Posts by Maria Greene

The Naturalism Discussion: Moving Beyond the Humanist / Theist Debate

People are more important than beliefs.* Some may consider this a corollary to the first Unitarian Universalist principle, “The inherent worth and dignity of every person”, or the third, “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations [and beyond].” We are Unitarian Universalists because we choose to be in community with one another. So, let me rephrase that slightly: relationships are more important than beliefs. Read more about The Naturalism Discussion: Moving Beyond the Humanist / Theist Debate »

Wrap-Up of the 2015 General Assembly in Portland, OR: Building a New Way

The 2015 UUA General Assembly is over now and we are finishing tallying up, following up, and evaluating how it went and what we will do differently next year. GA is always a fantastic time to connect with each other in person and to introduce the Association to a whole new group of UUs.

Our booth in the Exhibit Hall could not have been in a better location -- at the end of an aisle directly across from the entrance doors. As usual, Roger Brewin, in the light blue shirt in the picture below, did a yeoman's job planning, setting up, and later tearing down the booth. Click on the picture below for several more shots showing the different displays on the tables. Read more about Wrap-Up of the 2015 General Assembly in Portland, OR: Building a New Way »

Introducing the Freethinker Friendly Program

This is my presentation from the "Freethinker Friendly" part of the "Serving the Nonreligious" program at the 2015 UUA General Assembly in Portland, OR on Friday, June 26. I am Maria Greene, the part-time Executive Director of the UU Humanist Association.

Freethinker Friendly is a program of the UU Humanist Association with the goal of helping congregations communicate to their communities that they are welcoming to atheist, agnostic, humanist, and other freethinkers. You can find out more about the program and register your interest on the Programs > Freethinker Friendly page of this website.

Listen to the Presentation

[A special thank you to Adam Gonnerman for creating the video version of this presentation.] Read more about Introducing the Freethinker Friendly Program »

Humanists ARE Joiners!!

This is Kevin Jagoe's part of the "Serving the Nonreligious" talk at the 2015 UUA General Assembly in Portland, OR on Friday, June 26. Kevin is the Media Coordinator and Youth Director at First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis and the newly-elected Member-at-Large of the board of the UU Humanist Association.

In this presentation, Kevin discusses the outreach efforts he is involved with at FUS, and encourages other UU congregations to offer things that humanists and other freethinkers are truly interested in.

Listen to the Presentation

[A special thank you to Adam Gonnerman for creating the video version of this presentation.] Read more about Humanists ARE Joiners!! »

UUA, Why Aren't You Nurturing My Spirit?

I laughed out loud yesterday when I got to the bottom of the stairs at the Oregon Convention Center for General Assembly and I saw the giant pendulum swinging in the foyer. Pendulums come up often when I'm discussing the place of humanism in the UUA with the people who come by the UU Humanists' booth in the exhibit hall. In the past, I'm told (since I am a new Unitarian Universalist and wasn't there to see for myself) the pendulum swung toward humanism, and now I'm told (and I see for myself) that it is swinging toward theism. The slow, relentless swing of the gold ball in the foyer is mesmerizing and the force must be tremendous, but I say it's time to stop the pendulum's swing entirely. Read more about UUA, Why Aren't You Nurturing My Spirit? »

The UUHA Joins a Coalition Urging Congress to Support Efforts to Repeal Blasphemy Laws Worldwide

The UU Humanist Association is proud to stand with the AHA and our other Secular Coalition for America partners as signers of this letter to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives encouraging them to support the resolution to oppose blasphemy laws.

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June 24, 2015 

Rep. Ralph Abraham 

417 Cannon House Office Building 

Washington, DC 20515-1805 

Dear Representative Abraham, 

The undersigned secularist, humanist, nontheist, atheist, and religious freedom advocacy organizations write in support of H. Res. 290, a bi-partisan international religious freedom resolution recently introduced by Reps. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).  Read more about The UUHA Joins a Coalition Urging Congress to Support Efforts to Repeal Blasphemy Laws Worldwide »

Why Are UU Humanists Overlooked?

Over breakfast this morning, my husband told me about an interesting NY Times article that I should read, "It mentions your UU Humanist organization," he added. I was skeptical, but I thought perhaps I had missed something since I had been busy all day yesterday at a memorial for a cousin and hadn't even glanced at social media. After a quick scan of my Facebook news feed, I concluded he meant this article, "Wanted: A Theology of Atheism", by Molly Worthen. After reading it, I could see why he thought that it had something to do with UU Humanism. Worthen writes, "Humanist fellowships have often imitated the practices of traditional worship. Sunday Assembly’s close relative, the Society for Ethical Culture, has featured rousing music and a lecture at Sunday meetings since 1876." When one encounters the phrase "Humanist fellowships", free association usually causes the phrase "Unitarian Universalism" to come to mind to the initiated. Read more about Why Are UU Humanists Overlooked? »

Apply Now to The Humanist Institute

What is The Humanist Institute and why should you consider applyinging to join the new class, starting in August? As they say on the website, "Find out what you don’t know about Humanism". Here is more detail:

The Humanist Institute offers a Certificate in Humanist Studies. Students are enrolled in a small class (a maximum of 15 people) convening for eight sessions over two and half years. Classes meet in March, August and November. Prior to and in-between sessions, students prepare for class sessions through independent distance study and online discussion guided by the Assistant Dean and faculty.

Year One

The Humanist Institute does allow individuals to take just one year of it’s graduate-level program. This option allows students to gain an understanding of the Humanist life stance, values, and principles as well as Humanism in relation to others.

As our movement grows, we need more people with the skills needed to advocate for Humanism and become community leaders. Now may be the time for you to take on the challenge. Read more about Apply Now to The Humanist Institute »

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