Bridging Borders - Not Church

Goal

The goal of Not Church is both simple and also deeply challenging – to continue to provide a space for a spiritual conversation, to wrestle with the issues of the day, to seek to be the change we wish to see in the world, and to cultivate the beloved community. We do this through:

  • Monthly Not Church gathering
  • Twice weekly meditation classes
  • Weekly book group
  • Casual conversations around margaritas, dinners, horseback riding, walking dogs and living life in community

Topics we have addressed in our gatherings include:

  • Suffering
  • Surrender
  • Repentance
  • Hate
  • Love
  • Flourishing
  • Honesty
  • Religion

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I would say that if it weren’t for Not Church there would be ‘no church’ for me.

A None

Story

Not Church may sound negative to those accustomed to “church” – but to the atheists, agnostics, and “spiritual but not religious” who gather each month for spiritual nurture it’s a name that says “welcome” – whoever you are, whatever you believe – or don’t.

Time Magazine has termed this unorthodox movement “the rise of the nones” because they check the “none of the above” box when indicating their religious affiliation and because they are the fastest growing “denomination” in the nation.

Led by Los Ranchos’ Rev. Erin Dunigan, Not Church has become a spiritual center for the community of expatriate immigrants living in La Mision, Baja California, just 40 miles south of San Diego.

Why does Erin engage in this ministry so far outside the sanctuary walls and the standard expectations of what ministry is? “It matters that ‘organized religion’ is saying to those who have been left out and excluded, ‘We care about you, you matter to us – even if it might make us a bit uncomfortable.’

“Not Church is life giving to all of us involved in it – myself included. What a gift it is for me that Los Ranchos has supported this rather unconventional unfolding of how God is at work in the world.”

 

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Because of You

So often the perception of those outside of church is that ‘organized religion’ only wants converts and dollars. Instead, Not Church offers a place that is “free” – free of dogma, free of obligation, free of pressure.

The Presbytery of Los Ranchos, by its support of Erin, is offering its support as a “free gift” to those who have long been turned off by organized religion.

By supporting Not Church, you can be a part of that gift in 2015!