After a two-year pandemic-related absence, HumanistsMN returned to the State Capitol on May 5 to observe the National Day of Reason, which honors the principles of secular lawmaking and separation of religion and government. As in 2019, we joined hands with First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, and Or Emet – the Minnesota Congregation for Humanistic Judaism to sponsor a breakfast with legislators to affirm that policy should be based on reason, science, and evidence, not on religious preference.
Category: Chapter News
Humanists were out and about during HumanistsMN’s participation in the national Secular Week of Action, coordinated by Foundation Beyond Belief. Our events:
Fifteen people worked hard at The Food Group, packing boxes of meats for the program that supplies food at wholesale prices in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
HumanistsMN is participating in the nationwide Secular Week of Action. We are sponsoring events from April 20 to May 14 (a broader range than the national event to include more activities). Help show how humanists do good in our community! Please consider participating in one of the following activities:· Pack and sort food at The Food Group on April 20. The food will be distributed to more than 200 food shelves.
In commemoration of HumanistsMN’s 35th anniversary, the Board created the Paul Heffron Scholarship for Secular Students. Board Member Suzanne Perry made the following remarks at our Winter Solstice celebration in December before presenting a framed certificate announcing the scholarship to Paul. Photos of Paul over the years follow.
We’d like to take a moment during …
Humanists and other freethinkers celebrated the Winter Solstice in secular style on Dec. 18 at the Humanities Center in St. Paul.
Organizers of this year’s “Festivus for the Rest of Us” decided to draw on talent that is right under our nose — that of our members! Board member Jerry Smith served as M.C. for …
By Kristine Lund
My mom, Kerry Lund, and her life partner, Gene Kasmar, are no longer with us in their embodied forms. They spent their last years in Oklahoma City, having left Minnesota to escape the snow. They also left behind their activist life, focusing more on gardening and traveling. Although Kerry and Gene left the Midwest in 1997, Humanists of Minnesota was an important part of their activist lives.
HumanistsMN members met for an online annual meeting in May. They elected a new Board of Directors, voted on proposed changes to the HMN bylaws, and reviewed the last fiscal year’s activities and finances.
Our organization had many accomplishments last year, including a record-high membership, strong programming despite the pandemic (thanks especially to Program Coordinator Audrey Kingstrom), a healthy budget, and vibrant social-action and community-service programs.
HumanistsMN members elected four officers and four at-large members to the Board of Directors at the May annual meeting, including Harlan Garbell to his second term as President.
They also elected Ellie Haylund Vice President, John Walker Treasurer, Mitch Thompson Secretary, and Dave Guell, Nick Haylund, Suzanne Perry, and Jerry Smith to at-large positions. Dave …
Joined HumanistsMN: January 2021.
Profession/Residence: I was an educator for 46 years, the bulk of them spent working for The Blake School in Minneapolis as the Director of College Counseling and a member of the Social Studies Department. I most recently taught AP U.S. Government and Politics, U.S. Constitutional Law, and a variety of American History electives.
By Paul Heffron
The message was not unexpected: Suzie had died. A combination of diseases together took her from us. Suzanne Leavitt, a longtime member of our humanist organization, was known to her family and friends as Suzie. I remember her with love and admiration. She and her husband, Curt Leavitt, were best of friends to my wife, Peg, and me. She was one of those persons who lifted your spirit. Her presence brought more smiles, laughter, and energy, and enlivened conversation all around. To say we will miss her is a big understatement.
The HumanistsMN board has agreed to publish regular financial reports in this newsletter. This report covers the first seven months of our fiscal year (June to December 2020).
Income: $7,106. Same period in 2019: $8,721. (Decrease of 19 percent.)
Expenses: $1,588. Same period in 2019: $7,827. (Decrease of 80 percent.)
Net Income: $5,518. Same period in 2019: $893. (Increase of 518 percent.)
Total Assets: $44,993 (savings, checking and investments). No liabilities.
Joined HumanistsMN: November 2020
Profession/Residence: I began my professional career as a teacher of American history, speech, and theater in high school. After a decade, with a wife and new baby to support, I decided to go into business. I spent 23 years in insurance and investments. However, all the while I only wanted to realize my desire and need to be an actor.
Joined HumanistsMN: September 2020.
Profession/Residence: I am a student in Arabic literature, working to be a writer in the near future. I live in Egypt.
How she discovered us: I discovered HumanistsMN through an American friend who invited me to a Secular Saturday gathering. This was after we had a discussion about religion and the importance of making change to solve existing problems.
By Paul Heffron
I learned in late September from a Facebook posting by HumanistsMN member Steve Petersen that Vern Young had died on March 31 at age 93. Vern probably died in a health care center and evidently no one did an obituary. I couldn’t find one and neither could Steve. I met Vern sometime during the 1990s when he came to a Minnesota Atheists meeting for the first time. He said he’d been an atheist for a long time but had kept it to himself and was very happy he could now be open about it and be part of an atheist group.
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.