Sanctuary Scrapbook - an archive

A glimpse into our history

The Sacred Secular Sanctuary was founded in the autumn of 2012.

We are primarily a project-oriented group. Here are a few examples:

2016 - 2018

The Shift - 2017 - present
The Shift In addition to networking with other humanist / atheist / freethinker groups, the Sanctuary members have been crafting a new project called The Shift.

The Shift is a series of 6 workshops designed to help people embark upon a journey of self-discovery, particularly after a life-changing diagnosis or event. Participants receive the necessary tools for creating boundaries that can help define a safe and healthy attitude to embrace the direction life has presented. They learn how to get to know and respectand ultimately how to care for, forgive and love their changing self


Why Men Made God book launch - October 25, 2015
Our Sanctuary President, Karis Burkowski, has co-authored a book called Why Men Made God. Redefining the Sacred hosted a launch party, and many Sanctuary members attended. See photos.

Jax Rula - The Infidel podcast - September 25, 2015
The Sanctuary's participation in NonCon 2015 connected us with like-minded people outside of our local area. Our Secretary, Jax Rula, was invited to be a guest on The Infidel podcast. See the interview.


NonCon 2015 - August 22, 2015
NonCon 2015 logo
On February 23, 2015, the Grand River Secular Alliance met with Spencer Lucas, founder of the Non-Con, to begin planning NonCon 2015, with Lawrence Krauss as our keynote speaker.

Many months of planning and work went into the preparations for this event. The result was the biggest gathering of humanists, secularists and atheists in Kitchener-Waterloo EVER! WOW! What a day! So many memories! We have two pages of photos from the Non Con 2015. Scrapbook page.

Fundamentals of Hospice Palliative Care
January to March, 2015

For 3 months, the Sanctuary membership participated with nurses and other health care practitioners in the Fundamentals of Hospice Palliative Care course. We each received our certificates and were prepared to offer our services as volunteers. We did this because local nurses had informed us that there was a need for non-religious palliative care volunteers to help patients who did not wish to be faced with religious language and attempts to convert them in their remaining days.


World Religions Conference - September 28, 2014
The Sanctuary was pleased to be invited to participate in the 34th Annual World Religions Conference, which was held in Guelph. Our president, Karis, was asked to be one of the speakers. We had a display table, which was shared with SOFREE and together we sang the "world premiere" of "Good Without a God" before an audince of 700 attendees. Scrapbook page.

Atheist Alliance - Hop on the Bus!
May 2014 to October 2016

As a direct result of our attending the "Why Atheism Matters" discussion on March 19, we have formed an alliance with other local groups for a specific project, aimed at informing local non-believers that there several local groups where they can find community. We held a meeting to discuss the project and brainstorm about the details. Scrapbook page.

        Why Atheism Matters - March 19, 2014
Instead of holding a Salon, we decided to attend an event organized by another group; a talk entitled "Why Atheism Matters", given by Professor Douglas Cowan from the Religious Studies department at the University of Waterloo. The talk was lively, informative and entertaining, and it turned out to be a wonderful networking opportunity! Scrapbook page.


Dying with Dignity Salon - November 25, 2013
We were pleased to have Doug Thomas, President of The Society of Ontario Freethinkers (SOFREE), and Secular Connexion SÚculaire as our guest speaker. In addition, Norm Robertson, Chair of the Grand River Chapter of Dying With Dignity was among the guests. It was an informative evening with active participation. Scrapbook page.

First Annual General Meeting - October 25, 2013
Our first year flew by so quickly! Our first annual AGM provided an opportunity to review the activities and accomplishments, preview the upcoming year and brainstorm about possible future developments. If you were unable to attend, you can see photos on our AGM Scrapbook page.

World Religions Conference - October 6, 2013
At the invitation of our friends at the Society of Ontario Freethinkers (SOFREE), we shared space on the Humanist table. This was the 33rd World Religions Conference, but for many attendees it was the first time they had encountered Pantheism or Sacred Secularism. We look forward to doing this again next year! Scrapbook page.

Community screening of the film Occupy Love - Monday April 15, 2013
This event brought together three local organizations and we were delighted with the results! Scrapbook page.

FOUNDATION MEETING - December 2, 2012
Café 22 (22 King Street in Uptown Waterloo)

Our first membership drive meeting brought together a diverse group of individuals. Several became Members during the meeting, and signed up to work on various committees to help with the ongoing development of Sanctuary activities. Scrapbook page

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