Religious Naturalist Newsletter

July, 2018

Friends, I have always been a proponent of the “go slow” approach, and it has been very

satisfying to see how our organization has developed with virtually no marketing. That said, I often get letters from you gently complaining because we are not more aggressive, and I am sympathetic to that feeling too. I just keep hoping I’ll be ready when some bombshell event happens, like the hypothetical endorsement from some popular celebrity.

In the meantime, it is clear to me that our members have amazing talents. I got an offer recently to help us convert to MailChimp, which would make mailing newsletters easier, among other advantages. And when I look over my “dream list” of future activities, I know there are talented members who could do any one of them, and more, in spades.

So every once in a while I want to share my “project list” with you in a newsletter, and see if any of these projects are something you’d like to take on. And of course you may have your own ideas, like the MailChimp idea. Just to keep your creative juices flowing, however, I’ll list a few ideas from the dream list and hope one of them resonates with you, if you feel inspired to help us take the next step in our evolution. Here are a few of them with a comment or two:

● Start a Religious Naturalist Group in your local church. We have one member who already does this, and I could put you in touch with him to brainstorm approaches and ideas.

● Encourage our members who already inhabit various listservs other than our own, not so much to be a “missionary” from religious naturalism to other groups, but rather to serve as liaisons where such groups are our “cousins,” or to serve as dialogue partners where they may have interests conflicting with ours. An exciting part of that work would be to report back to our members (say on the Facebook page or or RNAnet) and get ideas from other members on how best to advance our role in culture.

● Organize a local gathering. We finally have the numbers to have state-wide groups or gatherings (or even city-wide in some cases), and there are already initiatives afloat in Massachusetts and Texas (another initiative in Colorado has fizzled). It strikes me that we have enough members in many states to at least have exploratory meetings – in California we easily have enough for several regional meetings. We can direct you to good on-line resources for organizing such gatherings, and we are slowly building our own models, so even if you are in a smaller state you might want to sponsor a “hang-out” weekend at your home to introduce ourselves to one another. Just let me know.

● I’ve often thought how cool it would be to visit one another as we pass through each other’s hometowns, though I’m not sure how to construct such a program. The “policy” aspect of that initiative sounds daunting at first, but if you have ideas and are interested in offering your organizational talents for such a program, let’s talk further.

Well, I have about a dozen other things on my dream-list, but this was really meant just as a catalyst for your thinking, because I am positive that our pool of talent is up to any challenge. I don’t know what our path is for the future, but I am certain we have within our membership the wherewithal to navigate it.

If you want the longer list, or if you want to add to mine, shoot me an e-mail.

Your Secretary and Dreamer-in-Chief,

Michael Cavanaugh