[kwlug-disc] (In progress) kwlug candidate meeting site sourced.

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Mon Dec 21 00:20:51 EST 2009



Chris Frey wrote, On 12/20/2009 10:44 PM:
> On Sun, Dec 20, 2009 at 01:39:33PM -0500, unsolicited wrote:
> The whole point of the church is to bring people closer to God through
> prayer, teaching, and ministering to the needs of people.  Do we meet
> that expectation as a group?

I don't think you have the emphasis correct, in general, and in 
particular, this location.

The whole point is COMMUNITY.

And we are all, regardless of denomination, even of no denomination, 
part of the community.

> I suspect that for the church, we are an attractive ministerial target.

They are not thinking that way.

This is about space availability, and community. Full stop.

THERE WILL BE NO PROSELYTIZING. I HAVE BEEN ABSOLUTELY ASSURED OF 
THAT. Sorry for the emphasis, I feel very strongly about that.

If I had a hint of any such possibility, I would be leading the pack 
running the other way. I assure you.

It is a non-issue.

Having said that, if people are uncomfortable, they are uncomfortable. 
It doesn't matter why - they are uncomfortable.

And we shouldn't be there.

But it is OUR show on their space. Full stop. Our content. Pick us up 
and drop us in the working center, and you wouldn't be able to tell 
the difference. (Other than it would be quieter.)

> We are well off, we bring a technical expertise that could be useful to
> the church itself,

I mean this in the best possible way - don't flatter yourself. Or us. 
If you were so inclined, you would be approaching the church in 
another manner, not through a kwlug meeting.

And they're not recruiting. Certainly not in this manner.

This is not bait and switch, let's just get them on the premises ... 
hee, hee, hee, hee ... pocket lining in the guise of fund raising. (I 
can't believe I just wrote that.)

Please don't paint all churches (aka community centres) with the same 
brush, perhaps based on any one or particular experience you have had.

Perhaps I should have made this clear some time ago - I am not a 
member. My mother was, but I haven't attended in about 30 years. I 
just happened to help out with the Christmas Meal for the homeless 
last year, and have since been volunteering for Out of The Cold, 
Friday nights. It just so happened that Friday night's are there. I 
would have ended up wherever the Friday night location is.

I have zero vested interest in this, other than seeing a site rich in 
space for kwlug. I just casually asked if space was available, 
expecting it not to be.

I liked the Huether. Manulife would have been nice.

There is a certain attractiveness to this, or a, non-commercial 
sponsor. Like the Working Centre, suits the nature of FOSS.

> For us, it is an attractive location: likely well heated, well lit,
> very quiet, and lots(?) of parking.

Backs onto Waterloo Square back parking lot.

Several rooms available, including kitchen counters to rest a laptop 
on while kibitzing, and a gym where installfest sized events could be 
held.

Apparently computer classes have been taught there.

> 
> Both of these are very tempting reasons to sign up.  But I wonder if
> it is the right thing to do.  Does it make sense to link a Linux User
> Group to church?

It is space.

>  Does it make sense to require members of our group to
> do work in the name of a church they may not believe in or agree with?

Please, where do you get "require work in the name of a church?"

Was there a requirement for work anywhere else? Would there be at St. 
John's?

This is space. This is kwlug. Full stop.

> Even if it's something they do anyway?  And how many want to stand up
> in church and invite everyone out for the after-meeting beer run? :-)

Where do you get this stuff from?

Do you see any pews in the pictures?

Altars?

Sacrificial knives? (Sorry.)

Are you basing this upon actual past experience or sheer guesses? If 
the latter, we are in different worlds. If the former, I'm sorry, 
you've had an experience that has obviously affected you negatively - 
and left you with a picture that should not, and is inaccurate to, 
paint across the entire canvas.

When I walk into the working centre, I have a sense of respect - here 
is the space of an organization doing its best for the community, 
reaching out with facilities, and services, and people, to help, 
however they can. It is my honour to be in that space, as it is to 
participate in kwlug where Linux, FOSS, and the like, share those very 
same goals.

When I walk in to volunteer here Friday nights for Out Of The Cold, to 
help with a meal and a bed for the homeless, I feel that same honour. 
Whether it be OOTC, cubs, beavers, a youth group, kwlug, their intent 
is the same - there is space, we will use it to help the community. 
There are absolutely no strings attached.

Do you really think the homeless would tolerate the place, otherwise?

Do you really want to tell me it's good enough for the homeless, but 
not kwlug?

	Please, all of you, whomever can come out on a Friday night, any time 
after, say 4:30. Come on down. Come to the back door. See for 
yourself. Serve a meal. Make a bed. Stir a pot.

	Come see that they don't care - it's hot food, it's a bed. IT'S A 
SPACE WITH A ROOF. Full stop.

