Venice House, September 16, 11:30AM – 2:00PM
Michele Ketzmerick, director, Saskatchewan Impaired Driver Treatment Centre, will be discussing the importance of providing inclusive support for people with problems related to substance use, as well as reasons why non-faith-based options are critical.
With the publicaton of her book this summer, “I Married an Atheist…Thank God,” which includes a chapter entitled “Higher Power and Our Addictions,” she will also touch on some unexpected consequences that she experienced as a result of finally thinking critically about religion.
Michele is from Prince Albert and has worked in corrections and the substance abuse field for the past 17 years, currently as the Director of the Saskatchewan Impaired Driver Treatment Centre. She also teaches classes in the Correctional Studies Program at SIAST, including the Addictions class that she developed 7 years ago.
Michele’s Addiction Treatment background was in facilitation, training, and program development with the Correctional Service of Canada. She has a Bachelor of Human Justice from the U of R. Michele recently published a book called “I Married an Atheist…Thank God,” outlining her transition from faith to reason.
Sunday, June 24, 2012, 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Ailsa Watkinson is a social work professor at University of Regina (Saskatoon Campus). She has been protesting the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast since before CFI Saskatoon existed:
Prayer Breakfast not Path to Unity (PDF download)
Amongst her current research interests is included this item:
- Faith Based Services and Human Rights Commitments Researching the type and extent of public service delivery provided by faith based organizations in Western Canada to determine if pubic services, delivered by faith-based organizations, are provided consistent with parameters set by Supreme Court rulings concerning religious freedom and equality rights.
She will be speaking to us at our monthly Meet-up about topics in her research.
More details to follow.
Sunday, March 25, 2012, 11:30 AM
906 Central Avenue, Saskatoon, SK
We are welcoming a guest speaker for this meetup, Jenny Neal. Jenny is part of Grandmothers for Grandmothers, a non-denominational organization dedicated to alleviating the plight of grandmothers in Africa as they care for children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. They aim to increase awareness and motivate others to donate to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which in turn provides support to African grandmothers and widows enabling them to develop income-generating activities to support themselves and provide the basic necessities for the many orphaned children in their care. If you don’t know much about Stephen Lewis, read more here. Jenny is especially involved with the Grandmothers Advocacy Network working on issues such as reform of the CAMR legislation by the Canadian government so that generic medicines can be sent to Africa.
We encourage everyone to make a donation to the Stephen Lewis Foundation (a secular, registered Canadian charity). If you’re able, they have a campaign to “Give a Day” – donate one day’s pay. Feel free to leave a comment on this event if you’ve made a donation (of any amount).
Jenny will outline the devastating impact HIV/AIDS has had on Sub-Saharan Africa and discuss some of the factors that have contributed to these high levels of infection. She will also talk about some of the positive developments that have recently taken place and the fact that it would be possible to live in an AIDS free world if only there were political will. Up to date statistical information is available at UN AIDS.
It seems that some solutions are working in some places and not in others – Africa is not homogenous. There is a history of economics (e.g. access to drugs), politics (e.g. AIDS denialism), religion (e.g. condom use) and myths (e.g. sex with a virgin will cure AIDS) interferring with the battle against HIV and AIDS in Africa. Interestingly, WHO/UNAIDS recommend that male circumcision be considered an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence.
Jenny recommends that everyone read 28 stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephanie Nolan. It combines personal stories of 28 very diverse people living in different countries in Africa and the impact AIDS has had on them. Every story also includes information on the situation in that country so the reader can learn a tremendous amount about all aspects of the disease.
