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I miss church. I really do. I miss the singing. I miss the fellowship. I miss having such a common sense of purpose. I've tried to fill that void with other things but nothing really scratches that itch. I've thought about finding a progressive congregation but that's even harder for me because you have to ignore so much of the Bible to believe in it and still have progressive values. I'm not sure the Unitarians would be a good fit for me either. I just wish I could find something with a built in community like you have at church.

Tabor 4 Feb 24
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85 comments

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2

And three chords my hind side.

The best rock is beautiful music.

But the cellos never caught fire! I love cello music. Our Freethinker group hired a cellist to play for our end of summer celebration by the river.

@BufftonBeotch

Hilarious!

6

Try a Unitarian church. I go for the fellowship, community and singing.

"As an atheist I wince at the words 'God' and 'Jesus,'" I told the minister.

"You're not alone," she replied. "Many people here are atheist; the majority of members are agnostic. So in the hymns, we changed the word 'God' to 'good.' It's just adding an 'o.' No big deal."

I appreciate that.

I was raised Methodist. I have always hated being told what to say, and that includes the words to songs. I also hate being preached to. That doesn't leave much to like at a Unitarian church. Maybe the social aspect, but I have too much social anxiety.

6

Who says you can't still go to church? Atheists go to church all the time. You don't have buy into their Christian beliefs to go, and you don't have to tell them you're an atheist either to go. I'm just saying.

This. Keep the baby, throw out the bathwater.

I understand what you're saying but for me it's kind of like saying I should go to a Trump rally because I really enjoy cheering.

5

I was invited to a wedding for a friend that was at a local church. When I pulled into a parking lot of the church my skin started to feel warm. By the time I got inside my skin was melting. I don't think I belong there.

5

Have you tried the UU? They don't really use the bible, just accept whatever you think you understand. Unitarian Universalists are the first all American Church and many of our founding fathers were members.

5

I've been going to a UU church some. The people there are great, and they haven't said anything about God or the Bible in the many times I've been there. In one of the services they even sang "Ain't Necessarily So", a great song about the myths in the Bible. You might give it a try.

priceless. need a link 🙂
hugh laurie has one too, but prolly this

@richiegtt i see an alert for a tag, but no tag, sorry

5

A socialist commune.

That would work for me.

not a voter, but id love to see bernie win. shit, might have to register

@bbyrd009 Please do.

@darkstar24 ya...no

4

Have you considered.... Satan?

That's not exactly helpful, but it did make me smile. 😁

@AmyTheBruce The Satanic movement has many positive qualities, making you smile is only the first of them.

4

I attend St. Mattress on Sundays.

4

I don't miss church at all, but my wife did for a while. We went to a Unitarian church for about a year. It was fine. Still interfered with football Sunday so I had to stop going.

4

If you were a Brit I'd send you down the local to join the darts team. I'm pretty sure they replaced church with the pub about a hundred years ago.

4

If you miss it so much you should go back there

4

Your church group isolated you from other social interactions. But you can try:

  • amateur sports team or chess, checkers group.
  • Dance classes
  • Any cultural club
  • Wine club or wine tasting events (they are great).
  • Sport team fan club.
  • Join any class: sculpture, photography, art, language, literature, etc.

And good luck on re-adapting to society!

A friend is in a community choir, there are community bands if you play an instrument. All it takes is looking.

4

Have you tried a freethought society or FFRF chapter , however music may be lacking!

Good advice!

4

Join a choir and you’ll get the singing and the community...supposing you can actually sing of course! You won’t be restricted to singing hymns either, but a real variety of music. You can also volunteer at one of the local charities, I do at a food bank, but there are other charities where you will get a sense of belonging to a team, and also the satisfaction of doing something to help others.

I was going to suggest all those things, but you beat me to it!
😀

I used to sing in choirs all during my school years and nowadays I get my singing fix at karaoke shows. Joining a choir might work for most, but I am very picky about what kinds of music I want to sing, the same as most of us are particular about what types of sermons or programs we would want to listen to. For me, joining a choir would have to be one that only performed pop or rock music, like in that movie Young At Heart, about the choir for senior citizens. Since that is never going to happen in Iowa, even in my local area of Des Moines, I am done with choirs. I have no desire to spend my time rehearsing and performing music that bores or does not interest me, while all the while having no say in the selection of music for the choir, which is how almost all of them operate anyway....

@TomMcGiverin I have sung in many choirs over the years and I find it hard to believe in a country as large as the USA there won’t be a choir which sings music which pleases you somewhere within a reasonable distance. I live in Northern Ireland, which only has 1.5 million total population and we have scores of choirs...Rock included. My own choir sing all kinds of music so we never get bored, and frankly most songs with the correct choral arrangement are great to sing...with the additional buzz that comes in singing with others..it’s as good as a drug as it has been proved to raise serotonin levels in the brain. For our spring concert we’re doing “The 60s At 60”....a selection of hit songs from the 1960s...and it’s going to be fab!

