January 7, 2016 Update:
- Is Sunday Assembly Chicago still a thing?
Not right now, but it could be again. Sunday Assembly Chicago ran monthly assemblies and occasional other events from December 2013 to April 2015. We had a great time. However, people are busy, and running such an organization as a volunteer with little money is taxing. We relied on 2-3 dedicated producers to run the group for over a year, but predictably, they got burned out because life and unreliable volunteers, and there was no one to take their place.
- What would it take to get Sunday Assembly Chicago up and running again?
Elbow grease and/or money. We need 2-5 dedicated people willing to put in a few hours a week and one whole day per month to managing volunteers, the venue, social media, finances, programming, equipment, etc. They need to work as a team.
We (Ben and Jenn Zalisko) were the last executive producers of the group, and we can set you up with the sound equipment, a little left over money, email list, social media passwords, and accumulated wisdom you’ll need to run the group. Convince them that you’ve got the people and dedication to restart Sunday Assembly Chicago, and we’ll help you get it done. We may even be able to get the old house band back together.
We also need a venue. Previously, we have met at the Murphy Elementary School auditorium and the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center. Venues aren’t cheap, and the cheapest ones are often unreliable. If you can find someone willing to donate their space, it would make your life so much easier.
Speaking of which, if you’re interested in being a benefactor of Sunday Assembly Chicago, providing a venue or some jingle to cover one, you might be able to coax Ben and Jenn out of retirement. 😉
- Well that sucks. Are there any alternatives to Sunday Assembly Chicago?
Sure! If you’re looking for a secular community, you can check out the following organizations:
- Ethical Humanist Society
- Chicago Skeptics
- Secular Student Alliance chapters (If you’re a student)
- Kol Hadash (Jewish Humanism)
- Black Nonbelievers of Chicago
- Chicago Latino Atheists
- Chicago Coalition of Reason
- Freedom from Religion Foundation, Chicago chapter
Unitarianism isn’t for everyone in the Sunday Assembly crowd, but there is a bit of overlap. Chicago features a number of Unitarian congregations, and you may feel at home in one of those churches.
In the meantime…
– Join our facebook group
– Like our facebook page
– Email us at ChicagoSundayAssembly@gmail.com to get on the email list
– Add Ben Zalisko on facebook
… and we’ll make sure you’re informed if Sunday Assembly Chicago, or something like it, gets back up and running again.
Here’s our old description…
What is Sunday Assembly?
Sunday Assembly is a godless congregation that is part atheist-church, part-foot stomping show, and 100% celebration of life. Our aim is to live better, help often, and wonder more. Founded in London in January 2013, Sunday Assembly has experienced a meteoric rise as it has tapped into a need of people across the world. The monthly services in London have a regular congregation of more than 400, and after a recent NPR story, the Chicago Facebook page doubled its numbers.
What happens at your events?
We have a speaker on some kind of interesting topic – sometimes related to things godless, sometimes not. One or two people do additional speaking, usually a reading from a text and talking about why Sunday Assembly means something to him or her. We also have lots of great pop songs for singing along. And, there are doughnuts, coffee, and lots of nice people to meet.
Just by being with us you should be energized, vitalised, restored, repaired, refreshed, and recharged. No matter what the subject of the Assembly, it will provoke kindness and inject a touch of transcendence into the everyday.
But life can be tough… It is. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, we have moments of weakness or life just isn’t fair. We want The Sunday Assembly to be a place of love and compassion, where, no matter what your situation, you are welcomed, accepted and loved.
Most of all, have fun, be nice, and join in.
How can I get involved?
You can attend monthly Sunday services, join or start a small group (we call them Smoups), pitch in at volunteer events, and/or join the mailing list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “Request to join SA Chicago mailing list” for notifications about all of the above and more.
Who runs Sunday Assembly Chicago?
We are all volunteers. Dozens of people have generously donated their time to serve as musicians, ushers, donut concierges, and A/V experts. However, a few of us have been elected to pretend that we know what we’re doing (*Voting Member of the Board of Directors)
UPDATE January 7, 2016: The last board’s term expired, and they didn’t find a venue or host an assembly. Ben and Jenn Zalisko were the last producers, so they’re holding the organization’s stuff until a new board and/or producers take the reins.