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Belonging and Community Without Religion

  • New Unity @ Upper Street 277A Upper Street London, England, N1 2TZ United Kingdom (map)
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NEW: Get your tickets here!

Human beings need community. This has been one of the benefits of religious communities in the past. Now, in a largely secular culture, where do we find community?

Secular or non-religious congregations today represent a growing way of being in community. These are not new, with ethical societies dating back to the 19th century. But they are evolving for the needs of our time. This event will explore the questions we are uncovering along the way, particularly:

  • What *is* community? Why does it matter? What does it feel like to be part of one - or not?

  • Religious communities rely heavily on mythologies well-known to their members. Do non-religious communities also need such central stories to support their cohesion? Can we do without them and what, if anything, can take their place? Can we turn to the myths that influence our wider culture?

This event is hosted by New Unity, a community that has evolved from more traditional beginnings to be a non-religious congregation, serving diverse people, with an atheist minister. Our co-sponsors, Sunday Assembly and Humanists UK have succeeded with different models. Sunday Assembly offers community centred around wonder and joy (with added pop songs), and has grown rapidly to over 50 congregations worldwide. Humanists UK is the national charity representing the non-religious, providing non-religious counselling and humanist wedding, funeral, and naming ceremonies.

Join us on Saturday 19th January 2019 to explore these questions and connect with others who are interested in the answers, in discussion led by expert speakers. The ideas and answers that emerge from the conference will be part of shaping our future communities - come and make yourself a part of this.

This event was created by Rev Andy Pakula - New Unity’s atheist minister, who became a credentialed Unitarian Universalist and Unitarian minister after a PhD, MBA and a career in biotech science and business, was banned from Thought for the Day for not believing in God, and has led New Unity for a dozen years; and Liz Slade - member and former trustee at New Unity, former COO of Sunday Assembly, co-director of Common Ground sacred reading pilgrimages, and consultant in the health sector.

There will be a ticket fee of £20 to cover costs including provided lunch.

Earlier Event: January 13
Sunday Gathering
Later Event: January 20
Not Just a Beard