We held our regular board meeting this past Monday evening. It was a good opportunity to handle some overdue business. Here are the minutes. You can find them (sans surnames) online as well.

1 – Bryan was voted onto the BOD as an ad hoc member. This brings our board to a total of 8.

2 – A discussion was had about possibly changing our name from the “Central Minnesota Friends Free of Theism” to the “Central Minnesota Freethinkers”. This would not only shorten our moniker but prevent us from being mislabeled as “Friends of Theism”. It’s happened a couple of times. The Board voted in favor of the change. If anyone objects to this name change or has another suggestion, please let us know by April 3, our next coffee gathering. Barring any strong objections, the change will take effect then.

3 – We discussed dates, times and places for our annual Summer Solstice Party. We’re looking into reserving the Sauk Rapids Municipal Park Shelter again, if it isn’t already spoken for, and the date will probably be during the weekend of June 17, 18, 19. We’ll keep everyone posted when the details are firmed up.

A friend and member of CMFFoT has forwarded this request. Please consider signing.

Exodus International, the notorious "ex-gay" organization, has just released an iPhone app that, according to its website, is "designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders." The Exodus website further boasts that its app received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning that it contains "no objectionable content."

No objectionable content? We beg to differ. Exodus' message is hateful and bigoted. They claim to offer "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ" and use scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients. They endorse the use of so-called "reparative therapy" to "change" the sexual orientation of their clients, despite the fact that this form of "therapy" has been rejected by every major professional medical organization including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Counseling Association. But reparative therapy isn't just bad medicine -- it's also very damaging to the self-esteem and mental health of its victims.

Read the rest of the article

Jen McCreight, noted atheist blogger, will speak at SCSU March 22 at 7:00 PM in the Cascade Room (2nd floor) of the Atwood Memorial Center on campus. Jen describes herself like this:

I'm mainly just some sarcastic gal with a lot of strong opinions. I just graduated from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana with a double major in Genetics and Evolution and a minor in Psychology. Yeah, good ol' Indiana - I've lived here my entire life, though I consider myself a Chicagoan. I've been doing research in an ecological genetics lab for almost three years, and in the fall I'm going to the University of Washington to get my PhD in Genome Sciences.

Jen will also be at the U of M in Morris the 23rd, and the U of M in Minneapolis the 24th. Find more information on her blog at http://www.blaghag.com/


At our January meeting we elected a new Board of Directors for the Central Minnesota Friends Free of Theism. President Doug, Vice-President Bruce, Treasurer Bill and Secretary/PR Brooke and Dennis will each serve two-year terms. Tom, Bryan and Clint are also on the Board as members at large.

cqlogoCamp Quest of Minnesota is seeking 22 energetic, committed adults to lead its camping session as volunteer counselors. Being a volunteer counselor is a demanding, yet very rewarding, way to serve the youth in our freethought community. Counselors build strong connections with the campers and with each other over the course of the week-long camping program.

Camp Quest of Minnesota has been bringing its program of critical thinking and Humanism to non-theistic campers in Minnesota since 2004. As in the past, the 2011 camping session will be held at the Voyageur Environmental Center in Minnetrista. Counselors will be at camp from July 23-30.

Severe winter weather shut down American Red Cross blood drives across much of the country in the South, East and Midwest recently. A day or two of severe winter weather can cancel enough donations to impact the availability of blood products to patients. That is why it is so important for all eligible blood donors to make an appointment to donate when travel is deemed safe.