Why KC Oasis?

My undergraduate degree was in pastoral studies, but I never made it to the pulpit. Not for lack of opportunity, but for lack of belief. It wasn’t some sudden event or particular argument I could point to, it was a lengthy personal dissection. Essentially, I ceased believing in different bits of my religion over time.  Eventually, the only thing that kept me in the pew at all was the relationships I’d built. The community it gave me. The friends and family I’ve come to cherish.

My husband and I never made a conscious decision to quit church, it just happened. We attended for quite a while as nonbelievers, but it became increasingly difficult. It was hard to beat around the bush with where you were in your beliefs, especially with friends. After being out of the church for three years, we finally came out with it. It was well received. Very well received. I’m convinced we have the best friends anyone could ask for.

At some point we decided to find out what other people, secular people, were up to, and very randomly showed up at a freethought group meeting. We met some awesome people there, indeed people who are friends today. We attended a couple of secular conferences, which is like attending a mishmash science and philosophy conference except more fun, and became aware of and connected to national and local organizations for secular people.

While the church brings a lot of people together, and creates community, it also leaves people out. We didn’t belong in a church anymore. We couldn’t say we shared their core beliefs or values anymore, and as such we felt out of place. A lot of the core ideals we liked; such as helping the poor, the hungry, and charity efforts. However, we didn’t like the emphasis on the supernatural. I watched as people (my friends and I) served food in a soup kitchen as we volunteered one evening, and it was our hands doing the work, not something supernatural.

I was trained to plant churches and lead a congregation, but I don’t want to do that. People don’t need to be shepherded, and we don’t need another church. We need a community of reason. A community where people are more important than beliefs, where meaning comes from making a difference, and labels are not required. By partnering with Houston Oasis, I hope to build such a community. Will you help build that community with me?

www.KCOasis.org

One Reply to “Why KC Oasis?”

  1. This is copied from an email I just sent to a friend:

    Need more intelligent friends. Last night I was working on my research in Panera Bread, as I often do as they play classical music & there is some human ambient activity. Finally had to leave as there was a group of women next to my table where one was officiously pontificating about astrology while the other slobs were rapt in their attention to this nonsense as a way to get answers to life without having to think for themselves. I feel the same way about religion too. The last semester of high school I was in bed with mono & hepatitis. I tried to determine if there is free will or not. I could not come up with a satisfactory definition. As a freshman in college I figured out a way to bypass the definition impasse and determined there is no “free will”. Then the 1-st semester of the sophomore year of undergrad school, starting mid-semester, I stopped going to classes, stayed in my off-campus room and tried to determine whether I should become a missionary in the church I was raised in and had that jr college. I determined 1-st principles, did not refer to any “authority” and developed a philosophy / ethical system. From “enlightened” self interest I derived “The Golden Rule”.I am also now an atheist. Two weeks before the semester ended I left. The dean of men must have appreciated what I had done. He told me that when I was ready to go back to school he would get me in anywhere I wanted to go!

    Many years later I did an energy analysis on Park College; 16 buildings and the steam system. Harold Condit was then the president of it. I asked him if he remembered what he had told me but he didn’t. I did though and it was a confidence builder.

    Recently, I have realized everyone is insecure. We all try to implement actions to achieve a feeling of value. Most try to impress others by wealth or authority ~control. These take many forms; most of which are not in the best interests of other people. I’ve concluded that interesting work and a real mutual love are what makes life worth living. It tripped my memory. That is what a psychologist named Maslow (?) concluded also.

    May I attend your next meeting? I am not PC like the “Community of Reason” that meets at UMKC on Sundays.

    John Gamble

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