raised of a $900,000.00 goal
Why do we want to buy a church?
Atheists are just people, and people by nature desire a feeling of community. These connections are an important part of life that as atheists we do not often get to experience in the same way that theists do. We are trying to change that. We hope to build a place of belonging, where fellow atheists can form the lifelong connections and strong bonds of friendship that help people grow in healthy ways.
We believe that the only good purpose traditional theistic churches is to serve as that community. They bring together like-minded people, and give those people a network of support. We feel that as atheists we are missing out on this.
If we were to buy a church, we would have weekly Sunday meetings, weeknight classes, daytime kids activities, pot luck dinners, community outreach, and an endless array of other events. On Sundays we would gather and discuss many things, like current events, scientific discoveries, political issues facing atheists, local news, community events, etc.
While the adults participate in the weekly discussion, the children would attend “Sunday School.” There they would do scientific experiments, learn the principals of math and engineering, learn how to paint on a canvas, learn how to bake bread, talk about various religious mythologies, discuss important historical moments, create and tend to a garden, learn how to be kind and compassionate people, volunteer, etc. But the most important thing they would be doing is forming relationships with other non-theist kids. Relationships where they need not fear how their lack of belief will effect their friendships. They would be in a place of no judgment, where they can question any belief or fact. They could have the community that religious kids have and likely take for granted.
We would offer a place for newly-realized atheists to come for support. We could offer advice on how to “come out” to family and friends, how to deal with discrimination at work or in the government, etc. We would, at the very least, be a place for the new atheist to feel safe, to meet people who understand.
If someone in our congregation had something tragic happen, we could all come together to support them with casseroles and babysitting and pancake breakfast fundraisers. When a couple marries, we could provide an appropriate place for them to have their ceremony. Funerals could be held in a more loving and supportive environment than a funeral home. New babies could be welcomed with naming ceremonies, and members would gather to donate clothes and toys. Our youth group would take children on educational nature expeditions and star-gazing trips. We would do everything that a traditional theistic church would do, only with science and reason instead of superstition.
This can only happen with your help. If we can raise the necessary funds, we will purchase an existing church, convert it to suit our needs, and begin welcoming atheists through our doors. With the support of fellow atheists can we attain our goals!