascinating. It started in Ireland before Ireland was Ireland. Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. People gathered around large bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts. The tradition evolved into our modern costumes and trick or treating.
One of our monthly events, the RMA Book Club, is having a very special meeting this month. We are reading the book, Five Wives by Joan Thomas. The book is a fiction novel based on a real event. Many of you have probably heard about the event that occurred in 1956 in Ecuador in which five missionary men were killed when they tried to make contact with and minister to the Huaorani natives. The five wives of the book represent the wives of the five missionaries who were killed. The author, Joan Thomas, will be joining us by Zoom and everyone will have an opportunity to ask her questions about the book and her inspiration for writing it. Everyone is welcome to join us.
We have an update on “Omer,” the refugee RMA is sponsoring. Unfortunately, he has had a second heart attack. He is out of the hospital and recovering well but the stress is very hard on him. Last Saturday, there was a meeting of representatives from several different organizations, all helping in some way to support “Omer” as he waits for the process to bring him to Calgary. It is also unfortunate that there are many more people around the world who are in situations similar to “Omer’s.” RMA is anxious to support another refugee but the five people who serve as the “Group of Five” that are on record as being the sponsors, cannot sponsor another refugee until “Omer” has been in Canada for one year. Therefore, we are trying to form another Group of Five. If you are interested in helping, let us know at email@example.com. There is no financial commitment.
This month, we also want to remember Larry Williams, who passed away on September 13th. Larry attended nearly every online event that RMA held over the past few years. In fact, he was often the first person to log in. He also volunteered to be our membership coordinator. He was a good friend to all of us and we will miss him. The Memorial will be held at McInnis and Holloway Crowfoot Center (82 Crowfoot Circle NW) on October 08, 2022 between 14:00 and 17:00.
Lois’ Pick: My pick for this month is somewhat unusual. Media Literacy Week in Canada is coming up on October 24 to 28, so I picked a web site called, Media Smarts, Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy. Their goal is to help Canadians develop critical thinking skills. The page provides resources for parents, students, and teachers. One of my favorite sections is called Break the Fake.ca. If you think you have no problems in distinguishing fact from fiction, take the quizzes they offer. You might be surprised. Then you just might want to follow up on the information about how to detect propaganda and the four-easy-ways to fact check. There is far too much information on the site to begin to describe, so skim the page sometime. You will surely find something of value to you. The clip that drew me to this page is the “house hippo.”
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.
Skeptics in the Pub
First Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm
Ah, Skeptics in the Pub. A night out, good food, good drinks, great like-minded people. What more could you want. But there is more. Jeff always has some interesting videos that stimulate conversation. Join us at Bottlescrew Bills, the greatest little pub in town. It’s located at 140 10 Ave SW, and there is a big parking lot right across the street. For more details, check the Meetup page.
Thursday Oct. 6
Life Without Religion - Online
First Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm
Sometimes, being is a crowd is the loneliest place you can be. This is especially true of you have recently left a fundamentalist religion because you simply cannot believe the teachings any more. To make it worse, your former Christian community accuses you of so many things such as, “You were never really a Christian before,” or, “You just want to sin.” It is for these people that we formed Life Without Religion, or LWR. When you meet the LWR community you discover that you are not alone, which is one of the greatest feelings you can have. We are a peer support community. Our meetings on the first Thursday of the month will always be on Zoom. Members will receive the Zoom link by email a day or two before the meeting. If you are not a member but feel that you fit this description and are interested in joining, contact us.
Second Monday of every month at 1:00 pm
Coffee Chat is so much fun. You never know where the conversation will take us. And you can be the one to bring up a topic or change the subject of the discussion. It’s amazing how much we learn from each other at Coffee Chat. Join us online at the Zoom link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85231789264.
Thursday Oct. 13
RMA Book Club – ONLINE
Second Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm
We are having a very special Book Club meeting this month. We are reading Five Wives and the author, Joan Thomas, will be joining us on Zoom. If you have read the book, you will certainly have some questions for the author. Join us for what will be a fascinating discussion. The Zoom link for the meeting is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83892763096.
Thursday Oct. 13
RMA Book Club – In Person
Second Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm
Several people have been anxious to have in-person Book Club meetings. So, we have decided to have both, in-person and online meetings. Everyone will be reading the same book and meet at the same time. On occasion like this month, when the author is joining us online, the meetings will be hybrid. The group meeting in person will join the Zoom session, as one login. For details and directions, check the Meetup page.
Tuesday Oct. 18
Life Without Religion
Third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm
Life Without Religion, or LWR, is unique with respect to all of the other events. LWR is specifically for people whose lives have been badly impacted by either leaving a fundamentalist religion or by ultra-religions family members or friends who complicate our lives. In our meetings, we discuss issues that are common to most of us and also specific problems that a member is currently facing. Because our meetings are not public, Zoom links and/or meeting locations are not published. While we search for ways and places to have in-person meetings, we will be on Zoom this month. Members will receive the Zoom link by email a day or two before the meeting. If you are not a member but are interested, contact us.
Wednesday Oct. 19
RMA Monthly Board Meeting
Third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm
All of the events and programs of RMA don’t just happen. We have an active board that plans and prepares these activities. Everyone is welcome to come to board meetings to learn how it works, ask questions, make suggestions, and maybe volunteer. However, only board members can vote. The meeting will likely be a hybrid meeting.
Music Jam Session
Fourth Sunday of every month at 7:00 pm
Music soothes the savage beast, or so they say. There is one thing for sure, music brings people together. And it’s fun. So, join the Jam Session. If you play an instrument, bring it. If you don’t bring an instrument, just sing along. Regardless, enjoy the comradery. For details about the location, check the Meetup event page. Because it is indoors, Covid-19 vaccinations are required.
Movie Night - Online
Fourth Monday of every month at 7:00 pm
The themes and topics of the movies that we watch on RMA’s Movie Night vary greatly. But they always generate interesting discussions. The movie for this month is The Unbelievers. Producers Gus and Luke Holwerda interviewed Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins and followed them at their speaking engagements all around the world. They also interviewed nearly two dozen well know people about their impressions of Dawkins’ and Krauss’ presentations then created the documentary from these interviews. Although the documentary was produced nearly ten years ago, it is possibly more appropriate today than it was then. Join us to watch the documentary and contribute to the discussion following the movie. The Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81215278741.