Guest speaker at the Board Meeting this weekend

Join us at our monthly meeting to hear our good friend Barbara Williams, founder of Great Lakes Atheists in Toledo, Ohio, speak about her book, “Welcome to Camp Quest” , which was recently written about in the Toledo Blade. She will also speak about Edwin Kagin, founder of Camp Quest.  Barb always has the best insights and stories and we always enjoy her trips down to visit with us!

We will take care of some other business for the group, have some lunch, and have a few other discussion topics, as time permits.

We will also have a couple of Barbara’s books to give away as door prizes.

We look forward to seeing everyone there!

** Please bring canned or non-perishable food item to the meeting. These will be donated to the local homeless shelter.

Highway Cleanup this Saturday

This is Mid Ohio Atheists’ fourth year as a participant in the Ohio Dept. of Transportation’s Adopt a Highway Program.  This is a way for our group to demonstrate to the public that atheists are good citizens too.

This will be our first cleanup of the year.  We will meet at the Ohio State Highway Patrol post on Main St. near the I-71 and State Rt 13 interchange at 8:00 AM.  The post is on the same road as Burger King.  We will park our cars there and we should have 2 drivers to chauffeur the rest of us to the highway.

It is recommended you wear boots, gloves, a hat, and use sun screen.  We will have a mandatory safety meeting just before the cleanup right there in the parking lot at the Highway Patrol post.  We will go over the list of safety rules and then pass out the safety vests and trash bags.

We estimate it will take about 2-3 hours, depending on how many members show up.  If we can get 9 people to participate, it should go quickly.

Go to our meetup.com page and let us know you are going to help.

Changes to the leadership of Mid Ohio Atheists Inc.

I’ve received inquires as to the current makeup of the leadership of Mid Ohio Atheists Inc. (MOAI).  Indeed, our leadership team has changed during this past month.  

Due to personal reasons, Drenn and Carol Workman have decided they no longer wished to continue in their leadership roles with MOAI and have resigned.  I wish to gratefully thank them for their past service and support of MOAI.

During our monthly Board of Directors meeting on March 16th, Ray Greenbank was appointed to the empty directorship by the two remaining directors.  The directors of MOAI are now- Brad Boothe, Marisa Hills, and Ray Greenbank.  

Also, Marisa Hills was appointed by the board to the office of Vice President and Candice Boothe was appointed Secretary.  The Officers are now- President Ron Stephens, Vice President Marisa Hills, Secretary Candice Boothe, and Treasurer Ron Stephens.

I also want to thank the newly appointed leaders for their willingness to step forward and lend their talents to help our organization grow and become better than ever.

Ron Stephens,
President

 

Mid Ohio Atheist Season of Reason Donation Drive

Dear Friends* & Members,

We need your help!  As the end of the year draws near we are behind in our required yearly goal for donations to the organization.  We understand times are tight, but every donation helps us get to our $5,000 goal.  This fund is what goes towards all of our educational events we hold each year, the yearly regional picnic, and projects like the billboard campaign.  We are working towards our goal to be able to get another set of billboards, as well as another Darwin Day event in the first quarter of 2014.

So, how can you help?

Here’s the great news, all donations (up to $500 total) made now through December 31, 2013 will be matched by Brad & Candice! So, your $20 to the group really means $40, your $100 is $200 for Mid Ohio Atheists, Inc!  We are currently about $1,000 behind to meet our goal.  This goal is completely attainable with the generosity of the matching offer until the end of December . No amount is too small and every dollar counts.  This is a very important undertaking for us to be able to continue to get our name out to the public, help educate our community, and to show a growing secular presence in the area.

If you would like to donate please contact Ron Stephens at midohioatheists@gmail.com or Marisa Hills at mhills.moa@darkfalconx.net for more information on how to participate and make a difference.   Donations will also be accepted at our upcoming Atheist in the Pub event on December 7, 2013 at Old Bag of Nails, our Board Meeting on December 15th at the Ocean Buffet, and at our Winter Solstice Party** on December 21, 2013, held at Brad and Candice’s home.

We appreciate those who continue to support our initiatives throughout the year and we Thank You in advance for your support!

*Note to friends of Mid Ohio Atheists Inc., since only members can donate, the minimum donation for friends is the amount for annual dues for membership.  This is currently $10 for student/senior, $20 for regular, & $25 for family . But, even this money will be matched (up to $500 total) and counts toward the annual goal.  This is your chance to become a member of Mid Ohio Atheists Inc. and have your dues and donation doubled.

