This message is quoted from an email sent on December 1, 2011, by DVAU Vice-President Janice Rael to chapter members and supporters. Join our mailing list by sending a blank “subscribe” email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello, I’m Janice Rael, Founder and Vice-President of the Delaware Valley Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I’m writing to tell you what the Delaware Valley AU Chapter has done, what we’re doing next, and how we need your help to continue our work and expand our outreach. Please read on, we have lots of new events starting this December!
Since 2003, the Delaware Valley Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (DVAU) has served the greater Philadelphia area to educate the public about how church-state separation protects our nation’s First Amendment Freedom of religious liberty. We act as a watchdog for threats to the Wall of Separation, and to take action to fight church-state problems as they arise in our community. Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) has recently celebrated over 60 years of work to protect religious freedom and church state separation, and has chapters all over the country.
DVAU is the local Americans United chapter; we serve Southeastern PA, South Jersey, and Northern Delaware. DVAU’s goal is to educate the public about our Constitutional right to separation of church and state, to protect religious freedom, and to take action to stop church-state threats. We do this in a lot of different ways, such as providing speakers to local community groups and houses of worship, through social media and the internet, and holding meetings and special events for advocates of church-state separation and the general public.
DVAU regularly updates our website, dvau.org, and is on both Facebook and Twitter, as well as Meetup.com. If you like social networking, we invite you to network with us. Our Chapter President, Ed Joyce, writes a weekly blog on our site called the “President’s Post,” where he gives some in-depth explanations of church-state issues. We share news, events, and action alerts on all of our social networks.
To reach out to the public, DVAU tables at community events, including local lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) Pride events. We’re always looking for other community gatherings where we can talk to the public and hand out AU’s well-researched church-state issue literature, so let us know about your local event where DVAU can have a table. You can also contact the Chapter if you’d like any of AU’s brochures. Our email address is email@example.com.
But we don’t just hand out pamphlets and post things on the internet; we do important educational programs, such as DVAU’s Annual Church-State Symposium, the Second of which we held in the National Constitution Center in April 2011, with expert church-state speakers from all over the country, some of whom had very different takes on church-state issues. We’re planning to host our 3rd annual symposium in 2012, and with your help, we think it will be amazing.
We host speakers who talk about educational topics in various places throughout the Delaware Valley at our bimonthly Program meetings, held in the Doylestown Library in Bucks County, the Parkway Central Library in Philadelphia, and occasionally in Voorhees NJ. Next week, DVAU is going to begin holding casual discussion meetings in Center City Philadelphia and Glassboro NJ, just off the campus of Rowan University in Gloucester County. We’re really looking forward to hosting the smaller discussion groups, and are always open to helping you become a meeting coordinator for the Chapter.
DVAU has hosted and participated in public panel discussions and debates on such issues as church-state myths and school vouchers. The school voucher issue is one we’re very determined to work on right now, as both Pennsylvania’s Governor Corbett and New Jersey Governor Christie have promised to help push vouchers in both states. We need you to be our eyes and ears in the community, and let us know about school voucher news and other legislation that Americans United should be aware about. With your input, we can stay on top of church-state issues in our area and nationwide.
None of the Delaware Valley AU Chapter’s work would be possible without the generosity of our members and supporters. To help us maintain Jefferson’s Wall of Separation in the Delaware Valley, to reach out to more people and groups, to better mobilize and unite our members to work together to keep church and state separate, we ask you to please make a tax-deductible donation to Delaware Valley Americans United, PO Box 574, Yardley PA, 19067, or visit our site, dvau.org to donate through Paypal or Amazon.
Finally, the Board of Directors of the Delaware Valley AU Chapter invites you to join us at 7pm on Saturday December 17 for our fabulous year-end event, a Gala Winter Benefit Concert, featuring classical pianist Laurent Levy, followed by a wine and cheese social. We’re delighted to hold our year-end special benefit at the beautiful Ethical Society Building, 1906 Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia PA. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door; you may order using the address or website links above. We are proud that the local Freethought Society’s tree of Knowledge will be on display during our festive concert and social, and grateful to the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia for graciously donating the use of their space.
DVAU is thankful for your support, whether it’s your likes on Facebook, your emails to us with local stories about church-state news, your attendance at our meetings and events, or your charitable donations to our chapter. Please think of us this holiday season as you consider your year-end giving, and please join us in any way you can to help preserve religious liberty through the separation of church and state.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Delaware Valley Americans United and our work.
Warmest regards and holiday greetings,
-Janice Rael, Vice-President, Delaware Valley Americans United for Separation of Church and State