If you were travelling through Dallas, Chicago , Nashville, Grand Rapids, or other cities in America, Great Britain, or Australia, you might come across a congregation called Sunday Assembly. That would not be what it sounds like, some offshoot of the Assembly of God. This is an assembly of atheists. They meet on Sundays in congregations for singing (not hymns, of course, but songs like “Lean on Me” and “Imagine”), teaching, and fellowship.
We’ve blogged about this before, talking about the group’s liturgy (in fact, the Sunday Assembly website links to our post in the “about” section). After the jump, see the denomination’s 10-point creed.
- Is 100% celebration of life. We are born from nothing and go to nothing. Let’s enjoy it together.
- Has no doctrine. We have no set texts so we can make use of wisdom from all sources.
- Has no deity. We don’t do supernatural but we also won’t tell you you’re wrong if you do.
- Is radically inclusive. Everyone is welcome, regardless of their beliefs – this is a place of love that is open and accepting.
- Is free to attend, not-for-profit and volunteer run. We ask for donations to cover our costs and support our community work.
- Has a community mission. Through our Action Heroes (you!), we will be a force for good.
- Is independent. We do not accept sponsorship or promote outside businesses, organisations or services
- Is here to stay. With your involvement, The Sunday Assembly will make the world a better place
- We won’t won’t tell you how to live, but will try to help you do it as well as you can
- And remember point 1… The Sunday Assembly is a celebration of the one life we know we have
I know some atheists are very much against the concept of having, in effect, an Atheist Church. But Sunday Assembly does seem to be trying to turn atheism into a positive religion. They are doing so by means of ritual and community, elements that are indeed at the heart of religion, sometimes more than “belief.”
What do you make of this? Are the atheists using “church growth” tactics? Might Sunday Assembly become a leading religion, one uniquely in accord with our culture? Is this what Christians are going to be competing with?