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.
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 FreeThinker book clubs 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 https://us04web.zoom.us/j/780381039
As an educational component of our FreeThinker Friendly Congregation, Westwood Congregation is facilitating a monthly discussion group this fall.
The book club is designed to:
- provide participants with a broad and balanced look at the major ideas of atheism, humanism and ‘free thinking’
- provide a critical response to atheism and
- examine issues related to parenting secular children.
The book club meets in the basement of the Church 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
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.
Join us on Wednesday Feb. 26, 2020 7:00 PM Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions edited by Susan Tive & Cami Ostman Beyond Belief addresses what happens when women of extreme religions decide to walk away. Editors Susan Tive (a former Orthodox Jew) and Cami Ostman (a de-converted fundamentalist born-again Christian) have
Many of you will have read this book as a child or a student, but what does it teach us as adults? Join us Nov. 27 at 7:00 PM downstairs at Westwood for a lively and learning discussion. All are welcomed! The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry An aviator whose plane is forced down
I stumbled upon a new study by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Media services (like the BBC) are struggling to insure that their programming actually meets current and emerging needs of its consumers (or one could say its members.) The study identifies nine digital ‘human values”. As I read through the flash cards produced (one for