There was an article this past week from NPR (for article go here), highlighting the “Sunday Assembly.” Here’s the opening lines:
“It sometimes feels like church in the auditorium of the Professional Musicians union in Hollywood. It’s a Sunday morning, and hundreds of people are gathered to meditate, sing and listen to inspirational poetry and stories.
But then the live band starts up — performing songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jerry Lee Lewis. And instead of a sermon, there’s a lecture by experimental psychologist and neuroscientist Jessica Cail about the biology of gender identification and sexual orientation.
This is a Los Angeles meeting of Sunday Assembly, a church for people who don’t believe in God. The brainchild of two British comedians, the movement has since spread across the globe, and there are now about 30 chapters from Dublin to Sydney to New York.”
From the Sunday Assembly website is the following:
“The Sunday Assembly is a godless congregation that celebrate life. Our motto: live better, help often, wonder more. Our mission: to help everyone find and fulfill their full potential. Our vision: a godless congregation in every town, city and village that wants one.
Sunday Assemblies are taking off in popularity and there are many in the large cities of this world and they are growing. When they meet, they don’t discuss God. He is not mentioned, not praised, but also not ridiculed. They won’t tell you that you are wrong if you do have a God…it just not a part of their services and gatherings.
Here’s a quote from one of their founders, Pippa Evans, “”It’s all the best bits of church, but with no religion and awesome pop songs.”
So they have all the elements of a normal church today (music, readings, teaching, opportunities to meet outside of Sunday’s, and doing good in the community), but there is no mention of God. They are doing a lot of the things that I’ve built the church on, especially the ideas of coming together as a group on a Sunday, organizing ways to get together outside of Sunday, and doing good in the community. Their assembly sounds a lot like our church, minus, of course, the God part that we include in all that we do.
What are your thoughts about this movement? Is this church? Is it good? Is it bad?
Comment below. We will actually be discussing this idea a bit more in church tomorrow so come with you thoughts there as well.