The regular Assembly is held every third Sunday of the month at 10:00 AM, but not everyone in the community are morning people. Sunday Assembly Assembly After Dark is back for those non-morning people.
The Sunday Assembly community will be gathering for a series of events monthly. According to the event: “After dark “OUT” is an adult only outing sponsored by Sunday Assembly. We will hit various pubs and events around Pittsburgh! “
To find out more information visit our events page: sapgh.org/events!
“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one. Go out into life, you will find your chance there, and only there.”
While often misattributed to Henry David Thoreau, this quote actually comes from English historian and novelist, James Anthony Froude (1818-1894), in his 1849 book, The Nemesis of Faith. Regardless of who said it, however, the point is still very clear— becoming the person you want to be requires work, thought, and yes, sometimes even change! This month’s topic is “change.” Whether you struggle with change, embrace change, or need change, we will be talking about it and how change can affect happiness in our lives.
Our speaker this month is Angie Phares, an Integrated Health Coach and Yoga Instructor in Pittsburgh (www.angiephares.com). Angie will be talking about how changing different aspects of our lives can not only increase our happiness quotient, but can also improve our overall health and well-being. In addition to her talk, Angie will be sharing information from the Greater Good Science Center at U.C. at Berkeley, which “is at the fore of a new scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior—the science of a meaningful life.” To learn more, visit them on the web at https://ggsc.berkeley.edu.
Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh is a secular community that celebrates life! Visit our Events page to see what’s happening in the community.
One of the things that have taught me the most about adventure is fostering kittens. When an animal shelter (such as Humane Animal Rescue here in Pittsburgh) takes in kittens or other young animals, they get in contact with a network of foster families around the area. Fostering allows the kittens to get close attention and learn to socialize with humans, something that would be hard to do at the shelter. Once a kitten weighs at least two pounds, it is big enough to get all of its shots and other medical care before being put up for adoption by its “forever home.” (Of course, sometimes a foster family can’t bear to give up a kitten and decides to adopt it — we call those “foster fails.” My own Monks is a foster fail from a litter we fostered several years ago.)
When kittens come to a foster home, they may be just a few weeks old, and incredibly tiny. Sometimes they still need to be hand-fed with a bottle because they’re not weaned yet but mama cat is out of the picture. They start to learn to walk, bumbling around on their tiny legs. In Austria, these little kittens are called ” Autodromkatzerl” meaning “bumper car kittens” because their tails stick straight up like the pole on the back of a bumper car, and they bump into things — furniture, their siblings, people — when they run. It takes a while for them to learn to use their claws as well. They may climb up things and not be able to get down.
For a tiny kitten, everything in their world is an adventure. What’s on top of the bed? A mysterious land that has never been visited before! What’s under the couch? Untold mysteries to explore! Is this new thing food? Only one way to find out! Our foster kittens stay in a room on the upper floor of our house, and it is always a major milestone when they first manage to come down the stairs on their own. And sometimes, kittens can find adventures that we didn’t expect. We were confused as to why leaves kept appearing in the kitten room, until we discovered that one of our foster kittens had managed to pry out the corner of the screen window, get out onto the roof, and bring some leaves back into the house.
Seeing the adventures in the world from a kitten’s point of view is what inspired me and my co-foster-parent Cheyenne Grimes to write Laser Kittens, a tabletop roleplaying game about foster kittens learning to grow up to be awesome cats. Right now we’re running a Kickstarter for a set of beautiful Kitten Cards illustrated by Dominique Ramsey, and a book of new scenarios and adventures for your kittens — from a farm to a spaceship to a movie set. When you back the Kickstarter you can also get the rules for the original Laser Kittens game as well. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1321036815/more-kittens
Full disclosure: I am not an astrophysicist, which is probably why I’m just discovering a decades-old theory in 2019. The theme for the next Assembly is, ‘Adventure’ so I figured I’d go on an adventure through the ‘Big Bounce’ theory. Like most people, I was mainly familiar with the Big Bang before I started my journey.
What exactly is the Big Bounce? Simply put, the Big Bounce is the theory the beginning of our university is the result of another universe before us “contracting”, and then “bouncing” into expansion. Based on the Big Bounce, the universe goes through constant phases of expansion and contraction.
A significant difference between the Big Bounce and the Big Bang is there is no singularity in the Big Bounce theory. Singularity is a point in space that is infinitely hot, infinitely dense, and has no mass. The Big Bang theory states the universe expanded rapidly from a point of singularity.
The Big Bounce is based on the theory our universe was so small in the beginning, the laws of physics were based on quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics that describes the motion and interactions of subatomic particles (photons, atoms etc.). Based on quantum mechanics, it would be impossible for the universe to condense into a point of singularity (the Big Bang). However, the point would still be very hot and dense. This theory leads to the conclusion there had to be a universe before ours that compressed into the extremely dense point, and then expanded to create our universe (the Big Bounce).
The Big Bang and the Big Bounce theories both explain the expansion of the universe. However, based on the Big Bounce the universe is in an expansion period and is constantly cooling (losing energy). When the universe runs out of energy (heat), it will contract again until it reaches a point where it has enough energy to expand, starting the process over and creating another universe.
There is still much evidence that needs to be gathered to the support the Big Bounce theory. However, I once heard the purpose of knowledge is to discover more questions.
The Next Assembly is Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 10 AM – 11:30 AM at
Community Forge, 1256 Franklin Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15221
The year 2018 is behind us and Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh is looking to expand its community to anyone seeking one. After breaking our attendance record in December, we are looking to carry that momentum into the new year.
I attended my first Assembly in 2014. At the time I was a lonely new agnostic that once had a sense of community through the church. I wasn’t sure how many people shared my views. I found Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh by searching, ‘atheist community’, and it happened to be around the time they were preparing for their first Assembly. When I attended my first Assembly I felt an instant sense of community and belonging. I have since become the Outreach Coordinator with the goal of giving as many people that same feeling as possible.
We are looking forward to the new year, and hope to expand the number of charitable acts in the community by growing our numbers. Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh also has new board members with fresh ideas who will help improve the organization. It’s going to be an amazing year!
The next Assembly is Sunday, January 20, 2018, at 10 AM – 11:30 AM at Community Forge, located at 1256 Franklin Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15221.
It was a morning of holiday cheer. Many people came dressed in their holiday sweaters and hats. The Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh community gathered for Yule Rock and filled Community Forge with a record 87 people.
Assemblers rocked out to songs like ‘Santa Clause is Coming to Town’ and ‘Let it Snow’. A highlight of the Assembly was attendees forming a conga line to ‘Run Rudolph Run’. Just about every face had a smile from ear-to-ear as adults and kids alike sang songs to embrace the joy and happiness of the season.
After Yule Rock, the community came together for a potluck. Assemblers brought a variety of dishes and enjoyed each others company.
Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh is looking to take the momentum of Yule Rock into 2019 to help grow its community. There were many new faces in December, but we want to reach out to every person who is looking for what we have to offer.
The next Assembly will be at Community Forge, located at 1256 Franklin Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15221 on January 20, 2019th at 10:00AM. See you there!