Newsletter #2 – The Church of Spiritual Humanism
September 10, 2002 – Philadelphia,
I am happy to report that August saw a tremendous increase in membership for the Church. We welcomed over 1,600 new Spiritual Humanists. Although we are a new church and a new religion we are growing very fast. Currently we are represented by 39 countries (see the list at http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/countries.htm). It is exciting to see the diversity of people who have decided to become Spiritual Humanist. This vividly illustrates that there are many people who are receptive to our message of “Religion based on Reason.”
Mark you calendar! The Autumnal Equinox is on Sept. 23, at 12:55 A.M. EDT. (In the Northern Hemisphere at least, down south it is the Vernal Equinox.) This is when the day and night are about equal in length all over the world. It marks the change of the season and is the beginning of Fall. For of thousands of years and across many religious traditions astronomical events like the Equinox have been used as markers for religious holidays. The Church of Spiritual Humanism encourages you to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox. We have some suggestions on our web site and in the book “The Officiant’s Manual” on how you and your friends and relatives can mark this event, which affects every one on Earth.
LINK TO US
I have created several Flash link buttons that you can place on your web page. They are a easy way to help visitors to your home page find Spiritual Humanism. Also these links help us defray some of our advertising costs, which are our number one expense. You can find them at http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/buttons.htm
OPT IN DIRECTORY
We want to add to our web site a directory of Spiritual Humanism clergy. This would help couples looking for a wedding offiiciant or anyone looking for a clergy person for any type of ceremony. We will only list you if you email your information to directory ( at ) spiritualhumanism.org Please include Name, email or web page address, state of province, and country of residence. You can also include a one-sentence comment if you would like.
READERS WRITE IN
I hope to include letters from members, like the one below, in this newsletter. So if you have question feel free to email me at info ( at ) spiritual humanism.org
A Reader Writes:
> I was wondering if there are certain elements of ceremonies that are characteristic to >Spiritual Humanism that I might include when performing them. Thank you, Jill
The distinctive elements of a Spiritual Humanist ceremony include:
-Religious inspiration should come from the beauty of the natural world and recognition of our place in it; art, music, or poetry; hopes for future generations yet to be born and remembrance of those who have died; and calling on each person present to be part of a community to make the world a better place.
-In a marriage ceremony the prospective husband and wife are equals
-Rituals, like lighting a unity candle are encouraged. They should not have supernatural connotations
A successful ceremony will evoke a sense of awe and inspiration from those who witness and participate in it. As Spiritual Humanists we have the vast resources of natural and rational world
It has been a year since the WTC attacks. Those of you who read the previous newsletter have already heard how these incidents were the catalyst that inspired the formation of The Church of Spiritual Humanism . As we remember those who lost their lives we must also realize that each of us has the power to make the world a better place then we found it. Every one of us can help stem the tide of fundamentalism by gently reminding those around us that religion and reason do work together. With this as our focus, there is hope for the future.
Finally I want to remind you about for the Ordained Clergy Packages available in our online store http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/shop.php The Ordination Certificates and Clergy Wallet ID Cards are really cool, and, of course, The Officiant’s Manual contains valuable information in it such as marriage laws for all 50 states, sample ceremonies, etc. The fees charged for these packs help defer the cost of the web site, advertising, PO Box, and incorporation fees.
President, The Church of Spiritual Humanism