Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sunday Assemblies




Check this short video from the Sunday Assembly founders.

The question that I have is why are they trying to fit what they are doing into the model of a "church"?  Sunday Assembly -- a "godless congregation" -- a celebration of life?  OOO Look, we might be an "atheist church"!  Maybe even an "atheist MEGAchurch."

What marketing genius thought of this?  Let's take our new, vibrant, and exciting thing and call it by the name of something that most people don't want.  It would be as if Victoria Secret decided to call their newest line of panties "bloomers".

What I am seeing is that some leaders (who are not professional clergy) have come upon how to gather people for regular events that inspire reverence, awe, service, and community.  They using social media to replicate and spread that experience around the world.

People say that what they are doing is the same thing as a humanist UU church or an Ethical Culture Society does.  Only in the sense that a car does what a cart does. No. Humanist UU Churches and Ethical Culture Societies are NOT doing what these folks are doing.  Humanist UU Churches and Ethical Culture Societies are continuing to do what they have always done, but most of the world isn't interested.

The Sunday Assembly thing has devised a new way to organize liberal religious people.  I am reminded of how Occupy invented new ways of organizing political direct action. I can see a dozen pitfalls that might trap them, but haven't the old ways, our ways, also fallen short?

UU's can read the Sunday Assemblies as evidence to cite in our theist/humanist dispute.  Some UU humanists will see it as evidence that pure humanism is more attractive.  Some UU theists might even hope that our humanists would jump on this bandwagon as it rumbles by.  That's just cramming new experience into old categories -- seeing the new with old eyes.

We should be going to school on the Assemblies.




2 comments:

Don Southworth said...

I'm looking forward to attending a service and meeting with Sanderson when I'm in London to start my sabbatical in November.

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