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November 2023 Newsletter

THINK SNOW! It’s November in Alberta and the ski areas will open before the month is over! I realize, however, that snow and skiing don’t excite some people, but there is still a lot to do in Calgary for you. For sports fans, there are always the Calgary Flames and Calgary Hitmen home games, but there is also an indoor tennis tournament, the Calgary National Bank Challenger. If you prefer music, you can take in the “Top Gunn: A Maverick Musical” at the Jubilations

Dinner Theatre or Hunter Brothers: Burning down the Barn Tour. Maybe you would like the JazzYYC Canadian Festival. Who wouldn’t like the Shania Twain: Queen of Me Tour, or KISS: End of the Road World Tour? Then there is always the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra presenting An Evening with Brett Kissel. Do you prefer cinema or theatre? Then you might enjoy the Calgary European Film Festival, CUFF.Docs Documentary Film Festival, or Storybook Theatre Presents, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang during the first part of the month and then One Christman Carol toward the end of the month. Looking to do some unique holiday shopping? You might try the Millarville Christmas Market, Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market, or Authentically Indigenous Holiday Market. These are just a few of the events happening in Calgary in November.

In the October Events Newsletter, we told you that we were all invited to the International Day of the Dead, presented by the Freethought Society. It will be online, tomorrow from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm MDT. You can learn more about it and register to attend by clicking the link,

RMA is having a special Skeptics in the Pub this month because the date almost falls on Carl Sagan’s birthday. So, we decided to combine Sagan Day with Skeptics in the Pub. We will have a special speaker who is passionate about astronomy. Jason Nishiyama will be speaking on Planetary Nebulae. He will tell us why they have nothing to do with planets and then explain what they are and how they form. Jason will dive into the history of learning about these phenomena, from their discovery to determining what they are. Then he will talk about the future of research on these objects including a bit about his own research.

Jason is a sessional instructor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary, in the evening. His day job is high school teacher with the Calgary Board of Education.

And that’s not all. The WeCanReason Webinar this month features Janice Selbie. Those of you who attended the WeCanReason Conference last May will recognize Janice as the speaker who told us about her journey from an ultra-conservative penticostal religion to atheist activism. In the webinar, Janice will bring us up to date by talking about Exposing Religious Trauma in 2023. After recovering from the trauma of many years of penticostalism, Janice wanted to help others who went through the same experience. She became a Registered Professional Counsellor and works with clients one-on-one. She also created a workshop she calls Divorcing Religion. On a podcast of the same name, Janice interviews others who have taken a similar path. As if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she founded the Conference on Religious Trauma (CORT) which just completed its third annual event in October. Don’t miss the webinar. Just click on on Wednesday, November 22 at 7:00 pm.


Lois’s Pick

Lois’ Pick: My pick for November is Just a Little Bit Culty, a podcast co-hosted by Sarah Edmonson and her husband, Anthony “Nippy” Ames. In 2005, Sarah became interested in a company called NXIVM, which offered professional development training and empowerment. By 2017, she realized that, in fact, the company was actually a cult and she collaborated with the FBI to bring down the company’s founder to justice. In 2019, Sarah wrote the book, Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM, the Cult that Bound My Life. On the podcast, Sarah and Nippy interview other people who have escaped from cults and help people understand how an intelligent person can be drawn into a cult.

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.


Thursday, November 2

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 negatively impacted by religion. When children are brought up in a fundamentalist religion, they often receive messages that are hurtful and untrue. They carry this pain into their adulthood without realizing it. Sometimes we don’t even realize that some of the problems that we have are a result of untrue religious beliefs that we were taught as children. As adults, we need to figure out how to find the source of the pain we feel and eliminate it. In LWR meetings, we discuss topics such as this and look for ways to solve these problems.

Our meetings on the first Thursday of the month are online and members receive the Zoom link by email, a day or two before the meetings. If you are struggling with emotional pain caused by religion and you are not a member of LWR but are interested in joining, contact Lois at

Tuesday, November 7

Skeptics in the Pub

First Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p

In Skeptics in the Pub this month, we are celebrating Carl Sagan’s birthday (November 9) with a special Sagan Day event. Astronomer, Jason Nishiyama, will be speaking on Planetary Nebulae, What Are They, How Do They Form, and Why Do They Make Interesting Shapes? Jason knows planetary nebulae because he has done some research on them. He is a sessional instructor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary and a high school teacher with the Calgary Board of Education.

You can find the event in the private Barrell room at the Trolley 5 Brewpub, 728 17th Ave. SW.

