(New) ELH HUMANIST ACTION GROUP
Wednesday evening, October 10th, 7:00
Maze Branch of the Oak Park Public Library, 845 Gunderson, OP, lower level
Jim Walter leads this new ELH group, formed to discuss, evaluate and act on humanist issues, including political and current events. The group will incorporate speakers, article/topic discussion and issues-related direct action (like letter and postcard writing to legislators) within the scope of our 501(c)3 nonprofit designation. You can get the jump on this meeting's topics of poverty, white supremacy and systemic racism with articles from The Humanist here and here.
(New) GRACE WITHOUT GOD WORKSHOP
Wednesday evening, October 25th, 7:00 p.m.
Shanahan's, 7353 Madison, Forest Park
This spring many of you attended and enjoyed ELH's event featuring Katherine Ozment, author of Grace without God: the Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age. On October 25th we are beginning a new 3-4 part series discussing the book and following its resource questions to explore lived humanism, from both personal and group perspectives. (Examples on Katherine's website here.) Attendees will be charting their own paths to grace without god, including reflecting and working on a personal declaration of values, as well as participating in formulating a mission statement for the group. Since the library is not available on this date, we will meet the first time at Shanahan's; further dates, times and venues will be decided on by attendees. Many bought copies of Grace without God at Ozment's event. If you have one to lend, or need one to borrow, please email me at cynthia@ELHumanists.org.
ELH will be helping the homeless by volunteering to serve dinner several times throughout the year in various shelters in the Oak Park/Forest Park area. (See individual events above.) Although the shelters often use church space, Housing Forward is not a religious organization and welcomes the participation of humanists.
OPRF Food Pantry Volunteer Orientation
End of the Line Humanists holds an annual holiday food and funds drive for the pantry. ELH members also volunteer individually at various times. The OPRF Food Pantry requires volunteers to attend a short orientation session before scheduling any volunteer events. Orientations are typically held on the third Wednesday evening of the month from 7:00-8:30. (Attending the volunteer orientation session will not schedule you or obligate you to volunteer.) See their website for details. Although they use church space, OPRF Food Pantry is not a religious organization and welcomes the participation of humanists.
End of the Line Humanists gather often to dine together, discuss nontheist issues and events and have fun!. Our first priority is to build a community of nonbelievers where all feel comfortable. No membership is required to attend our social gatherings or public programs, which are always free. Join us for the next one!
Humanist Discussion Group
ELH members gather quarterly to discuss Humanist books, articles and items of interest.
Learn about our speaker series here.
ELH business meetings are held on a bi-monthly basis. All dues-paying members are eligible to attend. Email us at beings@ELHumanists.orgfor details.
And More . . .
End of the Line Humanists has recently joined Beyond Belief Network, part of the nontheist philanthropic organization Foundation Beyond Belief. We are working with BBN to identify, schedule and coordinate volunteer opportunities in the community for ELH members, possibly in conjunction with other Humanist/nontheist groups. Read about our volunteer events above and below.
RECENT & PAST EVENTS
SEPTEMBER SOCIAL GATHERING
Thursday evening, September 21st
We welcomed the fall season at Shanahan's with food, drink, great conversation and good friends. Our focus this time was how humanists can help our community and the world. We talked about our upcoming volunteer projects, and raised $600 for hurricane relief and the local homeless shelter.
ESCAPE ROOM ADVENTURE OUTING
Thursday evening, September 21st
Nine humanists had a grand time at Escape Factor, Forest Park's new escape room entertainment. We solved puzzles to "unlock" the room in the nick of time. Success! Then went on to our ELH social event where we raised $600 for charity.
2nd VOLUNTEER NIGHT for HOUSING FORWARD
Sunday, Aug. 20th, 6:00 p.m.
First United Church of Oak Park
The second of two volunteer nights for Housing Forward. ELH members cooked, brought and served dinner for 18 at this summer transitional shelter for the homeless and dined with the recipients. (Although the shelter is using church space, Housing Forward is not a religious organization.) The evening resulted in some interesting conversations and heightened insights, and a pleasant evening was had by all.
