Here toward the beginning of the year, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the state of SNS; what we’ve done, where we’re at, and where to next!
We’re in our 6th year of operation, and we have a good readership, membership, and volunteer team. SNS has done much to influence the spiritual and religious naturalist movement, and helped make more people aware of Spiritual Naturalism. I’ve actually encountered random people calling themselves that, which had almost never happened when we launched in 2012.
What’s more important are the wonderful letters and posts we’ve had come in, from people who are excited to find out there are others like themselves – or, excited to find out about naturalistic approaches to spiritual practice they had never heard of before. There words are encouraging and uplifting, and help keep us going.
Most of all, I’ve enjoyed the friendships and contacts I’ve made in the community – not just in SNS but from our partner organizations and many other individuals.
As we stand, we have over 27,000 followers on Facebook. Over 30,600 unique listeners have heard our podcast. We get about 5,000 unique visitors to our website each month. We have about 1,000 official members of the organization. We also host a discussion group on Facebook of almost 500 people, and have several other groups of followers on various other social media platforms. Lastly, we list about 4 local chapters, with several other partner organizations and groups.
Each month, SNS publishes a range of new articles from talented writers who contribute their efforts to help the SNS mission. We also host a monthly member gathering via video chat, as well as a practice support group and meditation group online – both very new and just getting their bearings.
This year we got a new website, thanks to the extensive efforts of our IT Director Tony, and the input from the rest of the Council and staff! We still have some tweaks and more features coming this year. One of those is the creation of specialized pages for naturalistic paganism, Buddhism, Humanism, Stoicism, and more traditions. We also hope to seek out department heads for each of these, and provide even more educational materials and resources.
Our volunteer staff is still small and we could use some more help. We especially need tech backup with WordPress, someone who can edit video and audio, and really anyone who knows how to do basic computer things like making posts and emails. Whether you’re a people-person, or a technical person, or a writer or artist, our community has all kinds of ways to contribute, whatever degree of time you feel right with.
We are also in the midst of some adjustments we are making to our organizational structure and workflow. I think of our history as beginning with a ‘logistical phase’. The first few years we were just getting our paperwork in order, our basic membership functions, publications, etc.
The second phase was an informational one. We were establishing our identity, putting out articles and videos, etc. This was mostly a one-way conversation going outward – seeking others of like mind and telling the world what we are about.
As we enter this new year, I hope we will begin a third phase, which will be more interactive. Now we are finally just beginning to get a mass of folks where we can have people showing up to live events and we can get more two-way conversations going, both online and in person. We hope to help facilitate friendships between spiritual and religious naturalists who are seeking fruitful interactions with others, and building a more robust and well-rounded community.
I hope you’ll be a part of that community, and hope you’ll keep in touch with what we do next this year, through becoming a member and getting the member newsletter, as well as participating in our main monthly gathering online and other events and forums!
Here’s to a great 2019.
With love and thanks,
Spiritual Naturalist Society
The Spiritual Naturalist Society works to spread awareness of spiritual naturalism as a way of life, develop its thought and practice, and help bring together like-minded practitioners in fellowship.