PLEASE JOIN US!   We meet on the first Sunday of each month in downtown Duluth at the Radisson Hotel (Location Map)
            Socializing begins at 9:00 am.
            Optional breakfast buffet at 9:30 am.
            Presentation from 10:00 until about 11:30.

            Co-Host: David Broman - (218) 349-7455
            Co-Host: Jim Lyttle - (218) 464-1652
             Videographer - Jan Resberg


Lake Superior


Newsletter – December 2016

Upcoming Events:

Ø LSF Happy Hour
o   Location: Mexico Lindo
o   Date: Thu Dec 1st (monthly on 1st Thu)
o   Time: 4 to 6
Ø LSF Monthly Meeting
o   Location: Radisson Duluth Conference room
o   Date: Sun Dec 4th (monthly on 1st Sun)
o   Time: 9:30 to Noon
Ø LSF Dinner Social
o   Location: JJ Astor (to enjoy Bentleyville Tour of Lights, without having to get cold in the process) – top floor of the Radisson (location changes monthly)
o   Date: Wed Dec 21st (monthly on 3rd Wed)
o   Time: 4:30 to 7:00
Ø TED @ Teatro Zuccone
o   Location: Teatro Zuccone
o   Date: Wed Dec 21st(monthly on 3rd Wed)
o   Time: 7:30 PM
o   Topic: How Great Leaders Inspire Action & Know Your "Why" and How to Tell It

Newsletter Editor: Mark Woodcock
To submit an item for possible inclusion in the Newsletter please contact:


Dec Monthly Meeting – Dec 4, 2016
 Place: Radisson Conference Room

Speaker: Ken Bowers
Ken is educated as a physicist. He is versed in the hard and soft sciences and has taught these and other subjects at the college level. In addition, Ken founded two businesses, in photography/graphics which specialized in journalistic work for activist nonprofits, and in construction focusing on rehab and subdivision of existing structures. Ken has advocated for wider access to health care on the state and national level, and for improved and user friendly public transit at the local level in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Topic: Mainstreaming Micro Housing Options

America, plus many others following America's example, are awash in magical thinking, perpetuated by advertising and the peer pressure it creates, about more for me being the ultimate goal in life, that things count more than people and the rest of nature, and that the human enterprise can forever "grow" with no adverse consequences.
Mainstreaming micro housing options will help us move from consumerism to stewardship as a way of life as a survival necessity, not to mention a likely improved, less stressful and more fulfilling lifestyle. Ken has lived in micro housing for over 30 years and wouldn't have it any other way.

Historical example - Henry Thoreau's home on Walden Pond
 measured 10' x 15', and in 1846 dollars, cost just $28.12 to build
photo courtesy of Mark Woodcock - taken October 23, 2016


December 25th is fast approaching, but LSF’s Billboard on Central Entrance will get here first - NEXT WEEK

There is an LSF donation basket on each table at the monthly meetings, and the contributions that are made throughout the year are put to good use in various ways, such as advocating freedom from religion at an abortion clinic (see picture of picketers John Wolforth and Jim Lyttle below), advertising LSF on Minnesota Public Radio, and advertising before movies at the Zeitgeist Theater. Effective December 5th, LSF will also be letting Duluth residents know that “if they are questioning religion they are not alone,” on a billboard that will appear on Central Entrance. The specific location is 220 West 3rd Street (facing east).  Here is your opportunity to snap a photo suitable for your annual holiday photo cards.

The LSF monthly meeting on December 4th will also be the LSF annual fundraiser. Please help LSF close out the year in the black. Wouldn't it be nice to change that worn out old holiday phrase, yes you know the one, to "Let's advocate reason this season."


Featured LSF Member for December

Rod Sheffer has been a member of LSF since it started in the early 1990's. For many years he would drive the 104 mile route, from his Cedar Lake home in Aitkin, Minnesota, to Duluth, to attend monthly meetings, and converse with like minded intellects, whom he recently described as "some of the smartest people in the state."

A few years back Rod and his wife relocated to Woodbury, MN. The 160 mile drive to Duluth has resulted in his becoming a satellite member of LSF, but he remains fully engaged, in part by sending out daily emails, containing intellectual tapas harvested from the web, and "mini missives," a term he coined for his many personal observations and thoughts.

Here is an example of one of his recent mini missives. Expect to see more of Rod's thoughts in future editions of the LSF newsletter.

"We can assert with confidence that all human ethical and moral codes are the product of human history and experience, and they are judged by their consequences. No deity is required by educated people to explain the origin of ethical and moral codes. We have done this without any help from any external source."  courtesy of Rodney Sheffer

Interesting Rod facts:
 Age: 87
 Profession: Rod retired from teaching high school biology and chemistry in 1991. He is quick to point out that he chose his profession at the age of 16, after developing a special relationship with biology teacher Frank Masterjohn. Immediately following the Masterjohn teacher/mentor relationship, he was fortunate enough to be taught by Margorie Edington, a similarly engaging teacher, from whom he learned chemistry and physics, during his junior year of high school in Rice Lake, WI. Of the two of them, Rod stated, "Those were the people who defined my whole career, and I never regretted my choice."
What prompted him to retire at 62: A good friend of Rod's, also in the science department, retired a year earlier, and shortly thereafter provided some sage advice, "Don't work a day longer than you have to. There are just too many worthwhile things you can do with your life, besides more of the same." So at 62, and after teaching what was perhaps his best year, he took his friend's advice to heart.
Bicycling to his 50th High School Class reunion: At the age of 68, Rod decided he would impress the attendees of his 50th class reunion by bicycling from Grantsburg, WI to Rice Lake, WI, which equates to 70 miles of pedaling over hill and dale. Upon arrival, he was much chagrined to learn that one of his fellow classmates, David Connors, had opted to run the 52 miles from Hayward, WI to the reunion. "He was tough as a railroad spike," said Sheffer, in admiration of David's accomplishment.
He has published two books, including: "God Talk and Other Incoherent Religious Delusions." (April 9, 2010) The book can be found on Amazon at this link: "God Talk and Other Incoherent Religious Delusions" by R. Sheffer

Alumni of Bloomington's Lincoln and Jefferson High Schools thank Mr. Sheffer for his many years of committed teaching, and LSF is honored to count him among its long-term membership.


Summary of the First Meeting of the Lake Superior Freethinkers People of Conscience Committee (POC)
by Jo Haberman

Fifteen people met on November 12th to begin discussion of forming a new "spoke" or committee of LSF, focused on the subject of Morality Without Superstition.

The idea for LSF-POC is two fold:

To discuss and learn more about secular morality
To consider ways that the group might engage in the community, in service of the greater good

After talking about some of the contemporary moral and social issues important to those present, and some of the organizations doing effective work to address these and other issues, there was general agreement that the first step for the group should be to focus on foundational questions, such as:

What criteria should secular people use to differentiate what is moral?
What are the roots of morality and ethics for secular people?
What common values do secular people share as the basis of morality?

Charles Gessert and Mark Woodcock have kindly agreed to facilitate a set of discussions on these and related questions regarding secular moral thought.

It is never too late to join the discussion. The next meetings will be scheduled soon for December and January 2017. If you have an interest in being part of the discussion, or simply attending as a listener, please RSVP to Jo Haberman at:
JoJane@juno.com or (612) 600-7483


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