@Marionville Believe me, I have done the research in my area. Iowa is pretty backward and conservative culturally. The closest thing we have in my area to a choir singing what I like is a gay men's choir that, stereotypically, sings mostly showtunes, which I am not into.. A choir that sang Sixties tunes would be wonderful for me, but it ain't happening here and not likely to ever happen while I am alive....

There are choirs around the US like what you describe, just not in central Iowa. If I wanted to move hundreds of miles away to Chicago or Minneapolis, even, I am sure I could find something like that, but it's not worth it to me to relocate just to have a choir to sing in....Karaoke is my substitute, where I sing what I want to when I want to...On the on the other hand, with karaoke I have to put up with listening to the bad singers and all the country music, which I hate, that is sung by a good number of the singers at any given karaoke show...

3

I miss the church as much as I miss the flu

Haha, good one.

3

There is a Sunday Assembly movement catching on. [sundayassembly.com]

BDair Level 8 Feb 25, 2020
3

I tried my local UU. My first visit I liked; the second--not so much.

Even though they are open to any belief, or no belief, I found it still invoked too much "god/universal consciousness" stuff for my liking.

Also, the speaker on my second visit, in my opinion, hi-jacked science in an effort to support her belief in reincarnation of the consciousness and her belief that a man (a yogi) in the year 1100-ish, went into a cave and was able to move his hand so fast it caused a sonic boom; and he was able to push his hand through solid stone--leaving his hand print in the stone as "evidence."

She used the science that shows that all atoms are surrounded by empty space (that we are 99.999...% empty space) to support her argument that this is possible--if one attains the proper state of consciousness. Just as we are able to overcome illness etc.

Now, I don't care that she believes that--but no science I am aware of will support her beliefs that it is possible to do that; and I didn't care for her use of science to try to "prove" her beliefs. She also mentioned some idea that humans showed up in their present form about 200,000 years ago and that didn't sit well with me either.

This was my experience. It might not be yours. And, the only way to know is to give it a try.

Too much woo. Freethinker groups are my choice.

@rogueflyer Yes, too much woo!

That's exactly what I meant by the Unitarians not being a good fit. Unfortunately, religious services in general make me feel uncomfortable because I'm ashamed of the things that I used to believe for the sake of being a Christian.

3

Unitarian-Universalist community will fill all those voids without the claptrap! Google to find one!

3

I would look for local group meetups, centered around your interests. There are tons of non-religious communities out there. You'll still be able to get that sense of common purpose and fellowship, without all the preaching.

3

Check out meetup.com . There are lots of groups of every type to choose from. I found hiking and kayaking groups and now have all the fellowship and people with common purpose I can handle.

3

Taking identity more seriously or making the group more valid than ourselves is a notion most of us are indoctrinated with in authoritarian cultures. We aren't respected or loved nearly as much for being who we are naturally as we are for being who we're expected to be by conforming to group rituals, behaviors and affirming prioritized doctrines. This kind of groupism under any title is an addictive process.

We can be our own 'church'; our own identity, articulated as we please and reason. Each person has primary validation by fact of our existence. No external approvals are necessary for that internal status. To know, respect, value and love ourselves we become our own true friends, parents and guardians. Loneliness vanishes because self company is enriching. We literally become something whole and of value to bring to any arena of sharing with others with similar attributes.

Groups requiring self-abdication as part of the membership fee are parasitic and reject anyone unprepared to surrender portions of themselves and their autonomy. The good news is people celebrating individuality recognize one another pretty readily. Healthy attraction works that way. The Internet sports quite a few ways, like this site, to screen and meet self-emancipating, interesting people. Yes, they are very rare but this is a dark age. Hey, its been worse.

3

After reading these comments I realize just how far out of the mainstream I really am.

That means you're in good company.

3

I'm not a joiner of groups of any kind and never have been, even in high school, other than bands. I can't relate to this on any level. I am very picky about who I hang out with and always have been.

Yes me too. And I do think I will have to make peace with it as is. The likelihood of my finding a peer group to hang with again is very low. Good thing I was an only child, I think I am better suited than most for the isolation.

@darkstar24 Then you will probably adjust in time. I only need less than a handful of people whom I really enjoy to keep me satisfied.

@Sticks48 of course it has to be the right handful. It sounds like you have it down.

@darkstar24 It works for me. I left the church at 14 so it really didn't have a hold on me and being a night person even as a child I didn't miss getting up on Sunday morning for that.

3

So start a book club or something in the local library.

Admitted you probably won’t be allowed to sing but most of the other concerns could be fulfilled.

That's a great idea!!

3

You're trying to replace a crutch with another crutch. Want to sing, join a secular chorus, there are many all over just look online, you want a "sense of purpose" join and volunteer in an organization that protects the planet like Greenpeace, the Sierra Club or any other secular organization that actually does something of benefit for others.

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