Positive message on offer at Sunday Assembly
It's been dubbed the world's fastest growing atheist church, with 30 branches opening in less than two years.
But those responsible for bringing the Sunday Assembly to New Zealand are keen to dispel any preconceived negative ideas people may have about their movement.
Just like any church service, there is singing, service sheets and meaningful readings. But unlike others, the Sunday Assembly is a godless congregation focussed on inspiring guest speakers.
"We don't say we're anti-God," says Sunday Assembly organiser William Stewart. "We don't say we're anti-religion. We welcome anyone no matter what you believe. We're just going to brush, slide past that topic."
And they believe that approach offers a real point of difference.
"Religion provides people with a sense of community, support, the transcendent, but we don't think those qualities are exclusively available to religious people," says organiser Will Gordon-Wright. "I think the less religious or the non-religious benefit from them too."
Initial feedback would suggest they're on the right path. Today's urban renewal theme was well received by the 30-odd in attendance.
Organisers believe the assembly could fill a void for those left questioning their faith following the Canterbury earthquakes.
"I know quite a few people who recently transitioned from being religious to being agnostic," says Mr Stewart. "I think no matter what you believe or whereabouts you are, we can provide something for you."
With a motto encouraging attendees to help often, wonder more and live better, that's tough to argue against.
source: newshub archive