LIBRARY BOOK SALE VOLUNTEER DAYS
Thursday evening, July 27th, 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. AND
Saturday, July 29th, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Oak Park River Forest High School Cafeteria
ELH members unpacked and sorted books and cut and arranged boxes in the weeks before Oak Park Public Library's annual book sale at Oak Park River Forest High School (actual sale held Aug. 4th and 5th).
1st VOLUNTEER NIGHT for HOUSING FORWARD
Thursday, June 29th at 6:00 p.m.
United Lutheran Church, 409 Greenfield, Oak Park
The first of two volunteer nights for Housing Forward. ELH members cooked, brought and served dinner for 18 at this summer transitional shelter for the homeless and dined with the recipients. (Although the shelter is using church space, Housing Forward is not a religious organization.) The evening resulted in some interesting conversations and heightened insights, and a pleasant evening was had by all.
Author/blogger HEMANT MEHTA
Sunday, July 9th, 2:00 p.m.
Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., Oak Park
Hemant Mehta, popular blogger at Friendly Atheist, and author of several books including I Sold My Soul on Ebay and The Young Atheists Survival Guide, joined us to discuss his work and topics of interest to nonbelievers. This was the 3rd event in our ELH Humanist Speaker Series (more info and photos from the series here.)
SUMMER WELCOME GATHERING – Thursday, June 22nd
ELHers gathered for food, drink and community. Some great conversations ensued. If you haven’t been to one of our events, our social gatherings are a great way to get to know us in a low-key social setting.
A Day in Our Village Community Fair – Sunday, June 4th
ELH participated in Oak Park's yearly fair featuring various community organizations, food, music and more. We spent the day in our booth passing out humanist information and freebies; holding a free t-shirt raffle; and providing games, coloring pages and treats for the kids. We also made some great new friends and had some stimulating conversations!
Author Katherine Ozment – Sunday, May 7th
Katherine Ozment, author of Grace without God: the Search for Meaning, Purpose and Belonging in a Secular Age spoke with us at the Oak Park Library about her book, named a “Best Book of 2016” by Publisher’s Weekly. A lively Q&A session followed. This was the second event in our 2017 Humanist Speaker Series. See the photos and read more about it here.
March for Science Chicago – Saturday, April 22nd
A group of ELHers traveled downtown to the Chicago sister march for the National March for Science. We rallied in Grant Park, then marched to the Field Museum campus for the science expo. Great weather and great crowd!
April Social Gathering – Thursday, April 13th
We met at Shanahan's to dine, drink and discuss. We continued our science and evolution-themed activities with a short talk, a go at our Evolution board game (for those interested), and sign/banner construction for our participation in the Chicago sister march for the National March for Science.
“Wide Awake: Progressive Rights Watch for 2017 and Beyond”
A panel discussion on safeguarding our democracy, rights, and environment
Sunday, March 26th, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
The first event in our Humanist Speaker Series was a great success. Representatives from six local/national organizations joined us at the Oak Park Public Library to speak on the topics of civil rights, gay rights, women’s/reproductive rights, immigrant rights, climate change and money in politics (Citizen’s United). Panelists discussed what has happened around these issues under the new administration, what to expect next, and how the average citizen can get involved to safeguard essential rights and freedoms and the planet. A lively Q&A session followed. See photos from the event here.
4th Annual Darwin Birthday Bash – Sunday, Feb. 12th, 5:00-8:00 p.m
End of the Line Humanists gathered for our 4th annual International Darwin Day celebration at Barclay’s American Grille in Oak Park. We enjoyed evolution-themed games and prizes, complementary appetizers and pop, birthday cake, and even a 50/50 raffle and cash bar. We toasted Darwin in style.
January Discussion Group -- Local Homelessness
ELH gathered at Shanahan's in Forest Park and welcomed a representative from Housing Forward, who spoke with us about homelessness in our own Oak Park area and what we humanists can do to help. We listened and learned, dined, and discussed the actions we'd like to take as a group. We hope you'll be moved to join us in addressing this crucial community issue.
