Board Meeting Minutes

May 29, 2014

ATTENDEES:

President: Meagan Wilson

Secretary: Tom Gray
Treasurer: Robert Fuller
Director of Activities: Jill F.
Director of Community Service: Beverly Carlson
Director of Education: Jeremy Frederick (Absent)

Director of Marketing: RJ

 

Meagan called the meeting to order at 6:44pm and the meeting closed at 9:07pm. Agenda topics

 

DISCUSSION: Board Members presented their reports and discussed future activities.

CONCLUSIONS: 

Secretary:

 

 T-shirt distribution has been going too slowly – only ~30% complete after 6 months. The problem

seems to be that many paid members seldom come to social events where Tom has the shirts. Tom will email everyone owed a shirt and coordinate for delivery or confirm that the member would like to donate their shirt to sell and raise funds.

 

New Member Meetups continue and we normally have 2-3 interested folks attend. 

Treasurer:

 

The raffle for 2 VIP Tyson tickets is underway! $10 per chance for a $3,100 value.

 

Director of Activities:

The “Make and Take” kids craft event at Sam & Louie’s was a success! The number of children

was a bit overwhelming though and we’ll encourage more participation from the parents at the next

event.

 

We are setting up a family-friendly event at Mahoney State Park in August.

 

Director of Community Service:

 

OA’s first “Habitat for Humanity” event is coming up soon (14 June) and we want to have a strong

showing. No special building skills are required and it should be great fun as well as a way to

demonstrate the civic-mindedness of our membership. We encourage everyone to attend!

 

Beverly is the very first Humanist Invocator in Nebraska! This means that she is certified by

American Humanists to give a secular ‘prayer’ at social events or, as we’ve seen recently in the Supreme Court case, government meetings. Here’s a great example:

http://americanhumanist.org/HNN/details/2013-07-a-non-religious-humanist-invocation-its-possible-her

 Both Beverly and Mark Siepker are Humanist Celebrants and available to conduct weddings, memorials, baby naming, and other life-cycle ceremonies.

 

Director of Education: No report.

 

Director of Marketing: Very busy this month!

We’ve had two press releases about Mayor Kindig’s statements. We will do at least two political demonstrations with the theme “Minorities Matter, Mr. Mayor” and “Meet an Atheist” events. Check meetup.com and the OA facebook group for details.

 

The OA logo has been updated based on the membership poll we conducted early this spring.

We’ve kept the ‘atomic flower’ so there is continuity with OA’s previous logo and the American Atheists symbol. The new logo also emphasizes our commitment to Community, Activism, Education and Service. The new logo is already on the omahaatheists.org website and RJ will update facebook soon.

 

The “Meet an Atheist” event we did in response to the cross ‘tagged’ on our highway cleanup sign was a success, including attendance by a Lutheran pastor and lay leader. We’ll plan a location other than Caffeine Dreams in the future – friendly place but too loud and not enough seats.

 

La Vista Daze: Several members participated in the parade – see the pic on OA’s website.

 

See the FB group or do a search on “La Vista+atheist” to see the remarks Mayor Kindig made when Robert asked to meet with him about church/state concerns. We’re using this as an opportunity for Activism and Education.

 

Here are several local and national reports on the situation. Note how the various outlets present the case...our society’s political process is fascinating:

 

http://www.ketv.com/news/atheists-group-says-la-vista-mayor-defended-bigotry/26179258

 

http://global.christianpost.com/news/nebraska-mayor-atheist-leader-spar-over-separation-of- church-and-state-at-memorial-day-event-120450/

 

http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/27/neb-mayor-rails-atheists-who-decry-faith-event- tak/

 

http://www.omaha.com/national-local-atheist-groups-to-rally-in-la-vista-amid/article_8b5f8d4f-f619- 555d-90f8-33caba92e905.html

 

Church/State separation can be a contentious issue. We expect there are members of OA who have concerns about the action we are taking in response to the Mayor’s statement. The board very much wants to hear those concerns - everyone is encouraged to get involved. Let your voice be heard!

 

A local paper has approached us because of the La Vista publicity to do a series on atheists in the community. Several members have stepped up to participate. Contact Jill if you are interested in dispelling myths about the secular community.

 

Apostacon:

 

Apostacon is incorporating as a 501c(3). With the success of the events over the last several years and the expected growth this year it was clear that Apostacon needed its own board and budget. While OA will continue to support the conference we expect that having Apostacon be its ‘own entity’ will boost support from other groups and individuals who previously had the impression that it was an OA-driven event.

 

Proposal for an OA “Sit for Sit” group:

 

Rosalyn proposed a child/pet/plant-sitting group to benefit OA members. The board discussed the idea and approves in principle as it would be a great way to build the community.

 

Jill will ask Rosalyn to provide details on how the group would work.

 

Youth Group: OA Youth Group policy was voted and approved unanimously. Next step is to schedule a brainstorming meeting for OA members to meet and work out the logistics for future events. Suggested activities include:

    Rocketry

    Astronomy

    T-shirt making

    Video game or board game night

    Visit to UNL Morrill Hall natural history exhibit (already coordinated with Dr. Scott Gardner for

August)

 

OA Softball Team

 

Our team has had two losses and 4 rainouts. Someone doesn’t like us ;-)

 

At the last game the umpire refused to shake Meagan’s hand because we identify as atheists.

The opposing team (“Dave Busters”) disagreed with the umpire’s attitude and went so far as to apologize on his behalf. One of their members talked at length with Meagan about OA and was very excited about the Tyson talk and Apostacon. Overall a success!

 

Godless Gamers: Weekly events are schedule on meetup.com. Come play board or video games!

 

Camp Quest:

 

OA awarded two scholarships for Camp Quest – congratulations to Michaela and Eva!

 

Tom will be teaching space science and rocketry at camp. Camp is 22-28 June near Kansas City.

 

Heathens Helping:

 

OA maintains a small fund for assisting community members in emergencies. Members are encouraged to bring suggestions to any board member.

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