This is not your typical bible-thumping, holy-roller church group. Instead of singing praises to God, this eclectic group is singing ‘80s ballads. What sets this assembly apart? For starters, they don’t actually believe God exists. Yup, they’re atheists. The Sunday Assembly has launched a worldwide tour led by founders Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans that will begin on October 20. It's called 40 Dates and 40 Nights: The Roadshow, and it will hit the road after the launch of their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
Here are 11 awesome reasons to attend a Sunday Assembly in your area.
1. Community, duh
Why must we believe in a deity to be part of a wider community? Most people want to belong to something bigger than themselves, or simply find a group that shares their interests and beliefs. With the rise of millennials leaving the church because they long for a more diverse, accepting community, Sunday Assembly happens to be the place to be.
2. You'll actually learn something
Instead of singing hymns and reading from a historically oppressive, phantasmical text, Sunday Assembly hosts a wide-range of speakers from economists to poets, and allows for a moment of reflection. Unlike redundant religious sermons, you can actually gain insight about the modern world and be an agent of change in your community at this non-religious group.
3. Everybody loves comedians
The founders are comedians. And who doesn’t like comical atheists?
They're a hoot.
4. The founder looks like Jesus
But Sanderson Jones is funnier
5. It has an awesome motto
Their motto is “Live better, help often and wonder more” is much better than this religious motto.
6. It's no cult
At Sunday Assembly, you won’t be guilty forced into worshipping an imaginary being lest you be stricken for disobedience. You also won’t have to ask a man dressed in a fancy robe to erase your transgressions. Instead it’s about: “100% celebration of life. We are born from nothing and go to nothing. Let’s enjoy it together.”
7. Its members are very friendly
Jones wrote in a blog post that “the term ‘atheist’ does hold negative connotations. Atheists are often thought to be aggressive, loud and damning of all religion, where actually most atheists, in the UK anyway, are not defined by their non-belief.”
At a recent assembly, Jones opined, “I think atheism is boring. Why are we defining ourselves by something we don’t believe in?”
8. It began in the UK
Let’s face it. Anything that starts in Britain is bound to be smashing!
Sunday Assembly has its humble roots in East London just eight months ago. Now, it’s a global hit – reaching 22 cities worldwide. It has seen a 3,000 percent growth rate according to its organizers. This might make the “non-religious Assembly the fastest growing church in the world.”
Take that to the Pope!
9. It has an offline dating platform
That’s right. You can find your next atheistic wifey or hubby at a Sunday Assembly near you! Forget about one-night stands, grungy bars, or blind dates. True atheistic love awaits!
10. Life can get tough
Lost another job? Got dumped via Twitter? Feel lost and confused? We all need support and accountability. We want to feel accepted and find a place of belonging on this planet, dammit!
Sunday Assembly promises just that.
11. It celebrates just being alive!
“Just being alive; to become conscious that you are alive, and celebrate that, is just as transcendental as anyone’s God.”