‘Secular community’ looks to give the gift of community in 2020


The year 2019 is behind us and Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh is looking to expand its community to anyone seeking one. It was an great year for the community and we’re looking to carry that momentum into 2020.

I attended my first Assembly in 2014. At the time I was a lonely new agnostic that once had a sense of community through the church. I wasn’t sure how many people shared my views. I found Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh by searching, ‘atheist community’, and it happened to be around the time they were preparing for their first Assembly. When I attended my first Assembly I felt an instant sense of community, inclusivity and belonging. I have since become the Outreach Coordinator with the goal of giving as many people that same feeling as possible.

We are looking forward to the new year, and hope to expand the number of charitable acts in the community by growing our numbers. Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh also has new board members with fresh ideas who will help improve the organization. It’s going to be an amazing year!

The next Assembly is Sunday, January 19, 2020, at 10 AM – 11:30 AM at Community Forge, located at 1256 Franklin Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15221.

‘The Ultimate Secular Festive Singalong’ for the nonreligious of Pittsburgh

The holiday season has a variety of meanings to people. For many religions, it’s the time of the year to observe different aspects of what they believe in. At this time, for many, the air is full of joy and happiness. It is indisputable the holiday season is dominated by religious observances. However, should people not have the joy of the season because they don’t have religion? Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh says, no.This holiday season there will be something called Yule Rock.  The word ‘Yule’ originated as a festival observed by early Germanic peoples and the concept has been adopted by many religions and has influenced modern-day Christmas.  Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh describes its version of Yule Rock as ‘the ultimate secular festive singalong’. This will be an opportunity to bring people together and share a morning of happiness, joy and cheer together. The event will consist of popular festive songs to sing along to, festive costumes, a potluck and more.

Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh has been around since 2014 and has been fostering community among the nonreligious. We gather every third Sunday of the month to sing, dance, learn and build relationships within our community. I have been involved in some way with the nonprofit since its beginnings and it has been invaluable to my life.

Join Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh for a morning of memories and togetherness through song. We open our arms to the religious and nonreligious alike – it’s for anyone who needs a place to be. You don’t want to miss this epic morning.

Yule Rock: The Ultimate Secular Festive Singalong

When: Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 10 AM – 11:30 AM

Where: Community Forge
1256 Franklin Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15221

Sunday Assembly launches Yankee Candle fundraiser

Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh has launched its Yankee Candle fundraiser! Whether it’s for yourself or a present for a loved one, you can help support us. With your help we can build a bigger, more robust community.


Visit http://www.yankeecandlefundraising.com, and then then place an order using the Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh Group Number: 999995463.


Visit http://www.yankeecandlefundraising.com, and then then click “Seller Login” and fill out the “Sign up to be a seller” (use the Group Number: 999995463). Follow the simple instructions and have informational emails sent to friends and family.

Thank you in advanced for your support!

Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh is a secular community that celebrates life. Visit the events page to see what’s happening in the community: Events

Speaker Alert: the morality and conflicts of ‘end of life’ decisions

The theme of the Assembly this Sunday is ‘End of Life’. Dr. Hall will use fiction and personal experience to illustrate some of the ways in which healthcare at the end of life falls short of expectations. He will explore how this is related to concepts of autonomy and the technological imperative that drives much of modern medicine. He will point further to the kinds of conversations and the kinds of services that might begin to address the unmet needs of people seeking health care services in the last season of life. This includes advance care planning with living wills, POLSTs and healthcare powers of attorney, but goes further to a more honest conversation with ourselves and each other about the limits and finitude that define the human condition.

Speaker bio

Daniel E. Hall, M.D., M.Div., M.H.Sc. is Medical Director, High Risk Populations &
Outcomes for the Wolff Center at UPMC. He is also Associate Professor of Surgery at
the University of Pittsburgh, Staff Surgeon and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and
Core Investigator at the VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion. Dr. Hall
is practicing general surgeon with training in moral philosophy, theology, quality
improvement and health services research. His current research focuses on designing
care pathways that support value-concordant care of frail patients before and after

When: Sunday, October 20th, 2019 at 10 AM – 11:30 AM

Where: Community Forge
1256 Franklin Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15221

Sunday Assembly to face difficult topic of ‘End of Life’

Our October assembly’s theme is End of Life. The guest speaker is Rev. Dr. Daniel Hall, who will be talking about counseling patients and families on end of life decisions. We’ll also be repeating the naming ritual from last October. Everyone is encouraged to bring in one item that they associate with a loved one who has passed away – a photo, a keepsake, anything. We’ll be displaying them on a table at the front of assembly. The ceremony will involve folks coming up to the table, saying the name of their loved one they are memorializing, and placing a small stone (we’ll provide it) in a bed of sand. All are welcome to join in or sit out.

