February 1991

Beginnings: Humanists of Utah Organized

The organizational meeting of Humanists of Utah was held in November 1990. Eight people attended the meeting. One of those was 94-year-old Edwin H. Wilson, an original founder of the American Humanist Association, who was retired and living in Salt Lake City. The group voted to form a local chapter and to apply to the American Humanist Association for recognition.

Progress Checklist

This is going to be a long letter, because there is lots of news. So we might as well call it a newsletter: Volume 1, Number 1. Suggestions for a catchy name for it will be appreciated.

What the Chapter Has:

  • A treasurer and a bank account.
  • A chapter application in the process of being approved.
  • A post office box.
  • A first event.
  • 51 people on the mailing list.

What the Chapter Does Not Have:

  • Your Input.
  • Bylaws.
  • A regular meeting place and time. The irrepressible Ed Wilson captured our first speaker, and that pretty much determined when and where he would speak. To some people, Tuesday night will not be convenient; to others, any church (even a Unitarian one) is associated with bad experiences.
  • A Who’s Who. You can leave who you know to chance. It would be easier, though, if you already know the peculiarities and preferences of your fellow humanists, and if they knew yours. A membership directory for internal distribution could do that. There are those who want to keep their private opinions very much to themselves. Such “silent partners” would of course not be listed.
  • Library.

First Meeting Announcement

Humanist Spirituality

Tuesday, February 12, 7:30 PM
Unitarian Church, 569 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City
Dr. Ken Phifer
from Ann Arbor, Michigan

Spirituality is one of the code words of our age. It is also more elusive in terms of any common understanding of what it could mean. For some it signifies certain activities, rituals and programs. For others it is something more philosophical. For some, it is a contrasting experience from religion, which they reject, while they embrace spirituality. Yet others are completely uncomfortable with the word because of its association with reactionary religious groups. The Humanist Institute has had programs on the subject and in my own religious movement, the Unitarian Universalist Association, it is a very popular word. Designated the Spiritual Leader of my congregation, I probably should have some sense of what is mean by spiritual, and thus this talk on Humanist Spirituality.