WWJTD Blog Post: “Walking Into the Lion’s Den”

Our director of community, Helen Stringer, has contributed a blog post to JT Eberhard’s blog, “What Would JT Do?”:

A couple of months ago, I was invited to speak at a Retired Clergy of All Faiths luncheon about Kansas City Oasis and the Oasis Network by my friend Ron who happens to be a retired Episcopalian priest.

I’ll admit, I was concerned that I was walking into a lion’s den. I feared that I was being set-up for apologetic warfare. To the contrary, I was treated with warmth, acceptance, and offered generous words of support.

You can read the post in full here.

KC Oasis Makes the KC Star Magazine Front Page

Kansas City Oasis has been featured on the front page of the Kansas City Star Magazine’s Sunday edition:


kc_star_oasis_2015-01-09

This assembly is called Kansas City Oasis. Members gather weekly in a way that appears churchlike, but there’s no prayer, no reference to a higher power. Most are atheists or agnostics, although people of faith aren’t excluded.

“We get to celebrate the human experience every week, so welcome,” says Helen Stringer, the group’s executive director, as the room grows quiet.

Some drawn to this Sunday gathering grew up without a religious tradition. Some felt driven from church by harsh dogma and treatment. Some were raised with religion but lost their faith, they say, to reason and science.

You can read more in the online posting of the article here:

http://www.kansascity.com/living/star-magazine/article5568999.html

Guest Post by Helen: “People Are More Important Than Beliefs”

Our director of community, Helen Stringer, has a new guest post on JT Eberhard’s blog, “What Would JT Do?”:

Shouldn’t we focus more on what we have in common and allow our differences to make us richer and stronger as human beings?

Shouldn’t our culture overflow with respect and acceptance of one another, without strings attached?

That’s what Oasis means to me. Unconditional relationships not built on unity of mind and beliefs, but instead on our unity as fellow human sojourners.

You can read more at JT’s blog here.

Helen Stringer Guest Post on WWJTD: “The Identity of Oasis”

KCAC’s director of community and executive director of Kansas City Oasis has published a guest post on JT Eberhard’s blog, “What Would JT Do?”, about the identity of Oasis:

My Oasis story starts over a year ago. I was tired of not having a community because I wasn’t in church, and I was ready to do something about it. My first step was to make sure no one had already invented the wheel, so I contacted multiple leaders in the secular movement, but when I got in touch with founder and executive director of Houston Oasis, Mike Aus, something sparked.

You can see the full text of the post on JT’s blog here!

Helen Stringer Interviewed as Officiant of Same-Sex Wedding

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Our director of community, Helen Stringer, exercised her position as a humanist celebrant to officiate the wedding of two friends in front of the Johnson County Courthouse last evening. The event attracted the attention of local news media, such as KSHB 41 Kansas City:

The state Supreme Court put a hold on giving out marriage licenses after a Johnson County judge essentially made same-sex marriage legal in Kansas. But for these two, it’s not about the state laws. It’s about their love.

Director Helen Stringer Interviewed by Pitch

One of our directors, Helen Stringer, filled out a questionnaire given to her by the local publication, The Pitch:

Who’s sorry now? Probably my undergraduate alma mater, an evangelical school that cranks out pastors. I doubt they want their training to be used for organizing and supporting the nonreligious — too bad.

My recent triumph: Getting to spend my Sundays with an incredible group of people each week. It seriously blows my mind every time we gather. Seeing your passion in action, and working, is indescribable.

The Pitch gives the questionnaire to interesting and notable persons in the Kansas City area to talk a bit about themselves and what’s going on around them. You can read more of what Helen has to say on their site here!

TIME Features KC Oasis Affiliate, Houston Oasis

TIME Magazine is doing a feature about non-faith-based communities building the in the midwest, focusing on Kansas City Oasis affiliate, Houston Oasis:

On a clear, Sunny July morning, as churchgoers all around Houston take to their pews, dozens of nonbelievers are finding seats inside a meeting room in a corporate conference center on the city’s west side to listen to a sermon about losing faith. But first there’s the weekly “community moment”–remarks on a chosen topic delivered by the group’s executive director, this time focused on how we’re hardwired to read sensationalized news–as well as announcements about an upcoming secular summer camp. In between, a musician sings softly of Albert Einstein.

The men speaking before the assembled gathering–executive director Mike Aus, who regularly leads the group, and Jerry DeWitt, a visitor who heads a similar gathering in Louisiana–are both deeply familiar with the idea of Sunday ritual.

You can read the full article if you have a TIME account here or buy a copy of the August 4, 2014 issue of TIME magazine.

KCAC Makes Media Apperance at MFM

The Kansas City Atheist Coalition was able to bring a few members to participate in the 2014 “Million ‘Fag’ March” and show our support for equality. A local journal, The Topeka Capital-Journal, briefly interviewed us and posted a quotation:

Joshua Hyde, president of the Kansas City Atheist Coalition, said he wanted all at the event to know the atheist community in Kansas City supports them.

“We feel that equality of LGBT people is a very necessary prerogative of any advancing progressive society,” Hyde said. “And we very much want to root out any anti-LGBT bigotry within our society.”

You can read more about the journal’s coverage of the event here:

http://cjonline.com/news/2014-05-04/groups-rally-million-fag-march-equal-rights#1

Fox News Coverage of KCRM Turning Away KCAC

“The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson” featured a panel including American Atheists’ president David Silverman to discuss the Kansas City Rescue Mission turning away our group from volunteering:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFBOna_bl0g

We would like to note that the featured rabbi is incorrect in describing our site as carrying the phrase “fighting religion, tooth and claw”. This phrase does not and has not ever appeared on our site, insofar as a message endorsed by the Kansas City Atheist Coalition.