In 2016, Westwood Unitarian Congregation embarked upon a journey to be more welcoming, inclusive and respectful of those Humanists, Atheists, Agnostics and FreeThinkers. This effort was guided by the criteria for FreeThinker Friendly designation from the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association.
Members of our Unitarian Universalist (UU) Humanist Association wrote:
We are “religious” in that we share with most Unitarian Universalists the natural human desires for a beloved and accepting community; a purpose greater than ourselves; rituals and practices that resonate with our common humanity and shared mortality; and opportunities to work with other tough-minded, warm-hearted people to do good in the world and to help one another attain the greatest possible fulfillment in life.
We are proud to have been designated as Canada’s first Free Thinker Friendly Congregation
The program challenges us, as a Congregation to:
- Be explicit in our welcoming statements and other language that atheists, agnostics, Humanists and Free Thinker are both welcomed and respected for their beliefs.
- Discuss within our Congregation ways we both support and discourage those with these religious and non-religious outlooks.
- Offer time and place for alternate religious or non religious groups to socialize, network and learn from each other
- Reach out to the Atheist and Humanist communities in the city and the province.
To meet these goals we have been examining our language (and this website) and are sponsoring a FreeThinker Friendly Book Club.
We welcome comments and suggestions for ways that we can expand our inclusiveness towards these individual and communities.
FreeThinker Book Club Goes Online
Westwood Free Thinker book club will be meeting online as long as we are struggling with Covid 19.
The meetings will be held at regular time and date (see below) at:
The book club is designed to:
- provide participants with a broad and balanced look at the major ideas of atheism, humanism, ‘free thinking’, environmentalism and other social movements
- provide a critical response to atheism and
- examine issues related to parenting secular children.
The book club meets online on the last Wednesday evening of the month 7:00-8:30 PM. In true Unitarian tradition theists, atheists, post-theists, agnostics and the unclassified are all invited to participate in one or all book club meetings.
Recent Posts and Events relevant to our FreeThinker Friendly Program
This is a PDF transcript of a talk given by Rev. David Breeden at the Eileen Hastings Memorial Lecture presented by The First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh in April 2021. The title of the talk is “Does Humanism Have a Future in Unitarianism?” but Breeden also flips the statement to question the future of
You are welcome to join this month’s Westwood’s Freethinker Book Club on Wednesday, March 31st, at 7:00 PM. This month we learn from and with Gwynne Dyer, one of Canada’s most well read and interesting public commentator. The book is his latest – Growing Pains: the future of democracy (and work). We meet via zoom
The Westwood Freethinkers is group of Atheists, Humanists, Agnostics and those who can’t decide – or care about theological truths! But they all care about Free and Critical thinking. Thus, we gather, this year via ZOOM, for 90 minutes of lively discussion. Please free to join us on: Wednesday on Wednesday Sept. 30 2020, at
At their final meeting of the year, the FreeThinkers held a pitched contest to choose selections for next year. Members were invited to pitch one or two books, telling us why the book was both interesting and useful (or just plane fun), as well accessibility, format details, costs, library availability etc. Then each member was
Westwood Unitarian FreeThinkers’ Book Club 7:00- 8:30 PM, March 25 2010 We will be staying home this Wednesday- but gathering via a ZOOM web conference. The URL for the meeting is https://us04web.zoom.us/j/780381039 The URL and titles for next month are on the Westwood web site at https://www.westwoodunitarian.ca/freethinker-book-club-selections-2019-2020/This month’s selection is How the West Really Lost
In an insightful post at the “ArtOfManliness” website Brett and Kate McKay offer a multitude of reasons why men (and folks of all genders) should go to Church. For many (most Canadians) Church seems so ‘19th Century’, boring or irrelevant, that they find all sorts of alternative activities to indulge in on their Sunday mornings.