Monday, January 13, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a collection of our most frequently asked questions. Please feel free to suggest additions or corrections.

1. Why do you call yourselves a church?

http://www.calgarysecularchurch.org/2013/10/why-we-are-church.html

2. When do you meet?

http://www.calgarysecularchurch.org/2013/07/meetings.html

3. What are your beliefs?

The CSC explicitly rejects the supernatural and faith as a "way of knowing".

All CSC members are encouraged to make up their own minds, based on the evidence. There are no beliefs that are required to attend, and nothing must be taken on insufficient evidence. As an organization, we follow our New 10 Commandments, and the Articles of our Constitution. We encourage our members to do the same.

In a broader sense, the CSC Liturgy provides some insight as to what we strive for:
We are the stuff of stars.
We embrace our responsibility as thinking beings
To reduce pain and suffering,
To increase beauty and happiness as best we can.
Guided by reason and evidence, let us make the world
A better, more deeply fulfilling place
Until that day our bodies return to the stars.
 4. Who can be a member?

There is no official membership at this time. Meetings are family-friendly and open to all. Robust and spirited debate is encouraged (although disruptive people will be asked to leave). All people, regardless of gender, race, age and sexuality, are welcome. Be warned that religion has no privilege here (we will not tolerate religious excuses for homophobia, sexism, or other forms of oppression), and that may be something you are not ready for. Please contact us in advance if you have concerns or questions.

7 comments:

  1. I'm in the UK and I intend to start a secular church. You guys have really inspired me. Many thanks. Jonathan.

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    1. Fantastic, Jonathan. I wish you good luck. Contact me if you want to talk shop. :)

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  2. What exactly do you mean when you say "we are the stuff of stars" and "our bodies return to the stars" ? Are you saying when we die our bodies float up to the stars? If that is the case it Seems a little close to what the Christians believe of their heaven. Please explain this further so there is no misunderstanding here. We are of the Earth! We are made from the Earth and the sun. Without those two things life would simply not be.

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  3. Great question, Eso.

    Our current understanding of cosmology indicates that all of the heavier atoms in the universe must be created in the supernovas of dying stars. This means that your body (and mine) are quite literally created from exploding stars. There is no where else for these elements to come from.

    The "our bodies return to the stars" is a little more poetic...I hope. To me it has a double meaning:

    1. At some point in the future our own sun will go nova, obliterating this planet and shooting our decomposed remains into space.
    2. At some point in the future we must leave this planet and head to the stars if we are to ensure our long-term survival. In that sense our bodies will go to the stars.

    I agree with your "we are made from the Earth and the sun" statement completely, and reject the idea of an afterlife or heaven.

    Hopefully that makes it clearer?

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  4. Just wondering what the response is at the end of each Sunday meeting is? Even when no one is looking? What is said before this to get this response?

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    1. Hello! At the end of each service, I say "Do the right thing", and the congregation (generally!) responds with "Even if no one is looking".

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