Nov. 15th, 2014 - Speaker Isabella Kasselstrand, Ph.D. - Secularization

Isabella Kasselstrand, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology at Colorado Mesa University, will talk about her research on secularization, church and state, and culturally situated meanings of religious beliefs and belonging in Northern Europe. This study was conducted at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland between 2010 and 2013, resulting in a dissertation entitled "'Tell the Minister Not to Talk About God:' A Comparative Study of Secularization in Protestant Europe."

Northern Europe is the most secular region in the world today. Yet, “belonging without believing” is prevalent, suggesting that support for and identification with secular functions of churches are strong, while belief in God or a supernatural power is low. Scotland and Sweden are used as two case studies to highlight this phenomenon; a majority of Swedes are culturally religious as they do not believe but still identify with the Church of Sweden as a cultural heritage and as a provider of life cycle ceremonies. In Scotland, on the other hand, “belonging without believing” is more closely associated with a sense of community or cultural defense in a nation that is more religiously diverse.

The presentation is followed by a discussion of what we can learn from the Northern European trends about our own experience of secularization here in the United States, still in its earlier stages.

When: Saturday, Nov. 15th from 10:00 am - Noon

Where: Garden Room at The Commons (625 27 1/2 Road, park at rear of building and enter Garden Room entrance)

Click here to RSVP on our meetup site.

Nov. 8th, 2014 - Humanist Hike: Palisade Riverfront Trail

We'll be doing a leisurely and easy hike along the Palisade section of the Colorado Riverfront Trail. The trail is a dog-friendly and mostly paved 3.5 mile round-trip trail. If you have dogs, feel free to bring them out to meet some other pooches as we enjoy some of the fall weather. An old cannery is visible from the trail and the path meanders through trees along the river. There is also the Palisade Heritage Area that is the site of a migrant workers camp that was operational until the 1960's. The trail should allow us to avoid potential problems with mud and so far the forecast says sun. There are numerous benches and places with grass to stop and relax.

When: Saturday, Nov. 8th at 10:00 am

Where: Colorado Riverfront Trail's Palisade Section (park in the parking lot on the south end of Brentwood Drive)

Click here to RSVP on our meetup.

Nov. 1st, 2014 - After-Halloween Party

We'll be having an After-Halloween Party again this year! We encourage everyone to come in costume for a hilarious and spooky evening of fun and games. Prepare yourself for games like Fear Factor, balloon stomp and Werewolf. The evening will be very kid friendly, but with a spooky theme. We encourage everyone to bring snacks to share. We had an absolute blast last year doing this and we're sure we'll have a great time this year!

Contact us if you'd like to help with the decorating or have party ideas.

When: Saturday, November 1st at 6:00 pm.

Where: Jesse & Velvet's in Fruita (we'll send out the address to those who RSVP as the date nears)

Click here to RSVP on our meetup site or for more information.