Dan Barker Speaking and Announcing our Chapter
As you know, Greater Sacramento Chapter of Freedom From Religion Foundation is a new chapter for FFRF. I hope each of you can join us on April 20 at 2:00 pm, as our co-President, Dan Barker, is in Sacramento to announce our formation. We are very excited that he will speak on our focus issue, "The Importance of Separation of Church and State". Tickets for this event can be purchased online through the Sac State Secular Student Alliance ticket website http://csusaso.wordpress.com/
. All funds go toward sending students of the CSUS SSA to the Secular Student Alliance Leadership Conference.
Intimate Brunch for FFRF Members
As an added intimate opportunity to meet Dan Barker, FFRF members are invited to Brunch the next morning, where Mr. Barker will speak informally about FFRF, after which we'll all enjoy a hearty question and answer period in a small, more personal setting. I'm sure he'd love to sign any of his books you have with you, as well.
April 21, 10:00 am, Rio City Cafe, 1110 Front St, Old Sacramento. (916) 442-8226
. Our Brunch begins as they open their doors at 10:00. We will be selecting our brunch from the chef's nice selections, with the usual drinks included. Dietary restrictions will be happily accommodated our chef has told us. We will collect $20 cash per person at the door. You may bring guests. Parking will be validated for 2 hours if you park at the Tower Bridge Garage, or valet service is $8. Your $20 per person at the door covers everything, which entirely goes toward the cost of this event. Please RSVP if you haven't done so already, by emailing the chapter at SacFFRF@gmail.com
About Our New Chapter
After a person in a nearby small town stood up alone, taking an uncomfortable and costly personal risk to halt her town from including religious activities during the recent holiday season, it seemed clear to several of us that the Sacramento area could benefit from an arm of FFRF locally to not only keep watch over further infractions of separation of church and state at the local level, but also to provide an anonymous cover for anyone wishing to confront such violations. FFRF was seen as the organization of choice to enact such local level monitoring, so a FFRF local chapter was born. We do coordinate with other organizations on each issue as appropriate.
We Are All Monitors
Our passion that brings us together is separation of church and state, as well as educating the public as to what atheism really is. Already our members have reported four incidents in the Greater Sacramento area, one of which resulted in an article prominently placed in the Sacramento Bee. We care about supporting each of you as you live and learn what your local governing agencies are doing. Some of you have chosen to regularly read City Council and School Board minutes and agenda online. Others only have time to report items they suspect or come across passively. Whatever your level of involvement in monitoring our governments, you can expect to receive emails from your new, local FFRF chapter to keep you informed as to what is happening and how to be a better, more efficient monitor. This chapter is your resource to handle anything you see or hear. Suspect a problem? Just let us know. That's why we're here. We are all monitors because we care about separation.
Not Another Social Group
So, be prepared to receive a monthly email, or emergency call to action if those are ever necessary, but do not expect us to announce social gatherings - at least not very often. Sacramento offers many other groups already providing wonderful opportunities for potlucks, activism, learning history, practicing speaking with believers, book club, drinking skeptical evenings, and so much more, that we simply encourage you to catch up with us at those events. See the links at the end of this email for the newsletter and the coalition website which has an event calendar of most local groups. Many of us belong to multiple groups. Attending events of other groups is always encouraged - by everyone.
We may see you at Sac State. We may see you at Brunch with Dan Barker. We will certainly connect with you online from time to time, as you receive information to help us all be more aware of our local monitoring of governments. This chapter charges no dues, and has no requirements other than joining the national FFRF and giving us your email address. Welcome aboard. You are helping all of us make this a better country by taking on local issues, where the most egregious infractions usually occur.
If you suspect an issue, just let us know. That's the whole idea.
FFRF National wants to work with us to eventually put up 12 'Out Campaign' billboards. We will be asking you, but not for a little while yet, if any of you would like your name, face and short quote to go up somewhere around Sacramento. Families or individuals. I'll keep you posted as this develops.
Thank you for supporting separation of church and state. If you haven't seen the free online monthly newsletter Sacramento Reason
yet, separation is this month's theme, in honor of our new chapter announcement. April issue here.
Feel free to subscribe. It's worth it for the cartoons, alone. :-)
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns, or suggestions.
We've just begun. Now we have each other.
From Previous Updates
Level of involvement Our focus at this time is monitoring local governments only, but if you ever have an idea for a new meeting or activity for this chapter, and if you are prepared to lead this new idea of yours beginning to end, then it just might happen... just sayin'.
KIS (Keep It Simple) I am pleased to say that everyone involved in this effort whom I've met so far is a friendly, easy-going person with realistic perspective about life. As we move forward with our Monitoring, feel comfortable that everyone understands the limits and changes of life's happenings. Never feel stressed about your involvement. Even those who can only look into their governments once in awhile - it's all good. Better we look once than not at all. So, relax, be part of a great group of people, and let's get going.
How to Begin Active Monitoring For those of you who will be looking into your local governments online, start with a Google search for your local City Council and School Board websites. They probably have a link to all their meeting Agendas (put out before meetings) and Minutes (put out after meetings). Save the links, perhaps in a calendar as a repeating event reminder for yourself. As you look over the Agenda and Minutes, look for anything involving a church, church youth group, children's outings or activities, prayer, benedictions, religious holiday suggestions, scripture written on the walls, ... you know, things of a religious bend. Some members are comfortable speaking to local officials, but alerting us is all that is expected. FFRF National stands ready to take any action necessary, or help us take action as we see fit.