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Church without God - Sunday Assembly - anyone been?

27 replies

ImCaughtinmyShadow · 01/06/2019 19:23

Has anyone been to a Sunday Assembly. I found myself thinking how drawn i am to the idea of church. But I'm an atheist.

It turns out there is a local Sunday Assembly once a month.

Basically church without God. A secular gathering. Inspirational talks (maybe a bit like Ted talks I'm guessing) a bit of singing and tea and cake.

I tried playing a video clip and it really looked like the evangelical church of my childhood. Has me questioning. All looking a bit like there has been some drinking of kool-aid.

Any experience? I'm drawn to the feelgood factor.

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NaughtToThreeSadOnions · 01/06/2019 19:28

Church without god is an oximoron and can not exist

If you want church go to church if you want a secular meeting go to a secular meeting

The whole point of church is god a secular meeting is not church without god

DontBiteTheBoobThatFeedsYou · 01/06/2019 20:09

But if they meet in a church then it's going to church for a meeting minus God....

happyinherts · 01/06/2019 20:12

Out of interest, what would they be singing? Can't be hymns or choruses mentioning God, Jesus, creation, salvation or any of the other 'religious' topics??

DontBiteTheBoobThatFeedsYou · 01/06/2019 20:16


Literally anything. There's a bazillion songs out there that don't involve God.

A spot of Alice Cooper maybe?

Noteventhebestdrummer · 01/06/2019 20:18

You might like to try a Unitarian church? Mine is not religious. Info here

ImCaughtinmyShadow · 01/06/2019 20:23

Ok sorry I should have said "church", I thought it was an obvious shortcut to convey the community gathering aspect etc. it. It probably did it s disservice to call it church.

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ImCaughtinmyShadow · 01/06/2019 20:26

They sing anything from what I can tell. Which seems to be what my DC do in singing assembly in school. They love it. A bit too much Ed Sheeran though! I love the idea and as it happens I had also been looking for a choir where being a bit out of tune is fine. I love singing.

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ImCaughtinmyShadow · 01/06/2019 20:30

I had thought the Unitarian Church was still some sort of Christan church but I think I've misunderstood. Thank you for the link. Going to have a read.

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RaininSummer · 01/06/2019 20:43

Sunday assembly started on my city last month so I trundled along. I am an atheist but love the idea of the community aspect. I really enjoyed it. We sang some uplifting pop songs with a band on stage to accompany. They explained what Sunday assembly was all about. There were two speakers with a science focus, varies each month I think as mental health next week. More singing. Activities for the kids. Tea n cake. I liked it. It wasn't in a church but a local community centre.

ImCaughtinmyShadow · 01/06/2019 20:48

Thanks RaininSummer. That does all sound good.

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NaughtToThreeSadOnions · 01/06/2019 22:24

But if they meet in a church then it's going to church for a meeting minus God

But op doesnt say its geld in a church and nor would this kind of meeting ever be. Cos do you know what is hapoening in a church on a sunday???? a christian service!

Op said "church without god" church isnt just the building either.

GreenHouseKeeping · 01/06/2019 23:20

I was involved in trying to organise one locally, but despite the ethos of SA being quite clearly based on non-belief in the supernatural, the organising group was, apart from me, entirely made up of 'Spiritual but not identifying with organised Religion' types.

Pissed me off to be honest, I really hoped for a secular/Humanist/atheist ethos but was sadly disappointed...

ImCaughtinmyShadow · 02/06/2019 07:30

That's a shame Greenhousekeeping. I did wonder if that might be the case. Although I think I'm perhaps comfortable with "spiritual" without religion. Interesting to hear your experience thanks.

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Lovestonap · 02/06/2019 08:26

I think I'd be very drawn to this sort of thing. Whenever we do go to church (for school things etc) I really enjoy the community and singing aspect in a beautiful building, but I feel a fraud because it's a load of nonsense to me.
I think I'm a humanist.

ImCaughtinmyShadow · 02/06/2019 08:41

I think i am too Lovestonap.

I would love to find a local community of people who care about things. I did think about getting involved with a political party but it doesnt really meet whatever it is I'm missing.

My local Unitarian church looks great on their website, tolerant, inclusive etc and lovely building. It sounds better than religion as i know it but I'm still unsure.

I'm definitely going to try the next Sunday Assembly. My children might sit nicely with the cake at the end bribe!

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TreacherousPissFlap · 02/06/2019 10:31

Following this with interest.

DH attends church weekly (he says he's hedging his bets as he gets older!) and I will trundle along on occasions.

DS was expected to attend Christmas, Easter and harvest when he was younger, now the choice is his (and he doesn't)

I just can't get behind the all encompassing belief in something for which there is no proof. On the other hand I enjoy the opportunity to be grateful for what I have and to feel part of a community.

I've occasionally considered whether our local family church or similar might be more appropriate.

ImCaughtinmyShadow · 02/06/2019 19:59

I just can't get behind the all encompassing belief in something for which there is no proof. Yes it's difficult to get past. Bit of a block for me with the Unitarian church. I'd be much happier with a secular seeing.

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Historydweeb · 02/06/2019 20:18

This seems to be a provocative attempt to bash Christianity for the millionth time this century. Yawn.

ImCaughtinmyShadow · 02/06/2019 20:34

Well it's really not. It's not even really about Christianity. Much more about feeling something lacking on a personal level.

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Historydweeb · 02/06/2019 20:55

I'm not being pedantic but a church is a house of God.
To see what i mean try replacing the word Church for the word Mosque or Temple, then see how ridiculous and xenophobic that sounds, regardless of what I'm sure are the best intentions.

soberken · 02/06/2019 21:31

Blimey OP the kool-aid comment made me shiver a bit. I assume you know the story of Jonestown?

ImCaughtinmyShadow · 02/06/2019 21:40

Historydweeb I used church as a short hand to convey various aspects of church that aren't religious. I grew up at attending church as did everyone I knew then. Talking about a different religion wouldn't carry the same cultural reference (although I guess there are commonalities re community etc). But if I had attended a different place of worship several times a week along with everyone in my community then to make the same reference would not be xenophobic. I've thought hard but I don't think it's offensive. Perhaps the cultural reference doesn't resonate with you like it does for me.

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Flowersmakemyday · 02/06/2019 22:14

I grew up going to church and went regularly until my father died 14 years ago. Then I stopped (as I thought at the time) believing. But for a long time before then I had always felt that I never quite fit in - the congregation were so lovely, so it wasn't that. I just didn't seem to 'get it' the way other people I observed did. But I miss that coming together of like minded people who want to believe in the good that can happen, to share that common bond. I don't think the OP is being offensive, she's trying to explain how she wants/needs something in her life that is similar to that church 'experience' without it being religion based.

SmarmyMrMime · 02/06/2019 23:32

It sounds great. I'm sufficiently comfortable with religion to go to church as a semi-regular, and it's the pull of the community, and space to think outside the daily function of life as it is about the religion itself. I'm comfortable enough to go to church and have been baptised, but am open beyond Christianity and when soul searching about it felt that if there is an omnipotent God, "He" will understand my beliefs and feelings anyway so it was OK to go down that religious route even though I'm not pureist.

I can understand a gap for some non-religious people of those social and reflective functions that churches and organised religions can give. Sounds like a great idea!

RaininSummer · 03/06/2019 12:57

I don't know why people are seeing this thread as a religion bashing one. The point of Sunday Assembly is to have a meeting point which does not involve any religion. Simples. I see it as a community builder.

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