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Interview with Terri Hope – Founder & Leader, Grey Bruce Humanists


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Canadian Atheist

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/12/28

Terri Hope is the Founder and Leader of the Grey Bruce Humanists, and a former Humanist Officiant. Here we talk about the Grey Bruce Humanists.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What are the events and services provided for members of the Grey Bruce Humanists within the community?

Terri Hope:  We hold a meeting with a guest speaker every other month on a Sunday morning. (sometimes more often). We have a ‘social dinner’ at a local restaurant during the ‘off’ month. We also have a meeting on the first Wed. evening of the month at the local library. Topics vary… We make donations to local and international organizations.

Jacobsen: How can individuals become involved in the Grey Bruce Humanists?

Hope:  All you have to do is get your name on the email list. There are no dues, forms, etc. We pass a ‘hat’ after meetings. Needless to say, we’re not rich!

Jacobsen: Humanism emphasizes reason, compassion, and science. Why? How does this work within a secular community including the Grey Bruce Humanists?

Hope:  These values make the most sense for us. Scientific principles can be demonstrated. Reason and compassion make for a more generous, ethical life. We offer donations when we can. We educate with speakers who demonstrate these values. We try to assure that everyone has a voice at meetings.

We welcome everyone to meetings as long as they understand that there can be no attempts to ‘convert’ others. 

Jacobsen: What are some of the positive expectations for 2019 for the Grey Bruce Humanists?

Hope: We already have our roster of speakers for 2019. Our planning group plans to update our donation policies, website and Facebook page.

Jacobsen: In the management of community and the work to provide for the needs of the members of it, what are the pluses and minuses, positives and negatives, of the work there?

Hope: Lots of pluses. In a small city, we have about 125 people on the list. Between 10 and 25 people attend the meetings. There seems to be a group who enjoys the meetings, people, social opportunities, etc.

Negatives? Not enough volunteers. Being 3 hours from Toronto makes it hard to book people who’ve written books, made the news, etc.

Jacobsen: What are the general demographics of the Grey Bruce Humanists? How does this differ from the general surrounding culture of the area?

Hope: Similar. We are an older community, both in Owen Sound and in our Humanist group. We do however have a number of active members who are younger. (20’s, 30’s)

Jacobsen: How can people become involved with donations, becoming a member, or showcasing the Grey Bruce Humanist community?

Hope: As I mentioned, people donate what they wish at meetings. They ask to be added to the email list and can easily ask that to be removed. We have not tried to ‘showcase’ the group except by participating in local events which may be organized for the public.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Terri.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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