Thursday, November 9

RMA Book Club – ONLINE

Second Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm

The title of the book that the Book Club is discussing this month is The Climate Book: The Facts and the Solutions, created by Greta Thunberg. Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the last few years knows that Greta Thunberg is the young Swedish environmental activist who is so concerned about climate change that she has taken on world leaders with her campaigns. She has even spoken at a United Nations Climate Change Conference. To create this book, she gained the cooperation of dozens of climate experts from many fields to contribute to the book. If you prefer online meetings, join us by clicking on the link In case you are wondering, anyone can attend the meeting, even if you haven’t read the book.

Thursday, November 9

RMA Book Club – In Person

Second Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm

The title of the book for this month’s Book Club meeting is The Climate Book: The Facts and the Solutions, created by Greta Thunberg. As you can see, the in-person meeting is reading the same book and meeting at the same time as the online meeting. This meeting is for people who prefer to get out of the house and be with people when having a meeting. To find the location of the meeting and a map to get there, just go to the Meetup page.

Monday, November 13

RMA Coffee Chat

Second Monday of every month at 1:00 pm

Do you enjoy unstructured, relaxed meetings where you are free to join in the conversation regardless of the topic or even bring up a subject you would like to discuss? Then the Coffee Chat is for you. The conversation topics are, as Forrest Gump would say, “... just like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” But it is always interesting. As well, it’s online so you don’t even have to worry about what to wear. So, join us by clicking on You’ll be glad you did.

Sunday, November 19

RMA Monthly Board Meeting

Third Sunday of every month at 1:00 pm

Why do we open the RMA board meetings to all who are interested? Because we need ideas, suggestions, input, and discussions about how to make RMA the best secular organization that it can be. We want to be the community that the “nones” can enjoy and feel a part of. Just remember, only board members vote on motions.

The board meeting will be at the Calgary Central Library in meeting room 2-05A. You can get more information on the Meetup page.

Tuesday, November 21

Life Without Religion - In person

Third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm

We have been waiting a long time and have searched far and wide for a location to have in-person LWR meetings and finally, we have managed it. Hopefully, we will be able to continue these meetings indefinitely. In these meetings, we have been basing our discussions on Dr. Steven Hassan’s BITE model of authoritarian control because authoritarian control can apply to high-control religions as well as it can apply to cults. This week, we will be discussing how religions and cults use thought control to ensure that you continue to believe in the precepts they are teaching. It is insidious. Nevertheless, it is possible to escape. The more we understand about it, the better we can learn how to undo the damage it caused. So, let’s discuss thought control.

The location of the meetings will be sent to LWR members the day before the meeting. For our out-of-town members and for those who, for any reason, cannot come to the in-person meeting, a Zoom link will be in the email, also.

If you are trying to cope with difficulties caused by religion and are not yet a member of LWR but are interested in joining, contact Lois at

Wednesday, November 22

WeCanReason Webinar

Fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm

The movie for this month’s Movie Night is the documentary, We are fortunate to have Janice Selbie speaking this month on the topic, Exposing Religious Trauma in 2023. If anyone understands religious trauma, it’s Janice. If you had the opportunity to hear Janice speak at the WeCanReason Conference in May, you know that she experienced a lot of religious trauma. In the webinar, she will update us on the current stage of religious trauma. Some of you might not understand the reality of religious trauma and have no idea that it is powerful and exists today to a much greater extent than one might think. Janice’s presentation will be very informative. To hear her speak, just click on

Monday, November 27

Movie Night - Online

Fourth Monday of every month at 7:00 pm

The movie for this month’s Movie Night is the documentary, My Octopus Teacher. What can an octopus teach a human? Can a human really have a relationship with a marine invertebrate? Are octopi really intelligent? The movie just might answer these questions for you and you might be surprised by those answers. Come to Movie Night and enjoy the documentary then join the discussion. Did you get the same answers as your fellow heathens? In addition to the interesting story, the cinematography is magnificent. Join us by clicking on

Thursday, November 2

Freethought Society Presents: The International Day of the Dead at 5:00 pm Preregister at


Calgary Secular Assembly Events

Tuesday, November 14

Café Social - conversations over coffee or beer

1:00 pm, Weeds Cafe

Sunday, November 19

CSA Ideas – Child Abuse and RISK Balancing

1:00 pm, Evergreen Community SPACES

Sunday, November 26

Philosophy in 20

The Ethics of War (Part II)

11:00 am, Online, see the Meetup page for link

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