Church for Atheists in Madison

By: Britni McDonald Email
By: Britni McDonald Email

POSTED Tuesday, August 19, 2014-- 4:00 p.m.

Church typically deals with God and religion, but the congregation that will soon fill this church are atheists.

"Even though I'm not a church person, church is not for me, I miss that aspect of my life," said Naomi Kroth.

Kroth grew up in church.

"It was wonderful. I learned a lot about community and empathy and being thoughtful and considerate."

But later in life, her feelings on god and religion changed.

"I'm an atheist."

As an atheist, she still missed the community a church setting provided. So, along with about 7 others, she decided to start a church without religion.

"What we're discussing doesn't touch on religion."

Without any book, doctrine, or creed, Sunday assembly Madison bases their services on a simple motto.

"Live better, hope often, wonder more."

The services are structured like church.

"We're going to sing songs together. We're going to listen to a speaker and a reading."

But instead of a message about god or religion, they discuss subjects like new beginnings, the mind, or the universe.

"Each service has a theme and then we pick readings we find speakers we pick songs based on that theme," said Kroth. "Any body of work could be our subject matter with the understanding that it's not a religious body of work that we're drawing from."

This isn't the first church of its kind. Sunday Assembly is a concept that started in the UK last year. Now there's 28 around the world, including 11 in the U.S. This will be the first in Madison.

"We're trying to be a force for good in the Madison area."

Sunday Assembly Madison's first service will be held on September 28.

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