There has been talk about a slow reopening of the state starting around May 1st. The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie believe that without mass on demand testing, reopening too much too soon will be the wrong move.
If and when some businesses and other public places reopen there will be social distancing restrictions and other regulations that will make us having in-person meetings problematic.
Consulting with our Board of Directors, I have decided to suspend in-person meetings and events until such time that civil authorities allow group gatherings more than 10 people and the social distancing rules aren’t a problem for us.
I really don’t see that happening before the fall.
Many summer events have been canceled or moved to other dates and SHoWLE normally doesn’t meet in July and August.
I, along with the Board, will reevaluate the situation most likely in September.
In the meantime, we will have more virtual meetings and try to plan some activities we can do solo from our homes.
As we enter our third week of a statewide shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to give you all a brief update from the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie.
All in-person meetings and events hosted by SHoWLE are postponed until the state health emergency orders are lifted. According to some estimates this may not happen until the end of April or beginning of May.
I plan to have another virtual meeting most likely on our usual meeting date of April 11th. The one we had on March 21st was well received and at least raised my mood. More details coming soon.
If need more information about what the state is doing, visit:
We have an outreach page that has that link and others you can use if you need assistance:
If you need assistance in navigating the state public assistance system (Unemployment, food stamps, etc…) you can reach out to Doug and/or Shawn and we can use our personal experience to help you. Send me a private note or call or text us at 419-309-8601
I know this is an extremely stressful time and the known and unknown information about the pandemic can cause extreme stress or trigger anxiety or other mental health issues. I would advise if you are struggling, please seek out some professional help.
If you have an immediate need please call:
National Suicide Prevention LifeLine
Crisis Text Line – 4hope to 741-741
Or if you don’t have an immediate need but would like to talk to a professional, please visit:
As the state of Ohio battens down the hatches to battle the COVID-19 outbreak, many of our friends and family are being affected by the increasing need to “flatten the curve”.
The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) cares not only about our members, friends, and family, we also care about our community during this difficult time.
We will share accurate information as often as we can on social media channels and if members and friends need assistance (like you’ve lost a job or have to deal with family members being ill) check out our Community Outreach Resources and Education page.
Toledo, February 5, 2020 – The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) announces the debut of a new outreach project for secular people and friends in Northwest Ohio. “Glass City Humanist” is a podcast hosted by SHoWLE President Douglas Berger.
“The podcast is where we will talk about being a Humanist from a Northwest Ohio perspective,” Douglas Berger said. “Humanists have a particular worldview and values and this show will educate the public about all of it.”
Episodes will also include local news and information of interest to Humanists and other freethinkers. Such as the issue surrounding the Ohio EdChoice voucher scheme and efforts by the Ohio legislature to close down all the abortion clinics.
There is also a plan to interview, from time to time, other Humanists and secular people in Northwest Ohio and elsewhere about how they live a secular Humanist life.
Social justice will also be a focus.
“One of the pillars of Humanist values is all people deserve basic worth and dignity,” Berger said. “In order to achieve a just, peaceful society, we all must take claims of injustice seriously and ensure that those who are impacted most by rights-violations determine the best course forward. Toledo and Northwest Ohio is no different.”
The podcast won’t be a source of revenue at least at the start.
“If people are interested in what our group has to say and want to donate for the show we won’t turn it down. For the foreseable future the podcast will be free and commercial free. The important thing is to promote SHoWLE and Humanism.”
The podcast will publish fresh episodes on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays for the time being. The process has started to place the show on different podcast platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.
The first episode is an interview with Matt McMahon, one of the organizers of Toledo Skeptics. It can be heard by following the link on the website: glasscityhumanist.show
This weekend I am attending Skepticon 11 in St. Louis, MO with Shawn and Peggy. Skepticon is a free convention for seculars and skeptics.
Shawn and I are having a good time, meeting new people, getting new ideas, and communing with people who have similar world views as we do.
I’ve learned how to make an awesome podcast and how to persuade people on issues I think are important. I also learned about the religious right’s effort to have special laws passed in state legislatures through their Project Blitz initiative. Did you know Ohio has a chapter of the Prayer Caucus? It lobbies state legislators in Columbus.
Shawn and I are bringing back meeting and event ideas for the coming year.
The only misstep to this year’s conference is it being scheduled during the 5th Anniversary of the death of Michael Brown. He was shot and killed by a white police officer just 10 miles away in Ferguson. Until one of the talks this evening, Skepticon made no effort to acknowledge the event. I hope they do better next time in making sure there are no conflicts like that or at least dedicate some time to marking those kinds of tragedies.
Shawn walked around the area where our hotel is located and mentioned to me she saw a lot of homeless people. It made me consider that a convention like Skepticon should include a community service project so participants experience life outside the hotel.
I do want to attend another Skepticon in the future. This type of convention is needed by people in our community.
On Friday evening, July 12th, at Levis Square in downtown Toledo, the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) co-sponsored the Lights For Liberty vigil to End Human Concentration Camps.
Lights for Liberty partnered with international, national, regional and local communities and organizations who believe that human rights are fundamental rights, are not negotiable, and are willing to protect them.
President Douglas Berger was one of several speakers, at the event in Levis square, who highlighted the human rights issue with the immigration detention camps setup around the country.
SHoWLE had our first informational booth at the Toledo Pride Festival on August 18th. Doug, Shawn, Margarette, and Larry had over 50 people show interest in the group.
It was a beautiful day with a large crowd visiting all the booths in Promenade Park in Downtown Toledo.
“Having a booth takes a lot of time and effort to pull off,” SHoWLE President Doug Berger explained. “For our first time, we did a great job. I have a lot ideas on how to improve our booth for the future.”
If you be interested in helping staff our booth at other events let Doug or Shawn know.