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Would You Go to a "Not Church"?

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Freya, Mar 3, 2016.

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  1. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    This is, I guess, largely aimed at the non-believers/non-religious people here, though that is not to say I am not interested in the thoughts of the church goers. And it is based entirely on my own musings and ponderings.

    Would you go to church if it wasn't about god/religion? Like... if there was a weekly gathering of people sharing positive messages and listening to guest speakers and sharing things that inspire them (secular things) and spending time together and possibly eating brunch - would you go?

    I struggle with the concept of organised religion - no particular issues with God but issues with preaching and religious texts and what not. I do, however, 100% see the value of a Church - in so far as "Church" being a group of people coming together in a community, looking out for each other and supporting each other etc. I think most people would benefit from more community in their lives, as well as a regular gathering of people with whom to share thoughts, ideas, problems, whatever.

    So - would you go to a weekly... lets call it an "assembly" for the sake of argument...? A "Not Church" that doesn't talk about God or Religion but that does have all the other components of a church community?
  2. Rockclimbinggirl

    Rockclimbinggirl SF climber Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    This is an interesting question @Freya. Growing up, I did not go to church.

    A weekly gathering, yes I guess that's something that I might consider. But what about other regular gathering or classes through the community centre?

    At the moment, as I'm currently a student, my school has many clubs that are available. But I guess once one is finished with school, meeting people is harder.
  3. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Eccentric writer, general weirdo, heedless heathen

    Not much for religion, but I think a gathering of people sharing ideas would be nice. You could get to know new people and maybe learn a few things along the way, so yes I would give it a try.
  4. WildCherry

    WildCherry Staff Member ADMIN

    I'd definitely go, I wish there was something like that near where I live.
  5. Deety

    Deety SF Supporter

    Yes, that might be something I'd be interested in. Living the way we do in modern western countries means that community support is missing or diluted in some way for many people.
  6. Purple_Thorn

    Purple_Thorn Well-Known Member

    Growing up, I went to church. Every Sunday and then some fun activities centered around church during the week. I don't know if you know about the LDS (Mormon) faith, but that is what I grew up in. I don't go anymore, due to reasons I don't want to go into. And I don't miss it. There are things I have never believed about the religion. But what I do miss is the community.
    I've always wished that church was more about a community of people trying to be better. Not a place where judgements can be felt and everything is about divinities you may or may not believe in.
    So I think that's what you're talking about. More of a community, as you said, an assembly. Because that is what I miss the most about church. The community I felt, the love I felt, the love I had for other people.
  7. afterlifepig

    afterlifepig Well-Known Member

    i would go. i believe in God but am agnostic about Jesus so Christian churches don't really work for me. i like secular humanism too though i personally am very spiritual/religious
    AlexiMarie7 likes this.
  8. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    As it is, sometimes i go back to my home village and will go into the church late at night purely as a place to think and reason with myself, i find the place weirdly serene.

    As for an assembly, i think i would go, although being antisocial im not sure how much i would end up going
    AlexiMarie7 likes this.
  9. Flying Fox

    Flying Fox SF Supporter

    sure, why not? I am an agnostic, I do not neccesarily believe in God, but I also believe in the fact that there are other possibilties on how the world came to be. More importantly, I do not believe in INVALIDATION. It would be an interesting and thought provoking assemblu to participate in. Religion definitely has its role and importance in people's lives. It gives people something to believe in whereas they might otherwise not have support.
  10. Crazywidow

    Crazywidow Member

    There is an app/website called meetup. It is pretty much the same idea you had. People in your area meet up and do or discuss all kinds of things. I have social anxiety in groups, so i have only mustered up the coursge to go to one widows group on there. But it was great!
  11. Joyoflife

    Joyoflife Member

    I started going to a Unitarian Universalist church a month ago. You don't have to believe in God. I love it. It's been the one consistent relief in my week. Thanks for the reminder it's tomorrow morning!
    Kira, cymbele and AlexiMarie7 like this.
  12. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    I could see a non-religious person benefitting from the community aspect of a non-religious 'service.' I could see some religious people accepting and attending such a service as an add on to their weekly religious service. I could also see some religious people balking at the non-religious service, feeling that only God can say what it is good or bad to do. My problem with that last way is that I struggle to believe that any scripture taken down by a human is pure and not some form of "human interpretation" of what some human "thinks" God wants. If there is a God, it's a bit arrogant for any human to say that he/she "knows God and God's will" but is just a human being. When religious people toss scripture at me, I get antsy because if the scripture - human interpretation - is the TRUTH - then there is no need for patience, gratefulness, grace, forgiveness, joy in seeing the creation in the universe and so on...Ultimately no need for "God." So that kind of becomes self-defeating.

