February’s meeting had some great discussion and a few surprises. I greatly enjoyed talking to you all about different issues and upcoming projects.
First off I’d like to welcome our new dues paying members. Thanks for making the commitment to help us grow LFS into a great freethought community! I look forward to learning more about each of you in the coming months. Your membership gives you voting rights, the right to run for board and committee leader positions, and access to the LFS Lending Library. A reminder to those that were members in 2011. If you have not yet completed a new membership application for 2012 or paid your dues for the new year, please do so soon so that you don’t miss out on the benefits of membership. If you want a an application sent to you in MS Word format, please let me know.
One of the things we talked about at the meeting was PA House of Representatives Resolution no. 535 declaring 2012 the “Year of the Bible”. We went over the entire resolution, picking apart the faulty logic and incorrect “facts” contained within. This self-proclaimed “noncontroversial” resolution is not only divisive but also unconstitutional. Please sign the petition protesting this resolution at Change.org
I also reminded everyone about Reason Rally 2012. IF YOU ARE GOING PLEASE RSVP NOW! Since it doesn’t seem as if we will have enough people for a Lancaster bus (39 still needed) we have decided to leave for the rally from York. If you are going, please let us know soon since the event is on March 24th. At the March 5th Monthly LFS Meeting we’ll be trying to put together car pools to York. If you can’t make it to that meeting and want to car pool contact me with your info and how many you can fit in your car if you are willing to drive. If you wish to carpool you need to rsvp with your info (carpooling?, willing to drive?, How many can you fit?, etc.) on or before March 5th.
One thing I didn’t talk about at the meeting is that LFS is ready to take the next step in it’s evolution. We will shortly be starting the process of incorporation and applying to become a 501(c)3 nonprofit tax exempt corporation. This is a very exciting step. Nonprofit status will allow donors to write off donations to LFS and will also give us a look of legitimacy to potential new members and the general public. Part of that process will be the appointment of board members and officers (board positions will also carry officer duties such as treasurer, secretary, etc.). If anybody is interested in working with me on the hard work to make LFS great by becoming a board member please let me know. Remember, only current members that have paid their dues for 2012 are eligible for board or officer positions. Much of the duties of the board will be transacted online only so only those willing to work within that format should apply. This will allow us to act much quicker in developing and voting on plans.
Many groups are now facing the decision of whether or not to use paper to communicate or to send out paper newsletters. LFS will avoid that issue by being electronic only from the start. Only documents needed for legal purposes (such as waivers, membership apps, etc.) will be on paper. All communication will be through facebook, meetup, and email. In lieu of a newsletter there will be facebook posts as well as blog posts here on www.lancasterfreethought.org. If you wish to contribute to the blog please let me know and I’ll set you up with a password and author status for the website.
At last night’s meeting I also talked about a project I am working on. It is a talk about communicating with believers and techniques to get past their barriers so that they actually hear our message. It deals with framing and tone and as part of it I will be using video clips. I asked for volunteers to be actors in these short clips and several of you graciously offered to help. If anybody who was not at last night’s meeting would like to be a part of this project, please let me know.
Lastly, for those that were not at last night’s meeting, if the idea of nonprofit status wasn’t exciting enough, we will soon be putting up a billboard! This is in response to the PA House of Representatives resolution no. 535, proclaiming 2012 the “Year of the Bible” and will center around the theme of secular government. We have an offer of monetary help in the form of $500 from another source but we still need to raise more money on our end. Some of you have already generously donated, for which I thank you greatly, and we are already on our way to our goal but we need more to bring the billboard into existence. Billboards in this area start around $1500/month. So please send me you money raising ideas. We would like to get the billboard up this April. Full LFS members will be helping decide on the final design.
It looks like 2012 will be an exciting year for the Lancaster Freethought Society and I look forward working with you all to make it great!