Committee for Humanist Action
This committee met at Panera Bread in River Forest to discuss what we as citizens and humanists can do to protect separation of church and state, civil liberties and human rights during the upcoming administration. We explored concrete steps that we as a group can take to safeguard the freedoms and values we hold dear. This will be a subgroup/committee of ELH dedicated to guiding social action by the group within the parameters of our nonprofit designation. Watch this space and our MeetUp group for specific action opportunities.
ELH Holiday Social Gathering
We gathered at Shanahan's on Thursday, Dec. 15th for holiday celebration and merriment. We had humanist carols, games, prizes, anniversary cake (ELH is three years old!) and for those who are interested, even a white elephant gift swap. We also collected food and funds for the Food Pantry.
Humanist Discussion Group
On November 17th ELH gathered to discuss humanist issues in the wake of the 2016 election. Attendance was more than double the usual for this type of event. Humanists are fired up and ready for action! We discussed the latest political developments and went over our new Action List for the (Un)Faithful, a comprehensive list of actions you can take to support or get involved in humanist, progressive, human rights and social justice causes. You can find it here. Be sure to click on the links, in turquoise, for lots of interesting ideas and backup content.
Specific suggestions for action from the group included scheduling a face-to-face group meeting with our congressman, donut sales at the farmer’s market (we end up being too small a group to take this on this year – maybe next), holding a garage sale or other activity to benefit our choice of social justice organization, having a joint event with area black and Hispanic nontheist groups. We’ll be working to set some of those in motion. Watch this space.
Halloween Social Gathering
We celebrated the fall season and Halloween on October 27th at Shanahan's in Forest Park. We gathered and dined and shared some amusing activities and seasonal treats. Great conversation and company. Don't miss our next one!
Humanist Discussion Group
ELH met on September 22nd at Shanahan's to discuss the election and other items of interest to our Humanist community. Great conversation!
Trivia Night at Connolly's
Our August social event was trivia night at Connolly's Public House, 1109 South Blvd., Oak Park. Two ELH teams of 6 battled it out against other teams and won the top two spots. Such a popular activity that we are planning another evening like it soon!
Library Book Fair Volunteer Days
ELH worked three volunteer shifts the last week of July sorting books, and cutting, carrying and arranging boxes for the Oak Park Public Library book sale.
Summer Welcome Gathering
End of the Line Humanists gathered on Thursday evening, June 23rd at Shanahan's for food, drink and community. We had some interesting discussions and amusing activities, and welcomed friends old and new. This annual summer gathering is focused on making new connections. If you haven't been to one of our events before, this is a great way to get to know us in a low-key social setting. Hope to see you at the next one!
A Day in Our Village Community Fair
End of the Line Humanists had a table at Oak Park's A Day in Our Village, an outdoor fair which showcases local community organizations, at Scoville Park on Sunday, June 5th. We talked with the public, distributed humanist information, signed up new members and made new friends. Our "Guess the Dinosaur" and "Guess the Bird" activities, coloring page and candy giveaway for kids were a big hit, as was our evolution-themed t-shirt giveaway. Be sure to catch us next year!
American Humanist Association Conference
End of the Line Humanists was one of three local chapters sponsoring the 75th annual American Humanist Association conference, at the McCormick Place Hyatt in Chicago on Memorial Day weekend. We volunteered at the registration table and enjoyed three days of Humanist speakers, activities, banquets, and fellowship with other members of our parent organization.
ELH held our first ever Humanist Mock Debate at Shanahan's, 7353 Madison St. in Forest Park on Thursday evening, May 19th. We formed teams and debated issues among ourselves from both the theist and nontheist perspectives. The results were entertaining and educational, and a lot of fun! All those in attendance wanted to do it again. Watch our website for our fall Mock Debate.
