A service, a chaplain, music and reflection - but no God
Atheists start 'religious style' Sunday meetings
It’s Sunday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a rapt congregation listens to a chaplain preach about the importance of building a community.
A few dozen people sit quietly for the hourlong service. Music is played, announcements are made and scholars wax poetic about the importance of compassion and community.
Outsiders could be forgiven for believing this service, with its homilies, its passing of the plate, its uplifting songs, belongs in a church.
If so, it’s a church without one big player: God.
Sunday’s congregation in Cambridge is a meeting of the Humanist Community at Harvard University and the brainchild of Greg Epstein, the school’s Humanist chaplain.
A longtime advocate for community building, Epstein and his group of atheists have begun to build their Cambridge community and solemnize its Sunday meetings to resemble a traditional religious service.
To Epstein, religion is not all bad, and there is no reason to reject its helpful aspects.
“My point to my fellow atheists is, why do we need to paint things with such a broad brush? We can learn from the positive while learning how to get rid of the negative," he said.
For Epstein, who started community-building at Harvard nearly 10 years ago, the idea of a godless congregation is not an oxymoron.
“We decided recently that we want to use the word congregation more and more often because that is a word that strongly evokes a certain kind of community - a really close knit, strong community that can make strong change happen in the world,” he said.
“It doesn’t require and it doesn't even imply a specific set of beliefs about anything.”
Full Story: Church without God - by design
Source: CNN Belief Blog
Cultural center keeps alive traditional arts and culture of tribal people in Odisha state
Female politicians travel to former warzone to meet women but only spoke to a tiny fraction of the turnout
Thousands throng streets of Philippine capital to protest government's handling of housing policy
Sister Rani Maria Vattalil died of multiple knife wounds for helping the poor
Hoa Hao Buddhists go on hunger strike to protest police harassment