RNA Newsletter – August 2021
Dear RNA members –
Thanks to Michael, Ursula and Terry for the opportunity to write this month’s newsletter. As Chair of the RNA Outreach Committee, I am glad to report the progress that we have made over the last several months. I’ll do that momentarily but first – we need a new logo – so here’s an invitation…
We invite you to submit a logo design for use across our platforms: social media, letter and email templates, and on the website. We know that there are some really skilled designers among the membership and we would love to hear from you. The logo should:
- Symbolize the central concept of the Religious Naturalist orientation, e.g. “Taking Nature to Heart”, “Nature is enough”, nature as the first spiritual impulse
- Be appealing across race, ethnicity, gender, nationality
- Be universally understandable, (much like nature itself)
- Be easy to understand
- Be memorable
- Be “ageless”
We can’t reimburse you monetarily, but we intend to use this logo long into the future, and we will surely give you credit. If you are interested in potentially designing a logo, please send us a note at the RNA Contact page.
About a year ago, the RNA Board charged a group of us with creating a plan for outreach with the goal of sharing the RN orientation with more people. The group recognized that there is a real sense (on RNAnet and the RNA Facebook site) that a deep, spiritual connection to nature can be powerful in addressing the wicked problems of our time, such as climate change, COVID, and racial injustice, and that the time is now to engage in outreach.
The members of the outreach committee were: Kurt Bilanoski, Michael Cavanaugh, Terry Findlay, Ursula Goodenough, Partap Khalsa, Jason Keune, Sofiya Krasotina, Todd Macalister, Jennifer Morgan, JD Stillwater, and Carol Wayne White.
The report of that committee, produced on February 15, 2021, is attached.
In response to this report, the board elected to engage a communication expert. Joey Baron, of DreamUp Consulting, has spent the last several months helping us to best describe what we think religious naturalism can offer and better understand how we can reach out to the world.
We elected to focus first on a recommendation that we consider to be a logical “next step,” namely, to consider how RNA can make a dynamite “first impression” for someone who has encountered our group for the first time. Hence the new logo is of maximal importance. Two of our officers, Terry Findlay and Todd Macalister, are also engaged in a major re-design of our two websites. While this is still a work in progress, you can view their elegant first pages here.
And finally, let me lift up the words of the Reverend Janet Newton in her chapel talks at the IRAS/Star Island conference last month. She emphasized the need for practices to remove the myth of the heroic individual from our religious lives – “the one that we have been waiting for.” She talked about “rebraiding” our relationships with one another and with the earth as a way of “encouraging the conversations we’ve avoided since we’ve abdicated covenant as too challenging to maintain as a nation.” And most poignantly: “Ego + curiosity can lead to such destructive places. But curiosity and humility? What might that achieve?”
It is in that spirit that we go into the future as a Religious Naturalist Association. If you are interested in joining us on this project to “spread the word,” please send us a message at the RNA Contact page. Input is needed in the areas of Membership, Social Media, Newsletter, Public Relations, and Events! Any suggestions or assistance you can offer will be appreciated!
This month musical selection:
Janet sung this multiple times on Star and it went deep into my heart!