April Social Gathering
Our April social gathering was a board game night. Humanists gathered at Shanahan's in Forest Park to dine together, play games and chat about Humanist issues of the day.
March Humanist Discussion Group
Nine humanists met to discuss several articles on the topic "Where do Nontheists Get their Morals and Ethics?" A rousing conversation ensued. Don't miss the next one!
3rd annual Darwin Birthday Bash
On Thursday, February 11th, we met at Barclay’s American Grill for a social evening of evolution-themed entertainment: short presentations; games (including the ever-popular Creationist Bingo) and prizes; appetizers, pop and birthday cake; even a 50/50 raffle. If you missed it be sure to catch us next February.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Presentation and Discussion
On January 20th, David Holmquist, head of the Oak Park chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, spoke with us about CCL’s goals and strategies to protect our climate. We learned about their proposed Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation, how it works and how it will help. A lively discussion followed. David prepared several packets of information for the group. If you're interested in receiving this information as an email attachment please contact cynthia@ELHumanists.org.
More than 20 ELHers gathered for our Holiday/Anniversary Event at Healy's Westside on December 16th. We drank and dined, sang humanist carols, discussed events, played a game with prizes, and ate anniversary cake. We also collected food and donations for the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, and pledged 100 volunteer hours to that organization for the coming year. We made quite a few new friends in December, and several new members joined ESL. Welcome to all.
Humanist Discussion Group
Our fall meeting of the ELH Humanist article/book discussion group took place on Thursday evening, November 19th in the "Snug" at Brian Boru Irish Pub, 7652 Madison St., Forest Park. We conversed at length about current events like the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and discussed several articles from the Humanist Magazine. Those attending felt it was a great success, with a lot of different and interesting ideas exchanged. Join us for the next one. We know you have something to say!
October/Halloween Social Gathering
End of the Line Humanists gathered on October 29th, 7:00 p.m. at Shanahan's in Forest Park to celebrate the fall season. We wined, dined, opined, and shared some special activities and treats. Best costume won a humanist t-shirt!
Humanist Discussion Group Event
On August 25th we met at Brian Boru Irish Pub to launch ELH’s Humanist Discussion Group. The group will meet quarterly to discuss books, articles and/or current events from a Humanist perspective. Jim Walter lead discussion of two articles from The Humanist Magazine. We all agreed it was really interesting and a great success!
First Event in our Humanist Reading Series
On Wednesday, July 22nd at 7:00 p.m. we gathered at Brian Boru Irish Pub (formerly Molly Malone's) in Forest Park for an entertaining and enriching evening of readings by local Humanist authors. Our featured readers were Garrett Glass, author of Who Cut God's Hair and the Jehoshua series of first-century historical novels, which will "change forever your view of Christianity," and Mark Maller, author of Getting Back, a novel of a one man's 20-year journey from Catholic college student to agnostic. Other short readings by Jim Walter, Cynthia Todd Quam and Vicki Elberfeld followed. An exceptional evening. Don't miss the next one!
Oak Park Library Volunteer Days
In July our group volunteered for the second year running, preparing books for the annual Oak Park Library book sale at OPRF High School. Eight volunteers put in many volunteer hours sorting and arranging books, emptying, moving and cutting boxes. Then we went to dinner. Thanks to all who participated.
An Evening of Comedy with Stewart Huff
ELH enjoyed an evening of standup comedy by Stewart Huff, nationally known comedian, who appeared appearing for one night on his midwest tour at Johnny O'Hagan's in Chicago on Monday, July 13th at 8:00 pm. Much of his humor supported science and skewered organized religion. A great time was had by all.
Summer Welcome Gathering
End of the Line Humanists gathered on Sunday, June 28th at Shanahan's, 7353 Madison St., Forest Park, for food, drink and community. We shared some interesting discussions and amusing activities, and welcomed friends old and new. This annual summer gathering focused on making new connections.