	I am not kidding - come on down and see. [perhaps send me an e-mail, 
if enough people are willing to take me up on this offer, I'd better 
give them a little warning.] Groups of students come by to see and 
help out all the time. High school and post secondary. Do you think 
it's relevant that the building is a church? Firms donate food and 
their staff come in to make a meal - do you think it matters that it's 
a church? Do you think they donate to one church and not another?

It's our community. kwlug is about community.


> Even though many believe there's nothing wrong with that, I'm sure there
> would be some head scratching or chuckling.

My head scratching is ... do you really think it's an issue? The 
weirdness is that you would even say it, instead of just going and 
getting it. And at least offering to pick up a case for someone else 
as you're going out the door.

Heck, the homeless bring in their booze. (They must declare it and it 
gets set aside to be returned to them in the morning. They may not 
consume it on site.)

> There are automatic perceptions (whether right or wrong) that people
> have when it comes to church, and I've found that people who don't go to
> church are often much more sensitive to these factors and expectations
> than people who do.  Often to the point that they appear to fear God
> more than churchgoers do.

It is absolutely wrong to project these perceptions as a generic truth 
for everyone, or even anyone.

They are most certainly not my experience or perceptions, nor would 
they be true of anyone I know. My experience is the subject never even 
comes up or enters their head. It's just ... not present. It's not 
part of their world view. It's a vacuum.

I can appreciate where you're coming from.

If your best guess, through lack of experience, or from actual 
experience, is Fire And Brimstone, then I'm sorry for that. It's not 
my experience, and I know of no one who's ever had that experience. If 
that has been your experience, and it didn't suit you, I'm very sorry. 
(But please don't paint the world with that brush.)


> So just because the church committee may not see anything wrong with a
> LUG meeting at church, that doesn't mean that the average Joe won't be
> scratching his head in confusion.  And he might be confused enough to
> stay away: both from church and the LUG.

Then, like I am trying to do here, let's be very clear that this is 
just space. A community group offering space to a community group. 
Full stop.

At any potential place, some group has to approve use of the space. 
Call it what you will - I'll guess that most places call it a 
committee. Probably more such space is approved by such groups than by 
one individual at that establishment.

> I know that if this was held in a mosque or a synagogue, I'd be worried
> about offending the members, not knowing what was expected.  I would also
> assume that there was some philosophical connection between the computer
> group and the religious group, just from the location.  And that assumption
> may affect my decision to visit, either out of confusion, or out of respect.

But we have laid out the expectations herein: that there are no 
expectations.

You cannot possibly be speaking from experience. This is so opposite 
to anything I've ever experienced.

I'm sorry, but to me, this is so over the top I'd call it fear mongering.

I apologize if it is not. I very much hope very few have had similar 
experiences that lead to such words.

It's all about community. Full stop.

> If we do meet at church, I can see there could be a lot of explaining
> required to newcomers that the church only provides the building.  Do we
> want to have to post a notice on the website?  "Don't be afraid of the
> church location... we just meet here for free"?

<sigh> Do you think we're the only people that use this space?

Crikey.

To your point, wouldn't it be reasonable to have a note, regardless of 
the sponsor, saying "Meeting space and audio facilities generously 
donated for free by <insert name of establishment here>. Thank you.", 
and, if REALLY necessary, "kwlug and <insert name of establishment 
here> operate completely independently of the other, and neither 
endorses the other." And finally, to contact kwlug, please 
mailto:admin at kwlug.org, to contact <insert name of establishment here> 
please mailto:<someone>@<completely different domain name>.

> I may be wrong, but this seems to me to be more a marriage of convenience
> than a match made in Heaven.

<sigh> Anywhere we go will be a marriage of convenience.

Please, I do not mean to bash you here, and I am not. The perceptions 
and attitudes are from outer space, to me. I don't believe such 
knee-jerk, uninformed, baseless reactions are unique to you. (Boy, 
that didn't come out well, did it.) I mean to characterize the words 
and perceptions, not you personally. I do expect they are 
representative of more people than I would like. It's like reverse 
discrimination.

As I have said, if such connotations were going to be present, I'd be 
the first out the door.

Were we asked to do anything for Working Centre? If we go to St. 
John's, due we stand in line for soup? Or do we inherently promise to 
bring a can of soup, serve, or counsel?

I do not mean to diminish your words or perceptions, but I do ask for 
an opportunity to correct it.

It serves the community. Our community. People. Without regard to 
race, colour, creed, religion, or any other label to you care to use 
to try to monkier exclusivity.


Regardless, as I said above:

If people are uncomfortable, they are uncomfortable. It doesn't matter 
why - they are uncomfortable.

And we shouldn't be there.

Perception is reality.

Let's just make sure we're open minded enough to execute a sanity 
check and verify that our perceptions have at least some basis in fact.



More information about the kwlug-disc_kwlug.org mailing list