By Ute Mitchell, Foundation Beyond Belief Parent Community Coordinator
I have had the honor of meeting Dale McGowan last year and hearing him speak. When he announced his vision for Foundation Beyond Belief, I was thrilled to hear that someone had come up with a cause that I could feel passionate about.
I am a mother of a nine-year-old daughter and an almost seven-year-old son, a homeschooler, a freelance writer, and a humanist. I live in a suburb of Portland, Oregon, with my family. I also teach a Rational Sunday School for children aged seven to ten, a program I started with my husband about two years ago. I had my eyes on the job of Parent Community Coordinator from the beginning, and among my friends declared it mine. Of course, I still had to go through the application process like everyone else, and when I was offered the job, I admittedly did a little happy dance around the house.
As non-theistic parents, you know what you don’t want for your children. And likely you want your children to grow up to be confident, free-thinking, and open-minded adults. But something has been missing for many non-theistic families: a community of like-minded parents and children. We’ve been lacking a place we can go to for support, educational experiences (such as the Rational Sunday School I teach), and of course friendships that could last a lifetime.
Such communities do exist all across the country—there are currently about 40 groups. As Parent Community Coordinator, it will be my mission to support existing communities (financially and by providing training for their leaders) and to create new communities in many more cities.
On the Foundation Beyond Belief website, non-theistic parents will have the opportunity be part of a resource center where you can receive online support, download documents, find informational links and videos, and exchange experiences with others. I very much look forward to building these communities, and I welcome your questions and feedback. Feel free to contact me by e-mail at ParentCommunityCoordinator@gmail.com.