Dear Naturalist Friends,

After a year of existence it is more clear than ever that our future as an organization depends on you, or rather on finding ways to reap the benefits of your enormous talents and abilities and life experience. Yes, an organization has to have leaders, and we officers and Board members are constantly relying on our own experience, but we continuously seek ways to harvest YOUR experience and knowledge.

One approach is to think about what sub-groups exist within RNA and see where the likeliest sources of concentrated energy might be.  That’s not to say individuals aren’t important (they are, they are), but tapping into sub-group energy, or creating categories of members, may be the most efficient way to move forward.

One sort of category is geographical, and as we grow I suspect that will become an important outlet for our organizational energy – meeting one another, devising local projects, and reaching out to friends who are religious naturalists and may not know it yet.  Meanwhile, our on-line interactions are vital, as Ursula recently discussed in a blog posting about secular and religious communities.

Another category is types of interests or activities. A very current example is RNA members who are (or have been) clergy. We have at least 35 such members, and they are an amazing group of people. Happily, member Andrew Brown, pastor of a Unitarian church in Cambridge England (, enthusiastically responded to our invitation to lead an RNA Clergy Group, which will start out by engaging in dialogue on a GoogleGroup listserv. Invitations went out over the weekend and already 16 have joined. If you have clergy experience yourself but did not receive an invitation then drop me a line ( and I’ll put you in touch with Andrew.

Other initiatives are still simmering on the back burner, but in the meantime even our non-clergy will  be happy to know about this exciting development.  Stay tuned for more, and if you have ideas about other sub-groups and what projects they might explore, please let us know.

Michael Cavanaugh, Secretary
Religious Naturalist Association