**Winter Solstice Party donations beyond the usual $5.00 required will be doubled.

Christmas Parade

We have exciting news, we are going to be in the Downtown Mansfield Inc’s Christmas Parade. We will have two banners, one saying Happy Solstice, and the other with our name on it.
The parade line begins to form at 9:00 AM, on Saturday November 23rd, at the intersection of 5th and Main St.  The parade will then start at 10:00. 
We need at least 6 people to be in the parade. Four to carry the 2 banners we have and at least 2 more to give out candy.
We need more donations of candy to give out to the kids. Please contact Ron Stephens if you have candy to donate or if you want to donate money to buy candy.
This is a wonderful opportunity to let people know about us and to show Mansfielders that atheists are normal people just like they are.

Regional Atheist Picnic 2013 Followup

Picnic2013

On Sunday, July 21, 2013 we held our 5th Annual Mid Ohio Regional Atheist Picnic. We gathered at Mohican State Park at the North Park Shelter. This location was not only secluded, but beautiful and scenic. We had fantastic weather, no rain and sunshine all day long. We couldn’t have asked for a better day to spend with our friends from all over Ohio.

Officially, we had 59 attendees for this year’s event. We had guests visit locally from Mansfield, Ashland, the Columbus area, Kent, Toledo, Oberlin, Marion, and the Cleveland area.  We were so happy to be able to spend the day with everyone and have great conversations, gather donations for our charity drive, and enjoy meeting our line up of speakers. Thank you all for traveling to meet with us again this year! .

Our charity drive was extremely successful this year. We had a contest based on who could donate the most toilet paper, paper towels, or trash bags to our local homeless shelter, Harmony House.  These are items they often run low on and people don’t think to donate to them. We estimate we gathered over $500 in products for Harmony House!  First prize was donated by Barb William’s group, Great Lakes Atheists, from Toledo. It was one Free admission to their upcoming convention August 16th through 18th. Second prize included Jerry DeWitt’s new book, “Hope Beyond Faith”,  a Mid Ohio Atheist t-shirt, pens, buttons, and other items to show our appreciation.  This is just one example of how important being involved with local charity is for our community.  Little by little ,we are showing people that Atheists are compassionate and care about local issues and global issues.  We want make the world a better place for everyone.

This year’s other highlight was our line up of speakers.  We were very proud that they wanted to spend their afternoon with us and speak on some great topics for the crowd. Speakers began at 2:00 pm. We welcomed Dan Demura from the Columbus area. Dan is a former pastor, he is part of the Clergy Project, group facilitator for the Columbus Chapter of Recovering from Religion, and is currently working on a book called “Discussions of Doubt” which also has a Facebook page. Dan spoke about “Life Beyond Faith”.  We then heard from Rachel Johnson, student at Kent State University, blogger (Godless Vagina), podcaster (The Pink Atheist), and writer for a the new Atheist magazine, The Celestial Teapot. She spoke on the very important topic of “Atheist Activism”.  Douglas Whaley was up next with a wonderful speech about “What atheism can learn from the LGBT movement”, Doug is a long time LGBT activist, OSU professor emeritus, lawyer, and author of “Imaginary Friend”.

Finally, the director for American Atheist Press, Frank Zindler spoke about “Why only atheists can save the world.” Everyone had such great insights to share with us all and everyone enjoyed hearing from them. We found our speakers inspiring and one of the biggest takeaways from each speech was “Speak up!” Speak out for our cause, let people know who atheists really are, and that we are NOT going away. We are changing the world everyday, one cause at a time. Be brave and be who you are!

In closing, we would like to thank everyone who helped plan the event this year.  We had such enthusiasm about the picnic. Everyone who attended planning meetings, set up, tore down, and everything in between, you made this a successful, fun, and entertaining event.  I know personally I’m already looking forward to next year and I’m planning it in my head! We hope that this event continues to grow and we get our name out there. We aren’t going anywhere and the best of Mid Ohio Atheists and their friends is yet to come.

~ Marisa Hills, MOA Event Coordinator

Regional Atheist Picnic is almost here

Just two days to go until the Regional Atheist Picnic this Sunday at the Mohican State Park starting at noon.

The forecast looks favorable with the high temperature of 81 degrees and only a slight chance of rain.

We are going to have five speakers (all Ohioans)-  Frank  Zindler, Rachel  Johnson, Dan DeMurra,  Douglas  Whaley, & Shauna Strand  Sowga.  I know they will all have informative, and interesting things to say.  See this post for their topics.

