I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by. With just less than two months to go I’m realizing more than ever what an never-ending journey this is. In some ways this has been the best year of my life. In other ways, the hardest. Here are a few updates as I head in to the home stretch.
I have a few books I’d really like to finish before the year ends. I’ve started a number of books that just weren’t good enough or compelling enough to finish. I’ve also started some that very much do deserve to be finished but other obligations encroached. I’d like to wrap up a few of these. The trouble is, people keep writing good books and I get sidetracked onto those.
There are some major blog posts I’ve been thinking about and taking notes on the entire year. I haven’t felt ready to publish some of this because I feel like I have a lot more research to do.
I’ve also been sorting through a fairly large pile of research I’ve accumulated over the year. I’m trying to sort it into some useful categories to make sense of what I’ve learned and what modest conclusions I’ve arrived at.
I have a few speaking appointments toward the end of this year and few I’m already looking forward to in the early part of next year. I’m very excited to be returning to ReAsonCon in April.
In about a week I’ll be doing a lecture for The Center for Inquiry in Hollywood and Costa Mesa entitled “Living Between Belief and Unbelief.” If you’re in Southern California, please join us.
I’ll be co-teaching a class with Richard Carrier in December. I’d love it if some of you would join us. We’ll be having a month-long conversation about some of the main issues involved in the debate between theism and atheism. We’ll be announcing more details soon, but you can sign up here.
YEAR WITHOUT GOD: THE FILM
Two young filmmakers have been making a film about my year. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also incredibly time consuming. It has allowed me—yea, forced me—to process my experiences in a much deeper way than I have have otherwise. It has also brought into my orbit some remarkable individuals. At TAM this year I had the privilege of interviewing Daniel Dennett, Michael Shermer, Barbara Drescher, James Randi and many more. The story is going to be intimate and personal as well as academic. You can watch the latest teaser here.
Last, but certainly not least, you’ve probably noticed that my blog has been a bit quiet lately. That has been troubling to me, but not as troubling as unemployment! As some of you picked up by following me on Twitter and Facebook, as of April I work at an amazing non-profit agency called PATH (People Assisting the Homeless). I am the Director of Community Engagement, which means I coordinate all of PATH’s external relationships with government entities, neighborhood coalitions, faith-based groups and other non-profits. PATH’s mission is “ending homelessness for individuals, families and communities.” We’ve been working at that for the past 30 years and we’re now in 22 cities from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. Since January 2013, PATH has housed nearly 3500 people.
It is ironic, I suppose, that I’m working with faith-based communities, but it helps me remember that not every religious person or group is hell bent on manipulating and controlling people for their own ends. Just today I had lunch with a wonderful Rabbi friend of mine who is a tireless champion of economic justice in Los Angeles. I don’t really know what he believes about God but he’s pouring his life into improving the economic prospects of the working poor. That’s what matters to me.
If you want to learn more about the work PATH does, please visit our website at www.epath.org. If you have a few dollars to spare and want to help us end homelessness, please contribute to our Imaginary Feast. All the details are at www.imaginaryfeast.org. Every dollar you donate will be match and 100% of your donation will go to housing veterans, families and chronically homeless individuals.
On top of these things, the most important thing I am is a dad! Happily, my kids keep me quite busy and teach me the truly important things in life.
What would you like to see me address on this blog in the final 8 weeks? And don’t worry, the blog isn’t going anywhere at the end of December. I’ll just change the name to Two Years Without God…or A Year With God, depending on who wins the arm wrestling match.