Newsletter #5 – The Church of Spiritual Humanism
December 5, 2002 – Philadelphia www.SpiritualHumanism.org
The Winter Solstice is Saturday, December 21 at 8:14 p.m. EST. The Solstice is the basis of holy days in many religions including Spiritual Humanism. It is the shortest day of the year and the longest night. This is because the Earth’s axis is titled 23.5 degrees toward the plane of our orbit around the sun. As we progress around our yearly orbit the Northern and Southern hemispheres take turns basking in the extra sunlight and cooling in the extended darkness. For our Spiritual Humanist members in Australia the 21st is the Summer Solstice.
In early agricultural societies the Winter Solstice was of tremendous religious importance. It marks the end of the ebbing of the Sun’s light and the promise of the return of spring and its abundance. Although today we understand what causes this phenomena and no longer associate it with supernatural forces, it is no less religiously awe inspiring. The Solstice has effects on nearly every living thing on our planet. This most obvious mark of the change in seasons has shaped the evolution of life. It has also shaped cultures and molded religions. This event has been celebrated by all of our ancestors since before recorded history, and will be observed by our descendents long after we have past.
Mark your calendar and plan to celebrate this special spiritual event with its persistent pagan traditions of decorate evergreen trees and mistletoe. There is wonder in the world and we can both experience it and understand it.
IN THE NEWS
Family planning spurs growth in poor nations -UN
By Irwin Arieff
UNITED NATIONS, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Developing countries can fuel economic expansion and boost productivity by investing in family planning and reproductive health services, the U.N. Population Fund said on Tuesday.
“Better health, including reproductive health, and education contribute to economic growth,” the fund, known as UNFPA, said in the 2002 edition of its annual “State of World Population” report.
“This year for the first time the report shows solid evidence that actions that reduce fertility also help produce economic growth and reduce poverty,” said Thoraya Obaid, the UNFPA’s executive director.
see full story at http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N03337523
As the most powerful country in the world it is our responsibility to promote the reduction of human suffering. By helping poor people control their reproductive rates we can reduce greatly the number of children dying from starvation and disease. To fail to do so is ethically reprehensible.
READERS WRITE IN
If you have question feel free to email me at info ( at ) spiritual humanism.org
> My question is, you ordained me about a month ago, I was asked and now I ask you. Do we as members of your clergy refer to ourselves as, Priest, Minister, Rabbi, Shaman or what? I know this is very trivial but to some I’ve spoken to it matters. Please reply.
>Thank you R.G. .Minks
Once ordained by The Church of Spiritual Humanism your official church title is Ordained Clergy Person, or O.C.P. for short. If you order one of the Deluxe Clergy Packs you can be awarded an additional title like the ones you mentioned, or one of the titles found on the list at http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/titles.htm If your religious tradition is not covered by the titles listed and you want to know if we will award it, please email info ( at ) spiritual humanism.org and we will be able to tell you if it is acceptable.
Have a happy Solstice.
As always Clergy Packages are available in our online store http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/shop.php The ordination Certificates are printed on acid free paper for extra long life, and Clergy Wallet ID Cards are nice to have. Our book, The Officiant’s Manual includes information on celebrating the solstices as well as marriage laws for all 50 states, sample ceremonies, etc. The fees charged for these packs are our only income and help defer the cost of the web site, advertising, PO Box, and incorporation fees.
President, The Church of Spiritual Humanism