    Just my two cents. My belief is that what "god" is, God is likely very open to goodness however it comes about, regardless of whether it comes from believers or not.
  13. taniababy

    taniababy Member

    I'm not a follower of 'organised religion' although I loved going to spiritualist churches/ centres. I felt so good being there & when I left the feeling carried on. No other establishment could give me that feeling. Spiritualism asks nothing from you but gives so much. I would like to go somewhere that combines this with general socialising/ chatting. I have stayed at a retreat for a weekend but it isn't exactly what I'm looking for.
  14. Frances M

    Frances M Mountain Woman

    If I weren't so anti-society, I would definitely join a "non-church" type of gathering. I think if a community existed in real life of people like me, who wanted to share wisdom, advice and friendship, then I'd totally be into it. But I'm certainly not in the right location or the right era I think!

    When I was younger, I joined a Pagan group of people. We simply talked about the earth, the environment and nature and all the cycles of the moon and seasons. It was a lot of fun though it got too religious for me at one point because some people wanted to make it into a ritualistic "coven". Not my cup of tea.
  15. alone In chains

    alone In chains craving conversation

    Ummm. I'm not sure how that would work..sounds like a great idea but I'd think that people go to church for the common God. But what would a group of people go for, would they just break up into interest groups or would there be topics posted that r to be discussed that gathering? Would the same people show up every week? Sorry I guess the question got away from me lol. I've craved conversation for so long now I think I'm over doing it. Sorry I'll bow out now but good idea.
  16. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    No need at all to be sorry @alone In chains - I think that when I proposed the question I was imagining that people would mostly go for community - so 90 minutes perhaps of some kind of guest speaker, discussion on a particular topic, sharing of skills or non-religious music or performances... maybe community projects or doing a certain thing for charity for a couple of hours followed by brunch and conversation and community. Maybe everyone brings a dish for a pot luck type lunch - people mill around and make friends and perhaps sub groups form during the week - maybe some of the 'congregation' enjoy crafts, or like to sing, or enjoy discussing books or like to play soccer or go running... the "main" group would be an organised weekly thing with a topic or theme or activity, followed by a meal - and people would be free to create other smaller groups based on interest in a particular activity or whatever to meet weekly or monthly or whatever they pleased.

    It was not necessarily a very defined idea - just a musing that I have a problem with "the god stuff" (in so far as I don't know where I stand on it all and do not like to be prescribed to regarding my relationship with God/The Universe or to have a belief system organised for me) but the community aspect of church is something I find very appealing.
  17. alone In chains

    alone In chains craving conversation

    Ya I'd come for sure! If i wasn't so socially petrified. You got it all figured out. What's stopping you? And thanks for your musing. I have this quark about wanting to know all the details about things.
    Freya likes this.
  18. Baldr

    Baldr Staff Alumni

    I was raised religiously, my mother is still active in her church and my older sisters were - or maybe still are - as well, but I have not been for a number of years now.
    What I found interesting was the sense of community that existed there and I encountered very little of elsewhere. I noticed back then in the Netherlands and now in the US as well that it drives people together who have little else in common to often do things for the benefit of the group rather than the individual, be that of the group itself or people outside of the church with volunteer work.

    There are other clubs, but I haven't found anything that's as large a part of life as that. I'm de facto a member of a student society back in the Netherlands, which I enjoy going to and have several friends at but it's little more than social meetings every week. The same can often be said of sport clubs, where it's fun to be with people and practice a sport but it's generally little else.

    I think people have an inherent desire to be part of something and I have to say I would like to as well.

    An interesting side-note is that there is literature around that supports the idea that the downward trend in these kinds of communities is a contributor to more polarising (political) views in the world, because it reduces the variety of people that people generally come into contact with.
    Freya likes this.
  19. JDot

    JDot Well-Known Member

    I would most definitely go. In fact I find myself thinking a lot of times that I would love to go to church if it wasn't for the whole Jesus thing. I love the idea of a community coming together. But it becomes very awkward when you have people trying to convert you. When I was in college I started a club called Inner Peace. We got together every sunday and discussed different topics about life, love, spirituality, etc. And every now and then we brought in different speakers to talk about different faiths and religions. I remember we had one speaker talk about Buddhism and we had another talk about Wicca. It's one of the things I miss about college. Things kind of went downhill after I graduated. But yeah I definitely like the idea of a Not Church.
  20. Acanthi

    Acanthi Well-Known Member

    I've always loved the *idea* of church. There are youth gatherings and support groups and activities that help build a strong community. It's a wonderful idea and I plan on going someday. Just not a fan of being dragged into the religion.
    Freya likes this.
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