There’s something special about church friends, a Gallup forum revealed in February 2012. Regular churchgoers – regardless of whether they believe in God or sing along with the hymns – experience happiness and well-being, particularly when they have close friends in their church environment. For some reason, the church environment provides a higher degree of happiness and life satisfaction than other social networks, such as work.
In short, churches can provide a great sense of community.
But what happens when you leave the church, like so many people are doing in western civilization?
Whether you remain a person of faith, consider yourself “spiritual but not religious,” or have given up a belief in deities altogether, the lack of a sense of community can be profound.
Joining us for a discussion about community for the unchurched is a stellar panel of guests, ranging from Christians to atheists. Guests include:
BECKY GARRISON – religion writer, storyteller and satirist.
Fans of Becky Garrison are familiar with her ability to pack a punch of wisdom with a dose of wit and humor, such as in Jesus Died for This?: A Satirist’s Search for the Risen Christ. Among many other things, Becky’s interviews have led to published works about the Emergent Church, the rise of atheist churches, and other issues involving the community of believers and non-believers who are no longer members of an organized church.
Her writing credits include work for The Washington Post’s On Faith column, The Guardian, Believe Out Loud, Killing the Buddha, American Atheist Magazine, Perceptive Travel, The Revealer, Free Inquiry, Religion & Politics, Religion Dispatches and the now defunct Wittenburg Door. She is a 2012 recipient of a Knight Grant for Reporting on Religion and American Public Life.
DAVID HAYWARD – graffiti artist on the walls of religion.
David, who blogs as NakedPastor on Patheos, is a published cartoonist and author of Without a Vision My People Prosper, which calls churches to “the priority of fellowship over accomplishments.”
With a Masters in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, as well as a Diploma in Religious Studies and Ministry from McGill University in Montreal, David has 30 years professional pastoral experience. In 2010, he quit the ministry because “the church and I were no longer compatible.”
Not only has his art, cartoons, writings and book have found their way all around the world, he launched The Lasting Supper last year, which is an online resource site and community for the spiritually independent.
NakedPastor blog: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nakedpastor/
JOAN SLISH – Military Religious Freedom Foundation advisory board member.
An ordained Assistant Minister of the Assemblies of God, Joan currently is in the company of people like Lawrence Wilkerson, Gov. Gary Johnson, Ambassador and former Senator Carol Moseley Braun, actor Mike Farrell and others who help the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”) defend the religious liberties of the men and women serving in the United States armed forces.
After 32 years of participation as a congregational member, teacher and ultimately as an ordained assistant minister, Joan was witness and clergy counsel to numerous parishioners. Her involvement in the evangelical movement culminated in her realization that their teachings are antithetical to the New Testament. This resulted in her resignation and departure from her position as an ordained minister. While she left the church, she did not leave Christ.
Devoted to her family, Joan finds the time to collaborate with experts nationwide to expose the fundamentally unchristian practices perpetrated by the sect generally referred to as Christian Dominionism.
KIMBERLY VEAL – Former minister; Black Freethinkers.
Kimberly is the Executive Director of Black Nonbelievers of Chicago, Inc., and an Information Technology professional and trainer. Her goals include incorporating information technology in underserved communities so that people have better access to educational and career opportunities. As the Executive Director of Black Nonbelievers of Chicago, Inc., Kimberly is working on the expansion and support of the minority community of nonbelievers. She is bridging relations and making positive changes, regardless of race, sex, gender identity or roles, belief systems, and socio-economic status.
Kimberly is co-host of the weekly Black FreeThinkers internet talk radio show. One of her missions is to educate the community about the great contributions and impact that the secular community has had on the progress of social justice in the United States.
Formerly a Christian minister herself, Kimberly has a unique perspective on the void left by the church for those who are seeking a new kind of community. Her work helps to bridge the gap.
THIRD HOUR – FUN AND CHARITIES, with Atheists Helping the Homeless and More.
No sense of community is complete without charitable work. Joining us from Texas will be Joe Zamecki and, provided she can have a break from her busy family life, Victoria Gettman. Launched by Joe and a handful of activists in September 2009, Atheists Helping the Homeless (AHH) volunteer organizations are forming throughout Texas. Vicki, who is Point of Contact for the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers (MAAF), a director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and Staff Sergeant for the United States Army, is seeking volunteers for the San Antonio branch of AHH.
We’ll connect with Joe and Vicki about what Atheists Helping the Homeless is about and also learn some of the charitable activities that Kimberly and others are promoting and/or recommending.
Starting off the third hour will be our initial “SPIN THAT BIBLE” game show, an irreverent look at fundamentalist cherry picking of bible verses.
Show Time: Friday night, October 25, 2013, 6 Pacific / 7 Mountain / 8 Central / 9 Eastern (For an excellent time zone converter, especially for international conversions, visit TimeAndDate.com. Use New York (9 PM) as your base and then type in your country/region.)
To hear the show live and participate in the web-based chat room: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/god-discussion/2013/10/26/community-for-the-unchurched
How it works … When you visit the show page (linked immediately above), the podcast will automatically play out of your computer speakers when it is live. A SKYPE button will also appear that you can simply press and connect with the host (if you have SKYPE, that is). A web-based chatroom will be running contemporaneously with the show, where you can post questions and comments. To use the SKYPE feature and to participate in the chat room, you can either use a free BlogTalk listener account (click the “Register as a Listener” option) or simply log in using your Twitter or Facebook account.
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How typical of a christian - deny deny deny... You talk about me not showing proof just because I dont use a "scholarly" website. Your link is not sccesca_nz, Some Link
Unfortunately for you that's not a scholarly website. The hypothesis that Jesus is based upon the figures from other religions has long since been debsdd, Some Link
Yes. No question is dumb.GodDiscussion, Some Link
Im about to sound really dumb. But is Eastern time which your show is posted for 10 right, this would mean NJ rightRobin Elizabeth, Some Link
PRIORITY PROPHECY The prophecy that should take precedence in the minds of men today is, that Jesus is coming again. The most important question is, asteve finnell, Some Link
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