Who is welcome?
YOU ARE! No matter what you believe, or don’t believe, you are welcome to attend our church! Many of us were raised in households where we were taught to believe in God — and we wish we’d found our way to a community based on reason much sooner than we did! So, please, come and join our community, whoever you are and whatever you believe.
Who gives the sermons?
YOU DO! Our weekly sermons are given by members of the congregation, and the diversity of our speakers testifies to that. If you want to speak, we encourage you to speak! After the sermon, we sit in a circle and discuss. We pass a “talking unicorn” and whoever raises their hand and holds the unicorn is able to say anything they think or feel. We try to listen to understand each other and to respectfully explore rational thinking together. There is no dogma other than an agreement that while being aware of our feelings is important, the best way to personally grow and improve the world is through applying reason to solve life’s problems.
Why do you call yourself a church?
“If at first an idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”
― Albert Einstein
A church is a community intentionally built around a set of shared values. Seattle Atheist Church is devoted to the values of secular humanism. We do church without the cognitive dissonance. We believe that the time has come for churches to celebrate rational approaches to increasing well-being for all conscious creatures. In the Seattle area, there are over eight hundred churches- shouldn’t there be at least one church to go to on Sunday where you can hear a message of hope based on the power of reason? How about eighty atheist churches? The time has come!
Why do you use the word atheist?
Atheists, agnostics, skeptics, freethinkers, and everyone else are welcome at church. We use the word atheist because you will never hear anything supernatural promoted in a sermon. Some people are atheist but afraid to use the word. We want to normalize the word atheist. In a culture that celebrates superstition, it is meaningful to identify as someone who does not.
We may not be able to prove that gods don’t exist, but we believe they do not in the same way we believe unicorns don’t exist. If 92% of people believed in unicorns- we’d come out as aunicornists. You do not have to be a professed atheist (or aunicornist) to be a member of the church. (See the Seattle Atheist Church Creed for more details.)
How often do you meet?
We meet each and every Sunday at noon at the University Heights Center close to the University of Washington.
What is a service like?
We have a 20-minute sermon followed by everyone sitting around and talking while enjoying punch and cookies. You may be thinking “There is nothing to say about atheism.” We talk about similar things as in other churches, like “How can I live my best life?” We apply reason to answer the question. We don’t spend much time on anti-apologetics. We have an anti-apologetics talk about once a year.
You can view many of our past sermons online.
Are you family friendly?
Yes. We have a crafts tables for children. There is plenty of space at the back of the room for toddlers to move around. We also have classes for children that focus on science, art, critical thinking, and play. Learn more about our Children’s Church at Seattle Atheist Church Children.
Does it cost anything to attend?
Come be our guest for free. We operate on donations. When you decide that you want to become a member, we ask that you contribute something to cover expenses. We have been asked to specify a suggested donation amount. If you can, $20 a month per adult would be helpful. There are also other ways to contribute beyond financial help. Everyone working at the church is a volunteer. You are always welcome at church, regardless of ability to pay.
What do you do with the donations?
Donations are used to run the church. We rent the meeting space, maintain the website, do outreach, and run special programs. Currently, we have a goal of extending the discussion time by half an hour. The people you see working on behalf of the church are all unpaid volunteers.
Are donations tax deductible?
Yes. We are a 501(c)3. Your donation is tax deductible.