RNA newsletter – January, 2015

Greetings, again, to all members of RNA.

We are happy to announce the rollout of RNA’s presence on Facebook, thanks to the good work of our first-ever Working Group, chaired by Jane Altman Page. Members on the working group are James Slaven, Ken Macdonald, Peer Gebert, Sarah Ritcheson, and Frank Jude Boccio.  Though not in this order they are from Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, and Switzerland.

This is a significant development for several reasons, at least one of which may escape your attention but shouldn’t. Of course we want a Facebook presence, and of course we want a viable discussion forum (we will probably create others later). But this is our first “working group” which looks to be a major way we will operate as an association. Already another working group is active, creating a website section with Religious Naturalist Resources for philosophy classes. Other working groups are on the drawing board, and if YOU have ideas for such a group please write Michael Cavanaugh (RNAsecretary@ aol.com). And in the meantime THANKS Jane, James, Ken, Peer, Sarah, and Frank Jude. To join the Facebook page, click on this link or go to Facebook, click “Find New Groups” and enter “Religious Naturalist Association (RNA)”.

We’re off to a great start in 2015. We now have 230 members and the websites have been active. From October to the end of the year, we had more than 7,400 separate “visits” with more than 26,000 pages viewed at our two websites. Viewers came from more than 50 countries, including most of North and South America and Europe, China, India, and Japan, plus people from Malaysia, Rwanda, Qatar, Uganda, Belize, Kazakhstan, and Myanmar.

Some interesting items have been added to the Members’ Projects page, including an upcoming online symposium, “The Future Is Calling Us to Greatness”, hosted by Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow), a 3-way conversation with Loyal Rue on his book, “Nature is Enough”, plus music from Lane Tracy, a blog (ahhbeautiful) hosted by Jeff Nechleba, and graduate-level study in New Zealand by Marshall Lewis. All examine varied aspects of religious naturalism.

We added a page – News and Events — that identifies conferences, classes, talks, or other events that relate to religious naturalism. We expect that a number of others are worth highlighting so, if you know of any that may be of interest to RNA members, send a memo to let us know – at RNAcomments@gmail.com. We realize that very few of you will actually be able to participate, e.g. for geographic reasons, but the page will give you a sense of what’s happening and perhaps give you ideas of activities to sponsor in your own region.

Some new items are featured at our sister website, religiousnaturalism.org, including updated pages that look at Origins and Carl Sagan as featured author, and we call attention to an amazing video – the Sun (SDO, Year 3) — as seen with NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Enjoy the lengthening days!

Ursula Goodenough
President
Religious Naturalist Association