I hope to see you all there, I’m sure we will have a great time!

See the original post for more details.

Picnic Sign-Up list 2013

Our annual picnic is coming up soon. The picnic will be at the Mohican State Forest, at the North Park Picnic Shelter on Sunday July 21st at Noon.

In order to track what people are bringing to the picnic, please send an email to picnic2013@midohioatheists.org with what you plan to bring.

I think we will have about 75 people show up.  Keep checking back here as I will update the number of people as more people respond.  I will keep the list of items updated as I receive emails also.  Feel free to bring anything you like even if it isn’t on the list or someone else already volunteered that item.

Thanks, Ron.

Things people have already volunteered to bring:

  • Hamburgers & buns
  • Hotdogs & buns
  • Condiments (Ketchup, Mustard, Relish, Barbecue Sauce, Mayo, Pickles, etc…..)
  • Potato Salad
  • Fruit Platter
  • Veggie Platter
  • Sweet tea
  • Bowl of Mixed Fruit
  • Chips and dip
  • Pop
  • Pasta Salad
  • Pie
  • Cookies
  • Bottled Water
  • organic Blue Corn tortilla chips and bean dip
  • Watermelon

Things still needed:

  • Charcoal & Lighter Fluid
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Macaroni salad
  • Brats
  • More Desserts (you can never have too many!)
  • Anything else you want to share.

Mid-Ohio Regional Atheist Picnic 2013

Our group is proud to announce the Mid-Ohio Regional Atheist Picnic 2013, sponsored by Mid Ohio Atheists Inc.  Again this year we are inviting groups from all over Ohio to our annual get together at the Mohican State Forest. The general public is also invited to come out and meet some atheists, as long as they are respectful and not trying to proselytize to us.  The picnic will be held on Sunday, July 21st, at noon at the Mohican State Forest.  (MAP)

We have met at the Mohican State Forest four times before and had a great experience each time.  This year though we will meet at the North Park Shelter.  Once you are in the forest, follow the signs to the shelter.  Come rain or shine, we will still have the picnic as the shelter will protect us from the rain.

Contest

Again this year we will have a contest that will benefit Harmony House, a homeless shelter in Mansfield. A representative of Harmony House said what they need the most, and what most people don’t think to donate, is toilet paper, trash bags, and paper towels. So, the contest winner will be the one that brings the most of those three items.  You can donate other things as well, but the contest will be decided on only the amount of toilet paper, trash bags, and paper towels that you bring.  Prizes will be admission to the Great Lakes Atheists Convention in August, tee shirts, buttons, and pens.

This is for a good cause and I hope we can collect lots of these items for Harmony House like we did last year.

Games & Activities

We will have several activities for children and adults, including a corn hole tournament, Frisbee toss, and ladder ball.

Good Conversation

The main reason to go to the picnic is for the company.  We hope to see all of our members there and people from all around the state and beyond.  It’s great to talk with like minded people and so refreshing to have conversations that aren’t stuck at the ‘does god exist’ level.

Public Invited

We also invite the members of the general public who wish to meet atheists.  This is not an invitation to have people come out and proselytize to us but rather a chance to meet with atheists and learn more about our beliefs and see that we are normal people too.

Speakers

This year we will have five speakers.  It is unusual to have speakers at a picnic but we tried this for the first time last year and it worked out well.  MOA greatly appreciates the following people for volunteering to come to our picnic and sharing some of their wisdom and experiences with us:

  • Frank  Zindler, Director of American Atheists Press will speak on  “Why only atheists can save the world”
  • Rachel  Johnson, student and podcaster will talk on  “Atheist Activism”
  • Dan DeMurra,  Atheist activist and organizer will share his views on “Life Beyond Faith”
  • Douglas  Whaley, OSU professor emeritus, lawyer, LGBT activist, and author will speak about  “What atheism can learn from the LGBT movement”
  • Shauna Strand  Sowga, humanist, will share her experiences in  “How secularism has affected my life”

Good Food

What would a picnic be without good food?  We have already started the list of what foods people have volunteered to bring. Go to our picnic sign-up post and see what others are bringing and send an e-mail to picnic2013@midohioatheists.org with the food(s) you will bring.  Feel free to bring anything you like even if it isn’t on the list or someone else already volunteered that item.

We estimate we will have about 75 people show up.  Keep checking back here as the number of people will be updated as more people respond.  The list of items will be updated as we receive emails also.