I am a mother of three and a grandmother of four beautiful children. I spent most of my working life teaching Biology at the University of Saskatchewan. Since retirement I have become very involved with the Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers group here in Saskatoon. This group supports the work of the Stephen Lewis foundation (SLF) which funds over 300 projects in Sub – Saharan Africa. These projects support grandmothers and others living with HIV/AIDS and the orphans in their care. I have spent 4 separate years in Africa, in Kenya and Zimbabwe (when my children were young) and more recently 2 years in South Africa. Two years ago I was lucky enough to be chosen to go to South Africa and Swaziland with the SLF and 42 other grandmothers from all across Canada. We visited projects supported by the SLF and took part in a historic conference and March involving grandmothers from 15 different sub-Saharan African countries.
FYI: Dick Neal, who has spoken twice at our Darwin Day events is Jenny’s husband.
Sunday, November 20, 2011, 11:30 AM
Venice House, 906 Central Avenue, Saskatoon, SK (map), “in the side room”
What is a satan? If you were one of the writers of the Bible or one of the earliest hearers, you would know what a satan is. Whenever this word is used in the Hebrew language of the Scriptures, it does not refer to a literal personal devil. The word is sawtawn and it is not meant to be a name.
Finding out what a satan is in the Old Testament is the only way to know what satan is in the New. Don’t be fooled by centuries of misinformed theologians. All we have to do is find out the meaning of the word that became a name for a mythical being of evil and destruction. There is no Satan and learning the true meaning of the word is just one more step in revealing the truth about religion’s devilish lie.
(From Brayshaw’s Vimeo site)
James R. Brayshaw spent years studying, teaching, and writing about the religion he was raised in. His research about the origin of Satan has brought him to become an authority on the subject. He lives in Western Canada with his wife and two sons. James has worked to extinguish the fire of hell and Satan with the tenacity needed to fight a three alarm blaze.
His passion for research and pursuit to understand why we believe what we believe, has led to this revealing and informed work on the non-existence of a cosmic Satan. Brayshaw finds answers that make sense to questions about religious beliefs. James R. Brayshaw has journeyed through Pentecostal Christianity where, after serving as a leader for 11 years, he was eventually asked to leave for questioning the status quo of traditional teaching. This once charismatic Christian has found freedom from Christianity’s most notorious demon by taking the traditional teachings of religion to the grindstone of sound research.
James presents the concept that Satan is not a creation of God but is a fabrication of man. His work shows how history and the Bible support this view. This engaging author and teacher will move you to find answers to the difficult questions of religion. Or at the very least, encourage you to begin asking questions of your own. Brayshaw’s belief is that everyone can find the truth about Satan and Hell if they honestly investigate their beliefs and search for answers. There are few authors who take the time to unravel the most convoluted teachings of religion with the clarity and commitment Brayshaw does. James can be heard on the “Imagine There’s No Satan” radio show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jrbrayshaw.
(From Brayshaw’s Imagine No Satan site)
Location: Venice House, 906 Central Avenue Saskatoon, SK (side room)
Time: 11:30AM until whenever
In July, we will have another informal type of Meetup. This will allow people to socialize more in a casual atmosphere. Attendees will be choosing the topics and discussing them in small groups. We’ll use the Open Space Technology format.
We’ll check in at the end to see how members like this format and what interesting things everyone discussed.
Note: Attendees start gathering and visiting at 11:30 am. We begin the formal meeting (announcements then the presentation/discussion) at about 12:00 pm (after meal orders have been taken). You are not required to order any food or drink. If you do order something, remember to tip the waitress because they have a lot to keep track of with our group. Also, we use the large side room at Venice House for free and they have been quite accommodating. We bring a sample of our library to the regular meetings and you are welcome to borrow something. If you have any specific requests, please contact our Secretary, Selene. We also take donations at every meeting and sometimes have items for purchase.
Sunday, May 15, 2011, 11:30 AM, Venice House
906 Central Avenue Saskatoon, SK
“Vocal atheists are accused of driving away moderate believers. But what exactly is a militant atheist? What is a moderate believer and what could be gained by not ‘driving them away’? The debate over accommodation vs. confrontation rages on.”
Here are some links to thought-provoking discussions of this theme (and related):