Founded in January of 2013, Sunday Assembly was created by two British comedians, Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans. The group was launched for secular humanists, skeptics and atheists who “want a sense of community without dealing with any of the God stuff.” By September of 2014, 35 towns had launched their own groups, encouraging their members to gather for fun, food, music and a sense of community, while across Europe, over 70 assemblies were started in the first year.
“The central idea we have to spread is that we have only one life, which means that life has to be lived to the fullest,” Mano Singham said to a congregation in Ohio. The co-founder of Sunday Assembly, Sanderson Jones, explained the group’s vision, motto and goals.
“The Sunday Assembly is a godless congregation that celebrates life. Our motto: Live better, help often and wonder more. Our mission: to help everyone find and fulfill their full potential. Our vision: A Sunday Assembly in every town, city or village that wants one.”
The London headquarters for the Atheist Church had projections that by the end of 2014, Sunday Assemblies would be found all around the world, including South Africa, Germany, Brazil, Belgium, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada.
THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF THE ATHEIST CHURCH
1. 100% celebration of life. We are born from nothing and go to nothing. Let’s enjoy it together.
2. No doctrines. We have no set texts, so that we can make use of wisdom from all sources.
3. No deities. We don’t do the supernatural, but we also won’t tell you you’re wrong if you do.
4. Radically inclusive. Everyone is welcome, regardless of their beliefs. This is a place of love that is open and accepting.
5. Free to attend, not for profit and volunteer run. We ask for donations to cover our costs and support our community work. However, it is not required that you contribute.
6. A community mission. Through our Action Heroes (you), we will be a force for good.
7. Independent We do not accept sponsorship, nor do we promote outside businesses, organizations or services.
8. Here to stay. With your involvement, the Sunday Assembly will make the world a better place.
9. We won’t tell you how to live, but will try to help you to do it as well as you can.
10. And remember the point of the Sunday Assembly is a celebration of the one life we know we have.
LAUNCHING IN CHAPEL HILL
The Chapel Hill Sunday Assembly held their first meeting Sunday, January 11, at Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson Street. They are looking for volunteers for future meetings. Areas of need include: musicians, artists, speakers, committee leaders, and children’s group leaders.
The Sunday Assembly website provides all necessary information in regards to their latest events, starting your own Sunday Assembly, FAQs and a community section to help you get involved in their community works.