21 March: Talk Yourself Better, by Ariane Sherine

Comedy writer and journalist Ariane Sherine created and organised the Atheist Bus Campaign, persuading Richard Dawkins and the British Humanist Association to support her – and buses with variations on the slogan “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” ran in 13 countries across the globe.

As a result, Ariane received an Inbox full of hate mail from Christians, which eventually led to a major nervous breakdown and suicidal ideation. She ended her journalistic career, and didn’t write again for over three years. In this talk, she will tell the full story of how therapy and medication saved her life, prompting her to write her new book, Talk Yourself Better: A Confused Person’s Guide to Therapy, Counselling and Self-Help. Ariane will be signing copies of Talk Yourself Better after the talk.

Ariane also wrote the bestselling celebrity book The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas. She has written for BBC1’s My Family, Channel 4’s Countdown and BBC2’s Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, as well as for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, New Statesman, New Humanist and The Spectator. She lives in London with her seven-year-old daughter, Lily.

17 January meeting: Hot Potatoes (open mike session). Come along and speak your mind!

Once again, we are opening the floor at our January meeting to all of our members. Anyone can speak for 5 minutes (absolute maximum 10 minutes) on a topic of their own choice that is in some way related to humanism. It can be a personal account or an objective review. The idea is that you talk about something that interests you, and you interest us!  You can use PowerPoint if you wish, but that is not essential. Please email the chairman with the title of your planned talk to prevent duplication.

Thursday 17  January at 7.30 pm, University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. All welcome. A voluntary contribution is requested for room hire and refreshments.

You are very welcome to come for tea and coffee from 7 pm to meet and chat with other members and guests.

18 October: AGM and video and discussion on Modern Slavery

Our AGM takes place at our regular Thursday evening this month. We look forward to seeing our members and potential members, please come and get involved! The formalities will be followed by a short video on Modern Slavery, and a discussion on the topic.Thursday 18 October, 7.30 pm, at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. Voluntary donations requested. You are very welcome to arrive at 7 pm for coffee/tea and to chat to other members and visitors.

17 May meeting: Teddy Prout of Humanists UK on supporting those who leave their religion

teddy-2-croppoed-230x264Teddy Prout of Humanists UK will be talking about the journey that apostates face when leaving their religion, drawing on the personal experiences of those with whom he works, and his own journey from evangelical Christianity to humanism. He will also discuss the current issues in the UK for apostates, and what Faith to Faithless is doing to help individuals through their own journeys.

Faith to Faithless is a non-profit organisation associated with Humanists UK. It was started in mid-2015 by Imtiaz Shams and Aliyah Saleem to draw attention to the discrimination faced in particular by minorities within minorities, and to give a platform to the faithless to come out in public and speak out against this discrimination.

Thursday 17 May, 7.30 pm, at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. All welcome, but voluntary donations requested.

You are very welcome to arrive at 7 pm for coffee/tea and to chat to other members and visitors.

19 April meeting: Buddhism – is it just a way of life?

The Rev Saido Kennaway will give a talk that will attempt to cover the underlying assumptions and principles of Buddhism, give some sense of its diversity and its religious aspects, and present more specifically the Zen tradition of Dogen and how it points to integrating Buddhist teachings into ordinary daily life.

Saido Kennaway is a Buddhist monk from the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, which has its roots in the Soto Zen tradition of Buddhism, and he is disciple of the late Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett. He lived for many years at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey in Northumberland and for the last 18 years at Telford Buddhist Priory.

Thursday 19 April at 7.30 pm, University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. All welcome, but voluntary donations requested.

You are very welcome to arrive at 7 pm for coffee/tea and to chat to other members and visitors.

Saido recommends that anyone interested in doing some reading should look at the book The Foundations of Buddhism by Rupert Gethin, and at the following web sites:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.065.than.html
http://tbpriory.org.uk
http://throssel.org.uk.

15 March meeting: Karen Williams on Poverty

Karen Williams Karen Williams will talk about poverty in our community. She will discuss the reality of struggling to survive and the problems faced by the lower-paid, both in day-to-day living and in dealing with government and other officials.

Karen Williams is Project Leader of Shrewsbury foodbank PLUS, a holistic range of projects that serve our community often when people are at their most vulnerable. Working with the people of Shropshire they offer hope by recognising the value of each individual, enabling them to make positive choices for their future to play a full role in society and see personal transformation in their lives. Foodbank PLUS is part of Barnabas Community Projects of which Karen is a Director.

Karen will be happy to receive donations of food at the meeting.

Thursday 15 March at 7.30 pm, University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. All welcome, but voluntary donations requested.

You are very welcome to arrive at 7 pm for coffee/tea and to chat to other members and visitors.

Ludlow and Marches Humanists meeting: ‘Telling people about Humanism’, 20 February

Our neighbours, Ludlow and Marches Humanists, present a talk ‘Telling People about Humanism’ by Dr Simon Nightingale.

The meeting is on Tuesday 20 February 2018 at 7.30pm, at The Friends Meeting House, St Mary’s Lane, Ludlow SY8 1DZ

Note that the Ludlow and Marches Humanists have a new web site at ludlow.humanist.org.uk

Simon is a partly retired doctor, a clinical neurologist with a particular interest in philosophical aspects of neuroscience – consciousness, free will, the neural substrate for empathy and morality and so on.  He has been a humanist for many years and since 2015 he has been chair of the Shropshire Humanist Group. He contributes short talks on Humanism to local radio, and participates in inter-faith discussions; he will be considering techniques, tactics and pitfalls when communicating Humanist messages to people of different outlooks. He is also a keen metagrobologist and won prizes for it! (Metagrobology is the study of puzzles.)

All welcome.

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