The Sunday Assembly, New York City’s wildly popular godless congregation, is breaking new ground in America’s religious landscape by hosting Harvard’s Humanist Chaplain and NY Times best-selling author of “Good Without God” Greg M. Epstein Sunday August 25th at Tobacco Road in Midtown Manhattan!
Victor Hugo said: “There’s no stopping an idea whose time has come,” and this might just be the perfect time for the emergence of a Sunday Assembly, especially in NYC where anything’s possible. Last month’s event had 140 attendees with people spilling out of the space. And this is all part of a global phenomenon as other Sunday Assemblies have already taken root in London, Edinburgh, and Melbourne, with another sprouting this month in Bristol (UK). Other Assemblies are launching in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Washington DC, Nashville, and many more places across the US.
The Sunday Assembly is part atheist “church”, part foot-stomping show, and 100% celebration of life. The motto: live better, help often, and wonder more. Pretty positive stuff for a bunch of nonbelievers, although everyone is welcome, regardless of one’s religious beliefs or lack thereof.
Greg M. Epstein, the featured speaker August 25th, was ordained as a Humanist Rabbi in 2005. He also began the Humanist Community Project, an endeavor to bring together the non-religious under one umbrella group, and he has blogged for CNN, Newsweek, and The Washington Post. He has also appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, as well as in numerous other major media.
Sunday Assembly NYC’s second speaker is AJ Johnson, former Development Director for American Atheists, and VP and co-founder of Be Secular, an organization devoted to uniting people of all faiths via the secular values of equality for all and the importance of church-state separation.
Sunday Assembly is about engaging talks within the framework of a full-on-fun and “spirited” show. SA-NYC’s live house band played De Do Do Do De Da Da Da by The Police, Elton John’s Bennie & The Jets, Paul Simon’s Love Me Like A Rock, and the Beatles’ With A Little From My Friends as the crowd happily sang along to these and other popular rock tunes. And it’s all taking place in a bikini bar near Times Square. The first two events have been smash hits and received media attention in The NY Daily News, Patheos’ Daylight Atheism, A-News, and Salon, among others. Who knew there were so many nonbelievers and “godless-curious” in NYC who wanted to partake of something greater than themselves while growing the secular movement and having a Bloody Mary on a Sunday morning? Has the time indeed come for this community?
Sunday Assembly NYC will also take part in volunteer activities linked to NY Cares; a cancer fundraiser is planned for August 27th at Tammany Hall; and they participated in Summer Streets, at which they taught New Yorkers of all ages to ride bicycles; and it’s all injected with as much joy and compassion as possible. Why? Because SA believes that all humans have is the here and now — so why not make the best of it?
Founded in London in January 2013, The Sunday Assembly picked up global media attention (The Guardian, The New York Times, the BBC, The Australian, Le Monde, or Der Spiegel), and received hundreds of emails asking for religion-free gatherings.
Now Comes Sunday Assembly Everywhere
Sunday Assembly Everywhere is an initiative from The Sunday Assembly that encourages local groups to arrange independently organized services. Each service follows a format that stays true to the spirit and ethos of The Sunday Assembly, while local groups may customize the celebration to make it their own, in their own parts of this vast, diverse world.