When: Sunday, October 20th, 2019 at 10 AM – 11:30 AM

Where: Community Forge
1256 Franklin Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15221

Sunday Assembly Pumpkin Day is announced

Pumpkin Day has become a Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh tradition. Every year the community drives out to Shenot Farm in Wexford, PA and engages in an afternoon of autumnal fun. Activities include a hayride, corn mazes, apple and pumpkin picking, and more.

Bring the family and friends, and join the community! Follow us on Facebook to stay connected!

When: Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 2 PM – 4 PM

Where: Shenot Farm
3754 Wexford Run Rd, Wexford, Pennsylvania 15090

Speaker Alert: CMU student to discuss dark matter at the next Assembly

In honor of 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the theme of this Sunday’s Assembly will be ‘Space’. The main speaker will be Alex Jackson, a physics student at Carnegie Mellon University. Check out their bio and a summary of the talk below:


Alex Jackson is a board of directors member and the current Activism Chair of the Pittsburgh Freethought Community as well as Physics student at Carnegie Mellon University. As a theoretical cosmology research assistant at the University of Pittsburgh, she is currently investigating the way different theories and models of dark matter influence stellar evolution.

Dark Matter, an overview:

When astronomers look into the night sky they notice that things are not adding up, quite literally. Our universe has an abundance of “stuff” that we can’t see and can only indirectly measure, causing everything to be much more massive than we would otherwise expect it to be. This dark matter, as it came to be called, was a shock to scientists and ever since its discovery countless experiments have been conducted to observe, classify, and understand, what exactly dark matter is. In this talk I’ll address reasons we have to believe in the existence of dark matter, where the study of dark matter is today, and the most promising directions current research is going in.


When: Sunday, July 21st, 2019 at 10 AM – 11:30 AM

Where: Community Forge
1256 Franklin Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15221

NASA’s space projects kids (or adults) can do at home

. Your kids don’t have to go to space to become interested in the topic – there are dozens of space projects on the NASA website. The projects range from making ‘universe’ slime to building a bubble-powered rocket.

The theme of the next Assembly is ‘Space’, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. We hope to see you there!

Check out the NASA’s projects here: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/menu/do/

Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh is a secular community that celebrates life. Visit the events page to see what’s happening in the community: Events

The advice a pastor gave to a crowd of non-believers

Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh described itself as a, “secular community that celebrates life”. Many of the members consist of atheists, agnostics, and people who don’t identify with any label. Pastor Natalie Hall was invited to speak at Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh. She gave five practices called the “Faith5” that families and households can adopt. The Faith5 is based on the idea that practicing “the content of your beliefs in conversation together, you are claimed as part of something good, which is larger than yourself”. Pastor Hall went on to describe the Faith5 as “a fierce, bold act of love and stability – both in your home and in the
world”. The Fait5 as described by Pastor Hall are:


The goal is to listen and really hear from the people you live with. You can circle
back another time for conversation. Now is just the time to listen.


Read a text that is important to you. A text that you feel is meaningful and that you are interested in having shape your life. A proverb. A poem. A quotation. A brief story of some sort. Find something – or a variety of somethings – that works for your household. Consider having the various people in your home take turns sharing an important text. What do you want to hear that expresses meaning and purpose?

Talk (often thought to be the most difficult)

The goal is to figure out how the thing you read relates to you and the people in your home. You’re looking for two things: Pinch – something needs to change, and promise (where is the gift?). Briefly explore how what you read applies to your highs and lows. How
could the impact your daily life and work? Recognize, too, that there’s no “right answer.” It’s the conversation that’s important.


For Jews, Christians, and Muslims, this piece involves addressing God in some way, uniting everyone in that divine center of common faith. Yet, if you don’t believe in God, another way to view this step is simply finding a clear way of connecting with the members of your household that extends to a point beyond one another. For example, have a moment of silence in which you acknowledge that you’ve seen and heard one another.

Everyone of any belief system might reimagine this part of your evening conversation as standing together with those you love, pointing, and saying, “Hey, would you look at that! “Thank you for the joy. Help with the sorrow. Wow that was amazing today.” This is nothing more and nothing less – than a ritualized way of acknowledging one another and holding one another’s humanity gently and near.

Finally, Bless one another

A blessing is essentially a benediction (Latin for Good Word) – something you say and do at the end of an important time together. It’s the equivalent of a hug and kiss goodnight rooted explicitly in the nurturing conversation you had together – a safe touch that holds you close to one another, even after you go your separate ways to sleep.

Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh is a secular community that celebrates life. Visit the events page to see what’s happening in the community: Events

Amazing photos from the Apollo missions: Celebrating 50 years

The next Assembly is on July 21st, and the theme will be ‘Space’ to honor the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Upon browsing the web to find how other people are celebrating, I found an archive of thousands of photos uploaded to Flickr from the Apollo missions. Below are some of the amazing photos. Look at all the photos on the Flickr page: Project Apollo Archives

Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh is a secular community that celebrates life. Visit the events page to see what’s happening in the community: Events