Jumpin’ June – MAAF Affiliates in Review
Jason & Rose at the Secular Coalition For America Lobby Day Conference, June 2014.
June was an interesting month for MAAF! Jason and Rose attended the Secular Coalition For America 2014 Lobby Day Conference in Washington DC, meeting with many of the movers and shakers of the Secular movement from around the country. They participated in workshops and lobby training, listened to members of Congress and the House speak on issues important to the Secular movement, and discussed the work MAAF and other members of the movement have been doing to promote a Humanist Chaplain candidate. Jason has also been working diligently to formulate and implement the next steps in promoting Chaplains For All; MAAF’s campaign to implement Humanist Chaplains within the military to ensure all servicemembers have useful representation within the Chaplaincy. He also traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to speak with local Atheists and Humanists in the local Freedom From Religion Chapter about the efforts needed to support military nontheists. Rose has continued her outreach with the local Affiliate groups, and is currently working to help develop several new groups, with particular emphasis this month in Northern Virginia/Washington DC, Fort Leavenworth area, and the Redstone area of Alabama.
San Diego MAAF held it’s second annual Memorial Day Ceremony about the USS Midway on June 1st to honor fallen but not forgotten atheists and freethinkers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It was a good sized turnout, with the ceremony conducted by ETC(SW) Doug Wright, local MAAF member.
The Fort Drum Humanists continued their efforts to promote Freethinking in their area with a meet and greet event called Percolating Freethought. Held at a local donut shop, the group came together for discussion and community building. This was also the last meeting organized by their leader, Sara, who is transferring with her family to the Fort Campbell area. The Fort Drum Humanists loss will be MASH Fort Campbell’s gain. Sara will be greatly missed, and the Fort Drum Humanists are looking for a leader willing to step into her shoes to organize activities for this local Affiliate group.
Meanwhile, MASH Fort Campbell is still on the Trivia Night circuit, participating twice last month in local trivia events at a nearby pub. They are always welcoming of new members wanting to participate in MASH as well as on the Trivia Team, the Flying Spaghetti Monsters.
KMC MAAF in Germany also held a pub night, focusing on Drinking Critically. Members came together at their local pub for a night of socializing and discussion. They also held a small gathering in a local member’s home, focusing on the social aspects of community building and board games. Congratulations are in order for local leader Kyle, who is getting married in early July!
Ft Bragg MASH Farewel Dinner – June 2014.
CENTEX MAAF in Kileen, Texas came together over brunch at a local restaurant to enjoy some good old fashioned socializing over a great meal.
Ft Bragg MASH also has a couple of farewells to make. Members Ian and Robyn were sent off to their new duty stations after a group meal. Ian is headed off to Ft Campbell, and Robyn is off to the Tampa, Florida area. Members also attended a Critical Drinking and Game night at a local pub, coming together for verbal jousting and actual games. A couple members also participated in the local MWR 5K Fun Run, which is a monthly event.
Now in their fourth year, the Naval Academy Freethinkers and Atheists also welcomed their incoming class of students, and signed up 39 new members during their Command Religious Program. 27 of these new members attended NAFA’s first session to watch Julia Sweeney’s “Letting Go of God” and Stephen Hawking’s “Into The Universe”.