Welcome to the Grand Traverse Humanists. If you value science, reason, and compassion and believe that humans are responsible for their own destiny, you have come to the right place. We are a community for the non-religious in the Grand Traverse area, offering a forum for discussing and advancing a secular worldview based on our common humanity. Our programs include monthly speakers and discussions, film and book groups, and various volunteer and social events. All are free and open to the public. Check out Upcoming Events below, or click on the calendar. Nontheists, agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, rationalists, humanists, and more…we welcome you to join us!
Please note: MEETINGS AT THE LIBRARY ARE TEMPORARILY ON HOLD. We are meeting outside in person when possible, and on Zoom as schedules allow. Check the Upcoming Events below for details.
In the last six months, four of our fellow Grand Traverse Humanists have died. We are saddened by the loss of Ed Rom, Walter Foote, Mark Gustafson, and Gordon Grimm. Let us remember them well.
- Virtual Meeting: “To Catch a Bird” with William Scharf
Monday, February 8, 7 p.m. via Zoom
Grand Traverse Humanists present William Scharf with a program called, “To Catch a Bird: the Art and Science.” William will talk about his background of bird capture in nine U.S. states and one foreign country, and his present project with the Leelanau Conservancy. He’ll cover his early work with birds of prey, island biology, and methods used to capture birds, with a special emphasis on arthropods parasitic on migrant birds in Leelanau County. To register for the meeting, click here.
William Scharf has a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota (medical/veterinary entomology-bird parasites), is an honorary Elected Member of the American Ornithologist’s Society, and taught 30 years at Northwestern Michigan College. Since retirement, he’s held teaching and research positions with the University of Nebraska, Western Maryland College, and Lake Superior State University. He has many publications on birds, small mammals, fleas, lice, ticks, and tapeworms.
- Virtual Hungry Humanists: Casserole Night!
Monday, December 28, 6:30 p.m.
Join us for a virtual dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom from the comfort of your home. Make your choice of casserole, then meet to show (and eat) your casserole creation. Healthy Chef Ali Lopez will be joining us at 7 to give us some yummy winter casserole tips and tricks.
Click here to register in advance for this free event.
You will receive your own link to join after registering.
- Humanists Book Club: “Born A Crime” by Trevor Noah
Sunday, January 17, 6 p.m. via Zoom
Grand Traverse Humanists will meet virtually to discuss Trevor Noah’s book “Born a Crime.” Description from Amazon: “Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.
Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.”
Click here to register to participate in the discussion.
- Virtual Hungry Humanists: Pie!
Monday, November 23, 6:30 p.m.
We’ll gather virtually to enjoy pie together. Share your favorite pie recipe and learn about others’ favorite pies. Claudia Schmidt will attend and recite “The Art of Pie” by Susan Bright, long a favorite at her performances. Hope to see you there!
Register in advance by clicking here:
- Volunteering at Safe Harbor
Tuesday, December 1, 3:00-9:00 p.m.
As in recent years, Grand Traverse Humanists will prepare a dinner for Safe Harbor.
It will be different this year. We will be preparing dinner only – no overnight, evening, or breakfast shifts are needed. There will be two shifts: 3-6 p.m. to prepare dinner, and 6-9 p.m. to serve and clean up afterwards.
Precautions to protect guests and volunteers are built into the plan. We will have a smaller number of volunteers in the kitchen at a time and for a shorter duration than in the past. One sub-team will prepare food then another will serve it from behind a barrier. We will all wear masks. As a commercial kitchen, Safe Harbor has an exhaust fan that can eject air from the room drawing in fresh air. The guests will come into the dining area in shifts and one of us (with mask and gloves) will need to sanitize tables between groups of guests.
Please volunteer to be part of this effort. Safe Harbor is important despite COVID!
Text, call, or email: Scott Blair 231-313-7214, or email@example.com.
- Virtual G.T. Humanists Meeting: Election Reflections
Monday, November 9, 7 p.m.
By the time of this meeting, we will have just had an election, and we want to talk about it! No matter what the outcome (if we even know the result yet), discussing it together will help us process what’s happening and see what’s likely to come. This will be a virtual meeting via Zoom–register in advance here:
And if you’re reading this before the election, don’t forget to vote!