May 2023 Newsletter
Updated: May 3
It’s here! It’s finally here! We have been waiting for three years and now the We Can Reason Conference is only five days away. And the lineup is better than we ever could have imagined. If you don’t have your tickets yet, go directly to HERE and get them. You will want to hear Seth Andrews of The Thinking Atheist podcast, Aron Ra of the Ra- Men podcast, Courtney Heard, the Godless Mom, of the A-Dropped Podcast, Janice Selbie of Divorcing Religion, Celestia Ward of the Squaring the Strange podcast, and our very own Adrienne Hill, a reporter for the Skeptic Zone Podcast.
There isn’t time or space to tell about all of their other activities and skills. And you couldn’t find a better host than Roy Alexander. There is also entertainment on Friday evening before the conference in the Hotel bar and after the dinner on Saturday evening. You can learn all about it on the web page. One of the best things about any conference doesn’t have a title. It is comradery with like-minded people. Don’t miss it.
Even though the conference is the highlight of the year, there are many other events to enjoy in May. They are all listed and described below but there is one that we want to emphasize. Once again, RMA has a great WeCanReason Webinar planned for Wednesday, May 26th at 7:00 pm. Our speaker is Susan Gerbic who has many projects operating at the same time. At the webinar, she will focus on the psychics she calls “Grief Vampires.” Susan will recount the activism she and her teams undertook during the two+ years of lockdown. She will explain how grief vampires took advantage of online resources and we should also. Also discussed will be the trials experienced on Wikipedia fighting against the nonsense and the battle to stay in the game. Don’t miss it.
My pick for this month is Cosmic Skeptic and his YouTube channel. The Cosmic Skeptic is Alex O’Connor, a young British YouTuber with degrees in philosophy and theology from Oxford University. He was raised Catholic but is now an atheist. On his YouTube podcast, he interviews many well-known atheists and also debates Christians. In addition, he sometimes critiques videos of other YouTubers. You have to listen carefully, not only because of his British accent but also because he can get very analytical. Check him 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 May 2
The first Tuesday of May comes quickly so don’t forget about Skeptics in the Pub. You wouldn’t want to miss Jeff’s video clips which are always interesting and pave the way for in-depth discussions. Enjoy the fine food, good drinks, and especially the company of like-minded people. Come to Bottlescrew Bill’s at 140 10 Ave SW · Calgary.
Life Without Religion - Online
First Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm
Life Without Religion (LWR) is a peer support group for people whose lives have been impacted by either leaving a religion or by extremely religious family members who try to inflict their religious beliefs on them. We discuss our experiences and how we deal with various challenges. One recent topic was the importance of knowing when to seek professional help from a secular therapist. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Members will receive the Zoom link by email a day or two before the meeting.
Saturday May 6
This will be the first of many great WeCanReason Conferences to come. Excitement is already in the air. You read about the awesome lineup of speakers above which is central to any conference. But there is more. The opportunity to meet so many like-minded people and interact with the speakers is wonderfully uplifting. I’ve met people at conferences a long time ago, whom I still consider great friends. And have we mentioned that the entertainment after the dinner will be hilarious! You might not have known that our very own Caroline Russell-King was such a superb playwright. But that’s not all. The RMA house band, The Heathens, will be playing for your entertainment. You’ll be glad you came.
Sunday May 7
WeCanReason Field Trip
Royal Tyrrell Museum
What better way to top off an amazing weekend than a trip to the Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology and see the dinosaurs? Did you know that there is an Albertosauros discovered right here in Alberta? You can learn a lot more at the Tyrrell Museum because it is much more than a museum. Some world-class palaeontological research is done there. You can meet at the hotel at 10:00 am to carpool or meet at the museum at 11:30 am. It would be a good idea to get your museum tickets ahead of time.
Monday May 8
Second Monday of every month at 1:00 pm
There will be so much to talk about at this Coffee Chat. If you couldn’t go to the conference and want to hear about it, I can assure you, you will. If you went to the conference and are still bubbling over with excitement, you will want to tell everyone all about it. But I’m sure the subject will change to who knows what! No matter what, we will all enjoy it. Just click on the link, https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89866456519.
Thursday May 11
RMA Book Club – ONLINE
Second Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm
The title of the Book Club book for this month is Shorting the Grid - The Hidden Fragility of Our Electric Grid. Author, Meredith Anguin. The author knows whereof she speaks because she has worked in many positions from the chemical and science end of the grid to the environmental impact and finally to the business end. She clearly describes the problems from all directions. Join us online by clicking on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87919656573.
Thursday May 11
RMA Book Club – In Person
Second Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm
The in-person meeting of the Book Club reads the same book and meets at the same time. We might even make it a hybrid meeting. We planned it this way so, depending on your circumstances for any particular Book Club meeting, you have a choice. To find the address for the meeting and how to get there, go to the Meetup page. You will find all you need to know. Did I mention that you are welcome whether or not you have read the book?
Tuesday May 16
Life Without Religion
Third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm
Did you leave a religion but your family is still religious? Do you dread holidays when everyone is expecting to get together and “share” their beliefs? Or does your family constantly nag you about your non-belief. Or maybe they have shunned you and you are very much alone. You will find people in Life Without Religion who have had experiences very much like your own. You will find that sharing these experiences and how different people have learned how best to deal with them, more helpful than you might have thought. If you are not yet a member of LWR and are interested in joining, or if you have any questions, contact Lois at email@example.com.
Sunday May 21
RMA Monthly Board Meeting
Third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm
Please take note of the change in the time, day, and location of the RMA Monthly Board meetings. We are finally able to meet in-person in a reserved room where we can order snacks and coffee. We will be meeting at the Sunterra Market, Keynote at 200 12 Ave SE. Everyone is welcome to come to the meetings and learn about the inner workings of the Rocky Mountain Atheists and offer comments and suggestions. However, only board members vote. Who knows, you just might want to volunteer for some task, or eventually run for a seat on the board. Join us at the meeting.
Monday May 22
Movie Night - Online
Fourth Monday of every month at 7:00 pm
The movie for this month is the documentary Sons of Perdition. In the extremely fundamental offshoot Mormon church, FLDS, hundreds of young teenage boys were exiled for very small infractions. These boys had been raised in a bubble and then turned out into a world that they knew little about. The documentary follows a few boys as they try to cope with their new existence. Join us by following the Zoom link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85231103257.
Wednesday May 24