May 2013 Newsletter

The Spiritual Naturalist Society

May 2013
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How did you first learn of the Spiritual Naturalist Society?  This is a question we’d really like to know about you (and our membership is still small enough that I know each of your names, so I do mean you lol). The reason is that this kind of information can tell us what’s working and what isn’t in our outreach efforts. If you would take just a moment to reply to this email with your answer that would be greatly appreciated!

This month we gained a new local chapter – our first outside the United States! This chapter is in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada – a pre-existing group that has chosen to join our family. They are lead by Michelle and Roger LeBlanc, and you can read more about them on our volunteer profiles page.

I also wanted to let you know that one of our Directors, Thomas Schenk, has generously offered to help kickstart more interaction in our new fledgling community. He had begun creating thought-provoking questions each week to help spur discussion on our member forums. Please consider checking these out! We have copied Thomas’ latest question below in this newsletter, with an easy link that takes you right to the spot on the forums where you can reply. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.
The rest of the exciting news and materials for this month you can read below!
With love and thanks 🙂

Daniel Strain
Executive Director

UPCOMING DATES (Please mark your calendars!)
You can also see our calendar anytime by going to the Community page…

Sunday June 9th (7:00pm CST): Planning Meeting
If you’re interested in the nuts and bolts of our organization, join us in the chat tab of the SNS Member Network for a meeting discussing programs, expenses, etc. SNS Directors are required to attend, but it is open to all members.
Tuesday June 18th (7:00pm CST): Monthly Member Social
Join us for casual conversation and socializing in the chat tab of the SNS Member Network! Getting to know your fellow members is on of the benefits of our Society so we look forward to chatting with you!

Please join us on the member forums to discuss these current topics!

Director Thomas Schenk offers this week’s question:

“Many religions have given humans a central place and significance in the Universe, and a corresponding sense of purpose.  Reductionist science has suggested that the human species have no particular significance, no purpose, and indeed that the Universe itself, in the words of physicist Steven Weinberg, “seems pointless.”

Discussion of this matter, at least in the West, seems to take place largely at the polar extremes of central significance and purpose or no significance and purpose.  This may be a reflection of a similar polarity between a theistic, anthropomorphic deity and a complete absence of divinity.)

So here is the question: In relation to significance and purpose, are there positions intermediate between the polar extremes?  As an additional consideration, would a naturalistic spirituality or religion require such an intermediate position, or can it rest on one or the other of the polar positions.

This is a rather tough question, but hopefully it can stimulate some interesting responses.”

Previous Discussion Question (you can still join in on this one too; or start your own!):

We have an excellent group of writers but it is small. We need to add more writers to the team that creates our public articles. In particular, we need more articles on the topic of compassion and loving-kindness as a part of our practice and beliefs. If you would like to write an article or know of someone who might, please contact us, thanks 🙂

The following are some of the most recent pieces added to the membership’s growing archive of inspirational and educational materials. Please feel free to discuss what you think about these with the other members in the Society forum!

This month’s entries come from Stoic teachings. Many thanks to Donald Robertson and Michel Daw!
Stoic Meditation, Donald Robertson

Stoic Infographic (Poster), Michel Daw

-We have also added a new poem by new SNS member, Darren Bell. You can find it on the Arts & Music page, or at the bottom of this issue of the newsletter (below). Thanks Darren!

Articles the Society has publicly published recently, as part of our mission to help others by sharing helpful wisdom and practices for better lives. If you’d like to get notice of these as they are released, please subscribe to the Society blog by clicking here if you haven’t already.

Three Transcendents, part 1: Naturalistic Transcendence
Three Transcendents, part 1: Naturalistic Transcendence

In the first of this four-part series, B.T. Newberg talks about different forms of transcendence meaningful for the Spiritual Naturalist…

Life challenges as a mirror

Sometimes our response to difficulties in life can show us whether we are making progress in our practice…

Bicycle Meditation

Being fully at home, wherever you happen to be peddling…

Three Transcendents, part 2: Nature

In the second of this 4-part series, B.T. Newberg writes on our relationship with Nature…
Poem by new SNS Member, Darren Bell…
This is a poem I wrote on the top of Sommes Hill (the hill in the picture) called Two Crows. ^_^

Don’t forget, if you haven’t already you can like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more content and up-to-date info. You can also check out our Local Chapters page (here) to meet spiritual naturalists in person, or start hosting a local gathering if there isn’t yet one in your city by contacting us. Thanks so much for your kind support and your membership in the Spiritual Naturalist Society!