Jerry DeWitt on “Atheist Community Building”
This month we feature atheist superstar Jerry DeWitt, the former Pentecostal minister turned atheist, speaking on “Atheist Community Building.” He is well-known at national conventions, and a veteran community builder. He is flying in from Louisiana for a speaking tour that includes Sacramento, San Jose, Stanford, San Francisco and Berkeley.
DeWitt was a pastor in the small town of DeRidder, Louisiana, and a fixture of the community. His faith crumbled in 2011. When he was eventually outed as an atheist, he found himself shunned by much of DeRidder’s highly religious community, losing his job, much of his family and nearly everything he’d known.
He has since become a leader and well-known speaker in America’s fast growing Secular movement. His book, Hope after Faith, tells the story of his life passage from a pastor with a deep Christian faith to a committed and considered atheism driven by Humanism, a profound moral dimension, and the happiness and self-confidence obtained by living free of supernaturalism.
Churches seem to build community very easily. What can secular groups learn from this?
There is a crucial difference between the church service & the services of the church. The church does not provide community via the service (the sermon) but by the services it provides to members. The church service itself builds a reputation, drawing people in originally; but the quality of the services a church provides creates depth in the community. To grow membership you need the service; to build community for the members, you must rely on the services you provide.
Please join us for this special event, and please join us afterwards for dinner at King Dong, at 2429 Shattuck Ave, near Haste.
Jerry will also speak to Atheist Advocates of SF on the following day. Since his talks are largely determined by the interests of the audience, both talks will be unique. Consider attending both events.
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When: Saturday, January 31st at 1:30.
Location: Public Meeting Room, Third Floor, Berkeley Public Library, Main Branch, at 2090 Kittredge at Shattuck
BART Access: Less than one block from the downtown Berkeley BART Station.
Parking: All day parking is available for $7 on the weekend at the lot at Allston & Harold Way, a short block from the library.
Information: Larry Hicok, Coordinator: 510-222-7580
Ski Grabowski, Treasurer: 510-652-8350