James Croft at the Temple of the Future tipped me off to the new group Houston Oasis. The group looks to be reinventing the Humanist community.
Founded by freethinkers from across the city, Houston Oasis bills itself as “A community grounded in reason, celebrating the human experience.”
They don’t call themselves a church and the leader of the group (a former pastor and graduate of the Clergy Project) doesn’t call his speech a sermon, but there are a few familiar aspects to their meetings for the former faithful. The meeting begins with music, hosts a confessional (cutely named “a Humanist moment”), and features a discussion of communal values. The community is even looking to launch child care very soon.
Some members tried to get the BCHA Sunday meetings to start with music, but it seemed everyone just took to arriving 5 or 10 minutes later. Perhaps the trick is to get blues musicians.
While there are definitely some more churchy aspects of this group that will turn off the more anti-religious among us, I think they do a good job for a new community and it will be interesting to watch how they grow and what ideas can be adapted for other communities.
What do you like about this community? What would you change? Would you attend a group like this?