Jerry DeWitt on “Atheist Community Building”
This month we feature atheist superstar Jerry DeWitt, the former Pentecostal minister turned atheist, speaking on “Atheist Community Building.” He is well-known at national conventions, and a veteran community builder. He is flying in from Louisiana for a speaking tour that includes Sacramento, San Jose, Stanford, San Francisco and Berkeley.
DeWitt was a pastor in the small town of DeRidder, Louisiana, and a fixture of the community. His faith crumbled in 2011. When he was eventually outed as an atheist, he found himself shunned by much of DeRidder’s highly religious community, losing his job, much of his family and nearly everything he’d known.
He has since become a leader and well-known speaker in America’s fast growing Secular movement. His book, Hope after Faith, tells the story of his life passage from a pastor with a deep Christian faith to a committed and considered atheism driven by Humanism, a profound moral dimension, and the happiness and self-confidence obtained by living free of supernaturalism.
Churches seem to build community very easily. What can secular groups learn from this?
There is a crucial difference between the church service & the services of the church. The church does not provide community via the service (the sermon) but by the services it provides to members. The church service itself builds a reputation, drawing people in originally; but the quality of the services a church provides creates depth in the community. To grow membership you need the service; to build community for the members, you must rely on the services you provide.
Please join us for this special event and the always meaningful discussion afterwards. And please accompany us to dinner after the meeting. We go to the Big Lantern, 3170 16th St. (between Valencia & Guerrero)
Jerry will also speak to East Bay Atheists on the preceding day. Since his talks are largely determined by the interests of the audience, both talks will be unique. Consider attending both events.
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When: Sunday, February 1st at 3:00
Location: Main Auditorium (First Floor), Women's Building, 3543 18th (at Valencia), San Francisco
Cost: $6 Renting a meeting room means we must charge admittance. We would appreciate exact change if convenient. Most of all we want you to join us for this talk.
Note: The Women's Building is three blocks from the Mission 16th St. BART. If you don't know the neighborhood we suggest that as you reach the top of the stairs from BART, turn right and walk a few yards to 16th. Then turn left on 16th Street and walk to Valencia, then turn left on Valencia to 18th St.
Parking: Garage at 3255 21st Street (at Lexington)
Atheist Political Activism in the Bay Area
Atheist Advocates of San Francisco, along with East Bay Atheists, spearheads atheist political activism in the Bay Area. In July 2012 we called for a protest at the Oakland Zoo, demanding the removal of a Ten Commandments monument on city property. Several days before our protest, the Commandments were removed. We recently attended a Santa Clara City Council meeting, along with other activists, in support of removing a cross from a city park. We are working on crosses in Redwood City and Albany, both on public property. If you feel that social events, lectures and cultural events are not enough, you are our people. Please join us.