The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly was last week. As usual there was an active UU HUUmanist booth. I know the formation of new local Humanist groups is being encouraged by the UU HUUmanist leaders, as by the American Humanist Association leaders.
Some of our readers must have been present at the UU General Assembly, visited the Humanist booth, and attended some of the Humanist events. I hope some of those who went will inspire the rest of us with reports back, particularly on Humanism and how we can increase our outreach to the millions of “Nones” out there, i.e. to those who do not have a faith.
Attracting the “Nones” is of vital interest to both the AHA and the UU HUUmanists. Given the numbers, there is enormous opportunity. The UUA has about 170.000 members, of whom at least half are believed to have Humanist leanings. The AHA has over 15,000 members, and is working hard on expanding its influence. There are a number of other Humanist-oriented organizations to pull into the common Humanist voice. Together we have a lot of energy to invest.
The UUA has over one thousand congregations across the country. It takes only a few energetic Humanists in a congregation to initiate a local Humanist group.
From the PEW report of Oct 2012 (www.pewforum.org): “The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today”, and “In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults - - - nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%).” We also know that many who nominally ascribe to a "religion" are actually not believers, and are affiliated only as a result of tradition, habit, family peace, etc, and should be included in the "Nones"
A number of authors have published excellent books pointing out the increasing importance of the “Nones” in American life.
We are approaching the numbers that will enable us to stake a claim in determining how our country is run. How can we use best our resources to increase our numbers to the point where we can claim that stake?
Looking for ideas, with great hope,
Submitted by Pat
A Coordinator for Concord Area Humanists