The organizers of the Sunday Assembly, the atheist church service that has been so successful in London and several other cities worldwide, have announced where they will be heading on the first leg of their “40 Dates and 40 Nights” tour:
Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones will launch Assemblies in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, Brighton, Oxford, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Leeds, Manchester, Dublin and Crystal Palace. In the US, New York, Harvard, Washington DC, Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and [in Canada] Vancouver. In [Australia:] Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
You can get exact dates and free tickets right here.
The Guardian notes the format of the services and the vision for the future:
Satellite assemblies will agree to the central charter of Jones and Evans’s original gathering — which still meets monthly in central London — and Jones expects them, initially at least, to stick to a similar format, in which a “host” leads several hundred congregants through songs, moments of contemplation and a sermon-like (but secular) talk.
“If we do it in London and there are 400 people who come, that’s brilliant, but if we find a way to help hundreds of people to set one up then we can have a bigger impact than we could ever dream of,” says Jones. Their vision, he says, is “a godless gathering in every town, city or village that wants one”.
I know the services aren’t for everybody, but there are many atheists who would love to attend a celebration of life like this, one that looks and feels like church and does without any of the fiction and superstition.
The Chicago event will take place Friday, November 8. I’ll be there and I hope you’ll join us for the inaugural service! More details on that to come soon.