About

“An open space for Freethinkers (agnostics, atheists, skeptics, non-theist wonderers) who enjoy the experience of Nature and natural thought. Reason-based, without a need for the “super-natural” or “spiritual.” Post-faith but not anti-religious. Centered in Good rather than God. Positive; inviting; welcoming; inclusive; bridge-building not wall-building. We will be exploring ways to create a regular gathering for thoughtful and respectful reflection, rational discussion, ethical action and community activity including walks, music and more. A secular, non-theist/non-supernatural alternative to traditional congregations.” (from the former Meetup Group)

“Secular”:  from Latin, saeculum, “this age, this world.”  Denoting attitudes and activities that have no religious or otherworldly basis.

“Sanctuary”:  from Latin, sanctuarium, “a special place set apart.”  A place of refuge.

“Secular Sanctuary”:  Gatherings in Nature for learning natural lessons, freely exchanging ideas, collaborating to face environmental and community challenges,  and walking deeper into the beauty of our world with energized reason and enhanced awareness.

“Freethinkers”:  “What the many types of freethinkers [share], regardless of their views on the existence or nonexistence of a divinity, was a rationalist approach to fundamental questions of earthly existence–a conviction that the affairs of human beings should be governed not by faith in the supernatural but by a reliance on reason and evidence adduced from the natural world.”  (Susan Jacoby, Freethinkers:  A History of American Secularism)

Who We Are:  Primarily we are life-loving, Nature-loving, forward-thinking women and men who extend a welcoming hand to naturalistic thinkers, skeptics, agnostics, atheists and questioners of any background.   We may be social workers, musicians, poets and teachers.  We may be students, scientists, artists or professional leaders.  Maybe Life is our work.  We may have very much or very little.  But each one is valuable.  Each one contributes.

In addition to the knowledge we gain from the myriad non-human voices in the natural world, we turn to the wisdom of diverse voices from our own species ranging from Thomas Paine to Mohandas Gandhi, from Francis Wright and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Rachel Carson and Gretel Ehrlich, from Ralph Emerson to Thoreau and Whitman, to the deep echoing voices of Humboldt, Darwin, Muir and Burroughs,  As we learn from, encourage and support each other, we are inclusive of all respectful seekers.  All we do is based on Respect. . .for each other, for ourselves and for the natural sanctuary and all its inhabitants, since Earth is our only home.

Who We Are Not:  We are not yet another “new age” religion.  Nor are we anti-religious.  We are not a cult of personality.  We are not Nature worshippers. . .or worshippers of anything or anyone in particular.  We are not interested in tired old theo-illogical debates about gods or other unhelpful distractions.  We are not about arguments and complaints.  We have no time for that.  Life is very short and there’s too much good in the world, too much beauty in Nature and too much out there to learn!  We are–quite naturally–participants in the grand and glorious play of life.

Philosophy

See “Community Congregation” and “Faith of a Naturalist” (John Burroughs)

Leadership

-Volunteer Readers, Speakers, Planners & Trail Guides

Resources

-Nature (the secular cosmos)

-Wisdom (wherever it is found)

-Freethinkers (all those who practice freethought)

-Each other

-Ourselves


This site is managed by Chris Highland

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