RNA Newsletter – November 2020

Greetings to all, and best wishes in these challenging times.

One part of this month’s news is that we now have a RNA group Zoom account, and this is increasingly being used (and, we encourage further use of) as a way of joining together. For some recent examples:

Members of the Texas-plus group were joined online by Daniel Strain of the Spiritual Naturalist Society (SNS), who shared thoughts on meditation as a focus of practice.

At a gathering of the Tennessee-plus group, Jason Keune discussed the work of two British artists, Andy Goldsworthy and Jason Decaires Taylor, who, in different ways, feature aspects of nature in their work. As part of this, a TED talk was shown, which included a beautiful (and, biologically intriguing) 11-minute video, showing: “An underwater art museum, teeming with life”. As one attendee described it: “We were all spellbound.”

Zoom was also used at a recent meeting where RNA board members and some others discussed ways of enhancing what we’re able to offer.

Online discussion, with old-fashion typing, has also been active at RNAnet and RNAfacebook. This included:

  • some threads that touched on current social and political questions where, along with a bit of venting, thoughtful perspectives were shared on such topics as truth, the nature of evil, and ways of balancing “capitalist” and “socialist” perspectives, including Scandanavian models;
  • an approach to monastic living, with activities – in growing food, caring for bees, and maintaining a native plant and pollinator sanctuary – that involve close connections to nature; and
  • how hope for the future can be enhanced by thinking of “How to be a Good Ancestor”, including an approach being used in Japan that requires decision-makers to consider options from the perspective of what people 100 years from now would wish we had done.

Some resources were also identified, including:

  • the DC Environmental Film Festival, with many films available for streaming, and
  • a new book, by Eric Steinhart: Believing in Dawkins: The New Spiritual Atheism, which looks at spirituality, possibility, humanity, wonder, and other themes that are parts of what is considered in religious naturalism.
  • With the American holiday, Thanksgiving, as a prompt, I’ll close by sending wishes that, along with current restrictions and concerns, we can find ways to notice and acknowledge the good things that we can be thankful for.


Todd Macalister

Grenada underwater sculpture park

Jason Decaires Taylor


Prarie Cairn

Andy Goldsworthy