The Casserole Factor

Having excised religion from my life a long time ago, I’ve never sought a community of like-minded types. I never really felt I needed one. Amber, though, comes from a very religious background, and while she doesn’t regret leaving it, she misses what I think of as the casserole factor: the connection with people who share your values, who’ll watch your kids, pitch in when someone who falls ill, or bring over some hot food to be neighborly. To her this is a very important asset and a major evolutionary advantage.

As I say, this was never a priority for me. But we might bring kids into the picture one day, and we’ll sure want the casserole factor then. To that end, yesterday we attended our first Sunday Assembly meeting. Slogan: “It’s all the best bits of church, but with no religion, and awesome pop songs!” The first one formed in England in early 2013, and the New York group meets once a month at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. The gathering included singalongs, speeches circling the theme of empathy,  a presentation about iMentor, and a brief and fascinating talk by Massimo Pigliucci about the meaning and effects of friendship. Afterward most of us migrated to Old John’s Luncheonette to say hello and riff on Pigliucci’s views.

It’s going to take more than one meeting to know if this is the community we want, but I enjoyed myself and I’m glad we’ve started our quest for casserole. Here we go!

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