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New Jersey Winter Solstice Luncheon

Despite heavy rain and powerful winds, about 26 NY/NJ area Freethinkers got together to celebrate the Winter Solstice, on Sunday, December 17, 2000. The event was a complete success!

We met in Roselle, New Jersey, at the Sphinx Restaurant, which was a great choice of restaurants. It's really a big, beautiful banquet hall, and we had the whole place to ourselves. The food was excellent, as was the service, and the surroundings couldn't be beat.

Dave Silverman, Ellen Johnson, Joe Zamecki, Ron Barrier

Our speakers were also great. I spoke about the Atheist Viewpoint in New Jersey, and the new American Atheist Center. I also thanked everyone who braved the bad weather to be there, and the kitchen staff for such good work.

Dave Silverman, State Director for American Atheists spoke about New Jersey politics with respect to state/church separation and the recent elections. He also reminded everyone that he's still looking for a replacement State Director, due to him being so busy in his new position as Youth and Family Director.

Ron Barrier, American Atheists National Spokesman talked about upcoming meetings of New York's Atheists in Manhattan, and the Atheist Viewpoint. He also talked about the need for Atheists to project a positive image of Atheism to the media, and believers in general.

Ellen Johnson, American Atheists President read "What I Want For Christmas," a pamphlet by Robert Green Ingersoll, the great agnostic orator. (That pamphlet is available in the form of a greeting card with matching envelopes at American Atheist Press Online) Ellen also gave her version of what she wanted this Solstice Season, and our audience of Freethinkers enjoyed it and really seemed to agree with her.

Conrad Goeringer, American Atheists Senior Staff Writer and Editor of AACHAT spoke about the history of the observance of the Solstices, and the astronomical findings of recent scientific efforts. He also gave a very impressive slide show featuring pictures of solar and lunar eclipses over the years. His talk is also now online at: The American Atheist

Chris Morton, American Atheists New York State Director couldn't make this event, due to a family concern. I let our group know about that, and we all missed his presence.

I'd like to again thank everyone who came out despite the weather, and also our speakers, I appreciate them taking the time to assemble their talks for this event. I'd also like to thank volunteers Jodi Greene and Mike Markovich for their heavy-lifting and organizing assistance. And last, but not least, thanks also to the Sphinx Restaurant in Roselle, New Jersey for working so hard and so well to make this a successful luncheon.

We're probably going to go with the Sphinx again for next year's Winter Solstice Luncheon. Of course, I'd also like to throw another Summer Solstice Bar-B-Q here at the American Atheist Center in 2001. Stay tuned for details!