Organized Religion and How Our Lives Are Shaped

Sorry for late notice on these resources. Been a busy week and JUST looked at the page and noticed all I have for resources is a damn poll!

Sorry sorry sorry...but these are KILLER articles.

GENTLE REMINDER:  In preparation for our discussion, be sure to review the Pew Forum survey link.  At 140pp, the report looks overwhelming although you'll find that most of it is charts.  At a minimum, please read the chapter summaries and the introduction in its entirety. See you there!

HAVE A TOPIC IDEA?  If so, please email me. Thanks!

No Show Policy

We have a fairly strict no-show policy--RSVPing but not showing. Members that no-show will get a warning email on their 2nd no-show, and be banned on their 3rd. No-show includes canceling within 24 hours.

While this may seem draconian, it's very hard to organize a group when we can't predict attendance. Restaurants are reserving a space for the promise of a big enough order, and when there's a waiting list, no-shows prevent others from coming.

We understand stuff comes up, just send an organizer a message if you got a flat tire, stuck at work, or cut a finger off at shop class.


For many here and abroad at least some aspect of religious practice is integrated into their lives at least in part make us who we are. For many it is a mostly passive experience with volunteer work and socializing done within our chosen house of worship with other congregants and their families as well as the actual worship itself.

For others the experience is more focused in convincing 3rd parties that their viewpoint is the best viewpoint or the only alternative- sometimes with guns pointed.

I sense that most us make up the first category of people.

Today, we'll talk about religion and how it has shaped our lives. We'll compare religion-based experiences only so far as see the different ways we've all approached them and whether it's brought us joy and insights.

For example, how much involvement was and is our families now and in the past? 

Were there particular emotional or physical challenges which drew us closer. 

For those who have attended more than one house of worship, how do they differ? 

For those who are no longer religious, what religious experiences did you have that turned you away from either a particular denomination or with religion in general?

I encourage both religious and non-religious people to constructively share their life experiences. Tell us about your relationship with God, with Jesus Christ, with Mohammad, with Buddha and from what and by whom it has stemmed.

Is this really a controversial topic? Religion is always controversial as there are many to choose with different perspectives on many issues. It's even possible that the gathering of people with vastly different religion experiences may cause some to gasp or shake their head. A "religious" discussion without shouting and finger pointing? Unheard of.

We'll now you've "heard" it. It's real and it's happening.

The groups I host have few rules: please read the cited materials, be courteous and wait your turn to talk, have something to say, and "bring it" with both your knowledge and your enthusiasm.

Let's listen attentively, compare notes, and gain insights!

The rules for this meet are simple:

1. Be civil 2. Be on time 3. Stay on topic 4. Speak to the moderator to reply and not to the last speaker if you disagree.

5. Read and watch the materials before attending for context and understanding.

6. Be ready to talk. This is a "no wallflower" zone.

7. Be prepared to stay for the full session or please un-RSVP

8. Order something please.

For those who are a bit leery of the “no wallflower zone”  I’ll make a deal with you.  For your first meet, simply introduce yourself and I’ll call on you only once with one question.  No doubt you’ll feel comfortable for future meets and you’ll be able to fully participate without fear. 

See you there!

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