Sunday M.A.S.S. Brunch, March 2011 Edition

Q: Which Sunday of the month is this coming Sunday?
A: It'll be the first Sunday, of course.

Q: How can you be so sure?
A: The Missoula Area Secular Society (M.A.S.S.) is having Sunday M.A.S.S. Brunch again. It's so predictable, you can set your calendar by it.

Q: What is this Sunday M.A.S.S. Brunch that you speak of?
A: It's a time for members of the M.A.S.S. and other like minded people to get together for good food and and engaging informal discussion on religion in society and government and it's effect on you and your fellow non-theists and whatever other related topics come up.

Q: How can I participate in this incredible resource?
A: Just show up. It's at 10:00 am on Sunday, March 6th in the meeting room at The Stone of Accord (4951 North Reserve Street) in Missoula, Montana (and again on the first Sunday of every month!) If you're not sure where to go, just tell the hostess you're with the group in the Meeting Room and she'll show you the way.

Q: Does it cost anything?
A: If you'd like to eat, then you'll be able to order food from the restaurant. However, M.A.S.S. does not charge anything to attend or participate in the discussion.

Q: What else does M.A.S.S. do?
A: They organize occasional public lectures on science, history, and critical thinking by respected authorities and scholars. They frequently volunteer as a group to help the less fortunate, such as at the Food Bank and the Povorello Center. The occasionally go on group outings to the Blue Mountain Observatory in the summer to learn more about the universe. And they also do a formal structured evening discussion group on the first and third Wednesday of every month.

Q: How can I find out more about all these other activities?
A: Sign up for their email newsletter.

Q: This is a wonderful group. I would still like to give them something as a token of my appreciation for organizing these great opportunities. What can I do?
A: The Missoula Area Secular Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Tax deductible donations may be made by check in person or by mail, or by credit card using that donation button on the right had column on this website. Membership dues are $20/year, but are not required to attend most events (including brunch). T-shirts in a variety of colors are also available for sale at brunches (with discounts for up-to-date dues paying members).

Q: Who took that delicious looking photo at the top of this post?
A: That photo was taken by Mark, which he licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license, allowing M.A.S.S. to use it for free as long as they give him due credit, which they appreciate immensely.

Q: Is it difficult to give all of your answers in the third person?
A: What do you mean? This is how they always talk.

Billboards, Beer, and Volunteers. Oh, My!

In the last post, I suggested that maybe our group New Year's Resolution could be to finally get the billboard we've been talking about for over two years. Well, our Board of Directors took that to heart and things are happening faster that we've grown accustomed to. In fact, I am very pleased to announce that we've signed the contract with the billboard company and our billboard is scheduled to go up July 18 - August 14 on Russell St. a few blocks north of the Good Food Store.

The only thing we have left to do is raise $870 by July to pay for it. The Board of Directors are completely confident that this is possible. We've all seen the news stories that say anywhere between 12% and 20% of Americans are "none of the aboves" in the religion category. That means there are thousands of Missoulians out there waiting to discover that they're not alone and that there are people who think like they do all around. We're gong to try to reach as many of them as possible leading up to the billboard, and the rest of them with the billboard itself.

There are all kinds of ways you can help. Donations are, of course, welcome and we'll take whatever you can afford. T-shirts are also available for purchase, and a great way to spread the word about us just by wearing it around town. But there's more than that. You can help organize activities that we can publicize to drawn in more members, or just come participate in the activities we have. Simply by being an active participant in the group, you're helping us achieve our mission of fostering vibrant community of non-theists in Missoula.

One way that you can become a (more) active participant is to join us on our outreach activities. On January 24th, several members of the outreach team met at the Food Bank to assemble sack lunches for Project Homeless Connect, and just yesterday we spent a couple of hours at the Poverello Center's "Joseph Residence" (a temporary housing opportunity for homeless families) cleaning out and organizing the toy/art room in the community center. There will be more of that to come, so if you would like to participate, sign up for our newsletter and be sure to check the box to be notified of outreach/volunteer opportunities. There's no obligation or minimum number of volunteer activities you're expected to pariticpate in. Just come help when you can.

We'll also be having a big event for you beer drinkers on August 24th at the Kettlehouse. Every Wednesday from 5-8:00pm, is "Community UNite" at the brewery on the Northside. Each Week a specific local non-profit is designated as the beneficiary and a portion of all beer sales from 5-8pm on that Wednesday go to that organization. We've been selected as one of the non-profits for 2011, and our night is Wednesday, August 24th. So, mark your calendar and come on out and drink your limit (3 pints), enjoy the company of many other fine non-theists, and help out a great cause in the process.

Of course, we still meet for brunch on the first Sunday of every month at the Stone of Accord on north Reserve in the meeting room at 10am. If you would like to join us but aren't sure where to go, just tell the hostess you're with the group in the meeting room and she'll show you the way.