Our SAGR Timeline

Hearing talks, singing as one, listening to readings and even playing games helps us to connect with each other and the awesome world we live in.

Since our launch on 1/17/2016, we've been honored to host many inspirational and informative guest speakers - here's a brief summary highlighting what one might experience at an Assembly:


8/19/2018 - "GOT COMPASSION?"/Janelle Hill, The Bridge & Youth Services of Arbor Circle

Be sure to join us this month for our Celebration where Janelle Hill will be visiting to update us on the work and vision of Arbor Circle Youth Services.


Remember, as a community,  we have made a covenant to collect personal items & toiletries for The Bridge/Youth Services of Arbor Circle at every gathering, so visit the wishlist and let's send Janelle back with a little extra this month!

7/15/2018 - 3rd Annual SAGR Picnic & Celebration in the Park

6/17/2018 - "SAGR 2.0: The [RE]Boot - YOU Decide!"/Jamie Coop-Klamer










9/17/17 - "Eat More Forbidden Fruit ... APPLES!"


7/16/17 - 2nd Annual Assembly in the Park & Picnic









1/15/17 - SAGR 1st Anniversary







7/17/16 - 1st Annual SAGR Assembly in the Park/Picnic - Island Picnic Pavilion, Riverside Park, Grand Rapids

The "Tribe"!

The 2016 SAGR Picnic! It was an awesome event! Thanks to everyone who came out - even pending thunderstorms, and all - to make

it so wonderful!

Even the weather cooperated.

6/19/16 - PRIDE A Journey of Human Rights in SW Michigan - Ric Roane

Ric Roane has been active and enjoys sharing his expertise, as well as his personal and professional experiences, especially since the Obergefell decision of 6/26/2016.  He is an author, and he currently serves on the board for the GR Symphony Orchestra/Bach Festival Board; Frederick Meijer Gardens Sculpture Park Grand Garden Planning Committee; and Grand Rapids Community Foundation Scholarship Grant Committee.  Past service includes Board of Directors for the Legal Assistance Center.

Ric brings his vast experience of Human Rights and LGBTQ Pride to share from his journey as he has watched GR Pride and Marriage Equality unfold in Southwest Michigan and around our nation.  His experience includes chair of the Family Law Practice Group, and has practiced family law and domestic relations litigation for 28 years. “My work involves entire families,” he says. “My goal is to find a resolution to the problems facing the family I’m serving. It’s a less contentious approach.” He specializes in divorce, non-marital domestic relationships, LGBT family issues, domestic relations mediation, arbitration and collaborative law, spousal support, child custody and support, complex business valuation distribution and pre- and post-nuptial agreements.


5/15/16 - “Not Your Mother’s Feminism – So Beyond Gender!” - Dani Vilella/PPAM

Dani Vilella is the Field Manager for PPAM based in Grand Rapids and the former Public Affairs Manager for PPWNM. She serves on the steering committee of the Fountain Street Church Choice Fund, spent 5 years as the president of the Grand Rapids chapter of the National Organization for Women, serves as the Vice President of Action for Michigan NOW and is a founding member of STOPWOW GR. She is a community organizer who is passionate about feminism, human rights, and sexual justice.

Dani holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Women & Gender Studies from Grand Valley State University. She also holds a Master’s Certification in Non-Profit Leadership & Public Administration from GVSU. She has focused both internationally and domestically on women’s rights. She is an honorary member of the Triota Women & Gender Studies Honor Society. She is a 2013 Rising Woman Leader through the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce and is Non-Profit Board Certified through the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. In her spare time, Dani is an avid knitter who enjoys writing her own patterns and teaching others to knit. She loves reading and cooking (but not baking – because baking is hard!).

4/17/16 - “The Birds & The Bees” (with heavy emphasis on the bees) - Anne Marie Fauvel

Anne Marie Fauvel teaches biology, liberal studies & environmental studies at Grand Valley State University. She maintains her own hives,as well as oversees the apiaries on the GVSU Meijer Campus in Holland and the hives on the main Allendale Campus. She is involved with conducting research related to hive monitoring, nutrition, and colony health. 

3/13/16 - "Got Luck?" - Justin Scheiber

Justin Schieber is former co-host of the Reasonable Doubts Radio Show and Podcast and current host of the Real Atheology YouTube channel where he produces informational videos on contemporary academic philosophy of religion.

Justin enjoys promoting a friendly, yet firm skepticism toward religious claims. He frequently lectures on the philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God and has participated in many public debates throughout the United States and Canada. He is also currently working on a book about the existence of God with Canadian theologian Randal Rauser for Prometheus books, due out late this year.


2/14/16 - "Love: It's a Verb!" - Janelle Hill/Arbor Circle

Janelle Hill joined us to speak about Arbor Circle’s Youth Services.  Janelle has worked at Arbor Circle since 1999, serving in various roles including a case manager in the Homeless Youth Services program, coordinator of the Community Living Supports program, the supervisor of youth employment and education services and now as the Community Engagement Coordinator.  Her current roles is to engage Arbor Circle in the community and to engage the community in the work of Arbor Circle.

Outside of Arbor Circle, Janelle has been active in volunteerism and community service for many years, serving on the Community Involvement Committee of the Grand Rapids Young Professionals and the Secular Service Committee through the Center for Inquiry.  She is a 2011 graduate of the Center for Community Leadership’s Leadership Grand Rapids program. She holds a degree in Sociology from Aquinas College and has been actively involved in their Community Leadership department.   

1/17/2016 - "Beginnings" - Jeremiah Bannister

Jeremiah Bannister/Paleocrat Radio

Jeremiah Bannister is a former pastor, apologist, and activist presently working as a talk radio personality, writer, and public speaker. He received his bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan, where he also minored in political science. He has spoken before grade school, high school, and university-level audiences, both inside and outside of Michigan, and he's part of the Secular Student Alliance Speakers Bureau. Currently, Jeremiah cohosts PaleoRadio, a talk radio podcast with Secular Media Group that airs in Grand Rapids on 95.3 FM and 1680 AM, Public Reality Radio.

Since March of 2015, most of his time and efforts have been focused on #TeamTinyDancer, writing and speaking about the story of his family and their 11-year-old daughter's life with childhood cancer. Jeremiah serves as a board member for Center For Inquiry -- Michigan in Grand Rapids, where he resides with his wife, their four children, their cat, Lion, and their brand new Saint Bernard puppy, Cocoa.