Joined HumanistsMN: April 2020, shortly after meetings went online.
Profession/Residence: I am a software consultant specializing in web development. I live in Eden Prairie and have worked for several companies in Minneapolis and the western suburbs.
How she discovered us: I had been visiting the website for a while before joining a meeting on mindful creativity.
What appealed to her about us: I am happy to have found a group that shares my values. I particularly like how engaged the group is. There are many events that are well attended and have excellent participation. I generally sit back and listen during meetings but I have found myself sharing more and more during HMN events. I want to support people who support people — and I believe I have found a great community that does just that!
Her journey to humanism: My dad was the pastor of our small town WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) church. He was a bit more progressive than the church, which in general was not at all. I especially chafed at the place of women in the church, which led to arguments with my dad that usually ended with him saying, “Because that’s what we believe.” I never really accepted that answer and eventually decided to figure out what I believed. I went to services at a few different churches — ELCA Lutheran, Catholic, Christian Science — but didn’t join any.
I read the bible and St. Teresa’s writings and Karen Armstrong. I read Gary Zukav and other metaphysical spirituality books. I even read L. Ron Hubbard and took the assessment test. (Scientologists followed my changes of address and still send me handwritten letters after almost 20 years.) Mostly I focused on mythology and comparative religion. I watched Joseph Campbell lectures and read Robert Graves and the Epic of Gilgamesh.
I considered myself agnostic before joining HMN. Doing some research into humanism and the HMN mission statement — “We aspire to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment and contribute to the greater good of humanity and the planet through reason, science, compassion, and creativity” — led me to consider myself humanist.