This past Sunday I wrote about an idea I had for a secular Sunday celebration of reality as an alternative to church, and I just wanted to share some of the fantastic feedback I’ve already received.
First off, I had a lot of people encouraging me to follow up with the Sunday Assembly folks in Atlanta. I also had a lot of people who visited the SAA and stopped, mostly because of the long drive from the suburbs to the city. I have a dozen churches – maybe more – within a 5-mile radius of my house, so convenience as a motivator is not lost on me.
Also in my post, I mentioned as an idea that during the “service” we might spend 15 to 20 minutes talking about some topic, which might even come from some “holy book,” among other sources. I was given a suggestion to revise that a bit from “holy” book to “significant” book, which I really like. The last thing we want to do is start conveying some special reverence to a book simply because a bunch of other people have been told that it’s special. On the flip side, I think it’s just as foolhardy to dismiss these texts in their entirety for the exact same reason. I’ve always enjoyed exploring the work of the world’s most influential contemplatives throughout history, but that doesn’t mean we suspend critical thinking and resort to worshiping them.
Along those same lines, someone said they didn’t want to be “preached” to, which I totally understand.
My idea here would be more like hosting a lyceum event than a church service, but his point did give me the idea to ensure these are bi-directional messages. I think we should always allow time for questions and answers. These would not be sermons, but lectures or conversations. The speaker, whether it’s me or anyone else, does not have some automatic authority conferred by a special title. We’re just sharing knowledge, ideas, lessons, observations, and so on. I also think it might be cool to occasionally do interviews with interesting guests.
There seems to be some interest, so stay tuned for updates.