Secular Bible Study has caught the attention of the St. Paul Interfaith Network (SPIN) -- and we're talking!
Secular Bible Study-
Interfaith Conversation Cafe
First "homosexual" citizens' civil rights protest, July 4, 1967, two years before NYC's Stonewall Riots
Time & Place:
Monday, June 17
St. Paul Area Council of Churches HQ
1671 Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105
St. Paul Interfaith Network (SPIN) is again inviting the atheists, UUers, and theists of Secular Bible Study to have a joint meetup with their "interfaith dialogue" group -- SPIN's "Interfaith Conversation Cafe" (ICC), which is co-hosted by none other than our own long-time SBS member, Steve Miller.
Last month, partly in response to the Boston Marathon bombing, we voted to discuss the role of religion & violence. So what will be the topic that we nominate and vote to discuss this month? Attend and choose! But we'll be suggesting participants consider a dialogue around the theme of "LQBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer-Questioning) Rights "!
Defeated opponents of the same-sex marriage legalization vote pray at the State Capitol, May 2013
In the words of our co-host, Steve Miller:
"GLBTQ rights is a subject which has emerged from obscurity to prominence as a major social and faith concern. Is it the next battle in the struggle to provide equal and civil rights to all, or is it a threat to traditional religious and societal values?"
Victorious proponents of the same-sex marriage legalization vote celebrate at the State Capitol, May 2013
Steve continues, "June is '(Gay) Pride Month'. It is also the month the United States Supreme Court will rule on a number of same sex legal issues. Minnesota defeated the Marriage Amendment in November; the State Legislature approved same sex marriage in May. The Boy Scouts will be open to gay scouts, but not gay leaders."
"How do our values, our religious & faith traditions, and our relational and pluralistic rational views inform our stance regarding same sex relationships, including these recent votes and rulings?"
"How do our relationships -- including with friends, relatives, and religious traditions -- inform our beliefs? Where are there areas of doubt and uncertainty? Where might there be common ground?"
Anti-gay marriage protests in Paris, France, June 2013
"All participants will be encouraged to ask their own questions and bring their own perspectives. We are even open to other topics being raised. As always the greatest resource of Interfaith Conversation Cafe and Secular Bible Study are the experiences and insights of those who come."
Don't miss this Joint ICC-SBS Meetup on the theme of "LGBTQ Rights!" RSVP "YES" today, and make your thoughts known -- to all!
Q: What is the joint ICC-SBS Meetup all about?
A: According to their website (www.conversationcafe.org (http://www.interfaithconversationcafe.org)), ICC is "an interfaith dialogue focused on questions of faith as they affect our world. Open, facilitated conversations address topics of faith and society - by listening and questioning with curiosity, discovery and sincerity."
Q: Why should SBS jointly meetup with ICC?
A: One of our original purposes according to our co-founders Chester Barber & Grant Steves, and our co-sponsors, the Methodist church, Minnesota Atheists, and The Circle of Reason, is to encourage local "interfaith groups" to become more inclusive in inviting atheists and secular humanists into their dialogue -- so this is our chance!
Q: How does this joint Meetup work?
A: This joint ICC-SBS Meetup will be a little different than SBS's usual style: Rather than have a lecture followed by discussion, we'll follow ICC's "Socrates Cafe"-style of choosing a popular topic for discussion that same evening. Also, in the first round we pass a "talking object" and timer, and sit in a circle, to facilitate dialogue (and minimize yelling!), with SBS-like, back-and-forth dialogue held for the second go-round. But with folks like Steve Miller hosting, we've had no dearth of informed, thoughtful conversation about our topic of majority interest.
Q: Uh, is there any FOOD?
A: There will also be a snack available, as well as coffee/tea (but bring your own mug) -- an expenses-defraying donation jar will be out, but Frank Burton will be putting in some cash for us SBS attendees.
Q: Where do we meetup?
A: This joint Meetup will NOT be held at First Universalist Church, but at St. Paul Area Council of Churches (SPACC)'s St. Paul meeting room facility on Summit Ave, 2 blocks west of Snelling or 10 blocks east of the Mississippi River, on the north side of Summit Ave., opposite Macalester College (see map link). Conversation begins promptly at 7:00 pm; doors are open at 6:30 pm. This month we'll start staying an extra 15 minutes, until 8:45pm, to allow more discussion, and if enough folks show up we'll break into two groups to allow us to speak longer.
Q: Why should I attend?
A: To change the world, of course! "Interfaith" has for too long been a club to which atheists weren't welcome. No more! So come on over to Summit Ave. to see what the "new interfaith/transbelief dialogue" is all about! Join us for SPIN's and SBS's first "mutual outreach" between the interfaith & secular communities, to dialogue on issues of religion and society!