Sunday School for Atheists
Here are two quotes from this article:
"An estimated 14% of Americans profess to have no religion, and among 18-to-25-year-olds, the proportion rises to 20%, according to the Institute for Humanist Studies. The lives of these young people would be much easier, adult nonbelievers say, if they learned at an early age how to respond to the God-fearing majority in the U.S. 'It's important for kids not to look weird,' says Peter Bishop, who leads the preteen class at the Humanist center in Palo Alto. Others say the weekly instruction supports their position that it's O.K. to not believe in God and gives them a place to reinforce the morals and values they want their children to have."
"The Palo Alto [Humanist Community Center] Sunday family program uses music, art and discussion to encourage personal expression, intellectual curiosity and collaboration. One Sunday this fall found a dozen children up to age 6 and several parents playing percussion instruments and singing empowering anthems like 'I'm Unique and Unrepeatable,' set to the tune of 'Ten Little Indians,' instead of traditional Sunday-school songs like 'Jesus Loves Me.' Rather than listen to a Bible story, the class read "Stone Soup," a secular parable of a traveler who feeds a village by making a stew using one ingredient from each home."This sounds a lot like what we would present in a Unitarian Universalist religious education program for our children.
I'm curious why a group would need to create a Sunday School program that sounds so much like a Unitarian Universalist one in a community where a Unitarian Universalist congregation already exists.
Given that the "Atheist - Agnostic - Unchurched" demographic is a growing in North America and Christianity is shrinking in North America, does it make sense for Unitarian Universalists to package ourselves as a "church"?
Does the use of traditional language of reverence in our congregations drive off this growing demographic group?
Does the use of the word "church" in the name of many of our congregations drive off this growing demographic group?
This growing demographic is a natural one for us and it was our "market niche" in the past. What will Unitarian Universalism look like if we forfeit this portion of the religious marketplace?