Dale McGowan writes:
In the past seven years or so, I’ve seen quite a few humanistic organizations from the inside — freethought groups, Ethical Societies, Congregations for Humanistic Judaism, UUs, etc. Met a lot of wonderful people working hard to make their groups succeed. All of the groups have different strengths, and all are struggling with One Big Problem: creating a genuine sense of community.
I’ve written before about community and the difficulty freethought groups generally have creating it. Some get closer than others, but it always seems to fall a bit short of the sense of community that churches so often create. And I don’t think it has a thing to do with God.
The question I hear more and more from freethought groups is, “How can we bring people in the door and keep them coming back?” The answer is to make our groups more humanistic — something churches, ironically, often do better than we do.
Now I’ve met an organization founded on freethought principles that seems to get humanistic community precisely right. It’s the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture [...], host of my seminar and talk last weekend, and the single most effective humanistic community I have ever seen.
So what do they have going for them? My top ten list: