FreeThinkers

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.

To suggest a book for next year’s book club reading list complete the form here.

We are proud to have been designated as Canada’s first Free Thinker Friendly Congregation.

The program challenges us, as a Congregation to:

  1. Be explicit in our welcoming statements and other language that atheists, agnostics, Humanists and Free Thinker are both welcomed and respected for their beliefs.
  2. Discuss within our Congregation ways we both support and discourage those with these religious and non-religious outlooks.
  3. Offer time and place for alternate religious or non religious groups to socialize, network  and learn from each other
  4. 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:

This Zoom link.

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.

Click Below for Dates, Book Titles and Descriptions for the next Freethinker Book Club

Recent Posts and Events relevant to our FreeThinker Friendly Program

DARWIN DAY Zoom EVENT – One of Degree and Not of Kind: Darwin Widens the Circle

In honor of Darwin Day this coming weekend, The UU Humanist Association is excited to offer a free Zoom presentation and celebrate the birthday, the work, and the legacy of Charles Darwin. One of Degree and Not of Kind: Darwin Widens the Circle Date: Sunday, February 13 Time: 7:00pm Eastern (6:00pm Central | 5:00pm Mountain | 4:00pm Pacific) Where: Zoom (Login instructions are listed below) To quote Darwin himself from The Descent of Man: “The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind.” — Charles Darwin.

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Does Unitarianism Have a Future Without Humanism?

  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 Unitarianism in the talk.  David Breeden is the Senior Minister at First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis.  He is author of a number of books and past President of the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Assoc. I found this one of the most engaging presentations I have heard

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FreeThinker Book Club digests Gywnne Dyer’s latest & Humanism and UU’s

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 via ZOOM at https://zoom.us/j/97617055410  EVERYONE is welcomed! Does Humanism Have a Future in Unitarian Universalism? The UU Humanist Association is participating in an exciting discussion, hosted by the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh (link is external), to discuss the place of Humanism in Unitarian Universalism. The

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Season Startup – Westwood FreeThinkers’ Book Club

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 7:00 pm On Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/97617055410 Our selection for this month is Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants   Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants  is a 2013 nonfiction book written by Indigenous author Robin Wall Kimmerer and published

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FreeThinkers’ Book Club Members choose books to read next year

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 allowed 7 votes (one for each month the Club meets next year. And the winners are: Sept. 30, 2020 Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants  by Robin Wall Kimmerer Oct. 28 2020, The Righteousness Mind by Jonathan Haidt Nov. 25,

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March meeting of the Westwood Freethinkers

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 God: A new theory of secularization by Mary Eberstadt.  I hope you enjoy the book and I look forward to our discussion. A few questions to get us started: Do you believe the world is getting more secular – especially given the continuing growth of

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