This morning I decided to make the commute to the weekly Sunday morning BC Humanist meeting in Vancouver, mainly helped by the fact the time change made getting up on a Sunday less of a chore.
I had met with the Secular Humanists in Calgary a long time ago, and was expecting a similar dynamic of older-aged, don’t-rock-the-boat style humanists.
Unfortunately, I was again the junior of most of the members by at least 20 years, and in most cases 30-50 years (one member had a granddaughter that’s my age). Nevertheless, this group still had lots of energy. The discussions were lively, and next week they plan to discuss the friendly vs. offensive atheism stances.
The meeting was fairly well organized, with a couple of leaders who saw that it ran smoothly from the catching-up gossip of the first half to a viewing of a clip from the Dawkins: Genius of Darwin Uncut Interviews. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and weren’t able to have a post-video discussion, which frustrated a few people.
I also sensed there was some discontent with the BCHA board, who for the most part weren’t in attendance. But I can’t really comment on this at all since I don’t know their internal dynamics.
They did let me know that they had tried to contact CFI Vancouver, but hadn’t heard a response so hopefully that can all be sorted out.
They also currently don’t have any registered Humanist Officiants in BC, since a few years ago they decided not to go with the religious officiant label that the BC government would require (otherwise they are just plain old marriage commissioners – which have less freedom in their ceremonies).
I will say that they were all very friendly and were definitely glad to have a newcomer to their meetings. Humanist associations have a lot of history and are well established in Canada. They’ve had charitable status for a number of years (something recently attained by CFI after much hard work) and are generally positive in outlook. Unfortunately, many humanist organizations have stagnated and failed to attract new and younger members, causing some (like in Edmonton) to vanish entirely.
So for the time being I think I’ll attend the odd BCHA event and try to encourage a few more people to come – there’s a lot of experience in these groups and it can help to sometimes no have to reinvent the wheel.