A Day in Our Village
On June 7th End of the Line Humanists had a booth at the annual A Day in Our Village fair in central Oak Park. The event is held annually in Scoville Park and showcases local community groups. ELH distributed information, showed our presence in the community and met lots of new people. We had an evolution-themed game and candy for the kids, and a t-shirt giveaway drawing for the adults. Despite predictions, the weather held and good fun was had by all.
April Social Gathering
Thursday, April 23rd was Openly Secular Day. Many of the largest American secular organizations banded together for a day of visibility for nonbelievers. Nontheists were encouraged to come out to at least one person they know on Openly Secular Day. End of the Line Humanists celebrated at Shanahan’s, in Forest Park to eat, drink, socialize, play a "famous atheist" game and discuss the many ways we’re openly secular.
2nd Annual Darwin Birthday Bash
End of the Line Humanists got off to a great start this year with our 2nd Annual Darwin Birthday Bash at Barclay’s American Grille on the evening of Feb. 12th. We met for appetizers and birthday cake, an evolution-themed presentation, games and prizes, and a 50/50 raffle. The birthday boy himself even put in an appearance! Check out the photos, included on our home page.
ELH Holiday/Anniversary Social Gathering
On December 17th, End of the Line Humanists gathered at Healy's Westside to celebrate our first anniversary as a group and also the holidays. Humanist carols were sung (words here), games played, cake eaten, food and funds collected for the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, and great conversations were had by all. Our only disappointment: we had so much fun we forgot to take pictures!
Humanist Book Discussion Group
End of the Line Humanists met for our first ever Humanist Book Discussion Group at the Oak Park Library at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16th. We had a lively discussion of Greta Christina's Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless. A successful start to a fun new program that is bound to be popular! Watch this space for our next book discussion event, coming in January or February.
October Social Gathering
End of the Line Humanists gathered at Healy's Westside for an autumn dinner and lots of great conversation on Sunday, October 5th. Topics included volunteer opportunities and local doings, and a schedule of ELH fall and winter events was provided. We were joined by AHA board member Howard Katz, who stopped by to thank all who voted for him in the recent board election. A great time was had by all!
August Social Gathering
End of the Line Humanists gathered at Healy's Westside on Sunday evening, August 17th to drink, dine, socialize and opine. We shared nontheist news, current events and resources, and had some lively and entertaining discussions.
Oak Park Library Volunteer Days
In July our group completed our first volunteer project, preparing books for the annual Oak Park Library book sale at OPRF High School. Nine volunteers put in a total of 45 volunteer hours sorting and arranging books, emptying, moving and cutting boxes. Thanks to all who participated. ELH is a Beyond Belief Network team, eligible for grants to do more good once we reach a certain number of volunteer hours. And we are motivated!
Summer Welcome Social Gathering
End of the Line Humanists celebrated our six-month anniversary at Healy's Westside on Sunday evening, June 22nd. Current members welcomed new friends for a meet and greet gathering. We filled out a preference survey for upcoming events which helped us to plan social, philosophical/educational and volunteer activities for the rest of this calendar year.
A Day in Our Village
End of the Line Humanists had a table on June 1st at Oak Park's A Day in Our Village, an annual outdoor fair which showcases local community organizations in Scoville Park. We talked with the public, distributed information, signed up new people and made some great new friends. The "Guess the Dinosaur" activity and candy giveaway for kids was a big hit, as was the evolution-themed t-shirt giveaway. A windy but wonderful day!
"Coming Out" Party
Our "Coming Out" themed social gathering was held at Healy's Westside on the evening of Sunday, March 30th. A dozen End of the Line Humanists gathered for dinner and discussed the necessity and challenges of coming out as a nontheist in today's culture. There was much enthusiasm and good company!
1st Annual Darwin Birthday Bash
Our first annual Darwin Day event was held on the evening of Wednesday, February 12th (Darwin's birthday) at Barclay's American Grille in the Carleton Hotel in Oak Park. We ate appetizers and birthday cake, played Darwin trivia and Creationist Bingo, gave away prizes and hung out with other Humanists at this evolution-themed event. A great time was had by all!