At the recent inaugural “Explore Deeper” small group meeting, I had an old experience in a new way. I’d come out as a gay person years ago and dealt with all sorts of reactions to that over the years, from those who disassociated from me to being embraced for who I was.
But I realized as we all spoke of our own experiences Thursday night that I was now “coming out” again as a non-believer. Others in the small group spoke of the same process of revealing that aspect of themselves to others, although they might not have seen it as I did, as a coming out process.Read more
I teach television and radio production to a slew of young men and women at a local community college. The typical “traditional” student in the community college culture is 18-24, or what has been circumspectly coined the “millennial generation” by authors and historians William Strauss and Neil Howe. Last week, when processing a radio talk show my students produced, one of my more earnest students reflected that the assigned topic of “gratitude” had been a difficult one to create content around. I looked around the room, uncertainly. Two heads nodded, three more joined in. I was baffled. Gratitude? Really?
Jean Twenge, author of the book Generation Me, believes that the primary character traits that largely set “Millennials” apart from their “Boomer” parents is that of inherent narcissism and a sense of “entitlement”. But, the creators of the “Millennial Generation” concept, Strauss and Howe celebrate the premise that this fledgling generation of young and slightly bewildered youth are actually ... more civic minded then ever.
Some of my most vivid memories of childhood are of sitting around the dinner table with my mom and sister while we did homework. I can remember the texture white brick wall I leaned against while scribbling down a list of the causes of the Civil War, and the themes of the young-adult novel Heartlight, and also algebra. This is mainly because when I was a student, I would literally do none of my homework until the very end of the semester, and then eventually my mom would force me to sit down and do every piece of outstanding schoolwork in one day. One would think I'd learn my lesson after the first time my weekend was eaten up with 20 hours of homework, but I was pretty convinced that eventually my teachers would just get the hint and quit asking me. School was not the highlight of my life, is what I'm driving at.
So when I found myself standing in a Pueblo del Rio school room, wearing an index card name tag with a monkey sticker and about to tutor a kid in long division, the same thought kept coming to me: I was terrible at this stuff when it was fresh, how could I help a little kid with it after almost 20 years?
People keep asking what it is we're doing at Sunday Assembly Los Angeles and why it matters. So we asked our new friends who came out to the first event. This is what happened.
Thanks to everyone who came out and took a chance on the first ever Sunday Assembly Los Angeles: our guest MCs from across the pond Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, Guest Speaker Heina Dadabhoy, Comedian Steve Hill, Musical Guest Gary Stockdale, and--most important--the hundreds of new assemblers who came out to learn, celebrate and play with us.
Here are some of my favorite Sunday Assembly Los Angeles moments in pictures.
I’ve never piloted an airplane, but I have this image of the crew on the flight deck of an airliner as they come in on final approach. After several hours of cruising along at near-supersonic speed, they begin preparations for landing as they line up on final approach: communicating with the tower, checking airspeed, rate of descent, hydraulic pressure in the brakes, etc. For weeks we’ve been talking about getting Sunday Assembly-Los Angles off the ground, but in many ways it feels more like we’re bringing this jumbo jet in for a landing.
It has felt, at times, like we were flying at high speed, the calendar slipping silently beneath us like the landscape from 35,000 feet. And now, with three days to go before we touch down, our crew of pilots/co-pilots/navigators/engineers/ (because we’ve all been sharing the duties as a team of equals) is going over our checklists, ticking off the final tasks, making last minute course corrections, getting this behemoth lined up and descending at just the right rate to ensure a smooth landing for the 500 passengers who have signed up for our maiden flight.Read more
Welcome to the blog of the Sunday Assembly-Los Angeles. This is a place for telling the stories of the people who make up the SA-LA community. At first, it will just be the voices of the volunteer team who have come together to launch the Sunday Assembly here; in time, we expect it to represent the kaleidoscope of kindred spirits who will BE the Sunday Assembly community.
I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined myself planting a church, certainly not an “atheist church.” If somebody had suggested even a few months ago that we would be trying to figure out seating and coffee for 500, I’d have said it was time to check their meds.
But here we are, two weeks away from our Nov. 10 launch, and we’re juggling the deluge of details that need to be handled before we open the doors of what we anticipate to be the largest inaugural Sunday Assembly in North America.
So how did we get to this point?Read more