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Michigan Nones and Dones is a community that has been meeting in Southeast Michigan for the last four years in coffee shops, restaurants, parks, and homes to talk about spirituality and make meaning together as friends. This community includes people who are religiously unaffiliated (Nones), people who identify with a faith tradition but have departed from traditional, institutional religious communities (Dones), and people who remain connected to faith communities to some degree but find themselves curious about new ways to form and structure community.
We often say that Michigan Nones and Dones is a community for people who are “spiritually curious but institutionally suspicious.” It’s amazing how people with many various backgrounds and perspectives can gather together under the umbrella of that description. The community includes,
-people who are agnostic and interested in spirituality and forming friendships of meaning (i.e. by this, I mean talking about life — gifts, challenges, what’s going on in the world, things that matter)
-de-affiliated Christians — folks who identify as Christian, but feel disappointed in and/or ostracized by traditional churches, or who have perhaps been excluded by churches,
-people who are atheists who want to uplift the morality of humanism,
-people who might call themselves inter-spiritual, as they grew up with more than one faith tradition,
-people who say, “I’m secular,” or “spiritual but not religious,”
-people who are religiously unaffiliated and unsure about particular, theological beliefs, but who say, “I believe in a Higher Power of some kind,”
-people who say, “I don’t like labels. I just want to have good conversation,”
-people who are connected with traditional faith communities but frustrated with unethical behavior they see happening there, longing for a better vision,
-people who practice spiritual traditions that might fall under the umbrella of mysticism.
Michigan Nones and Dones is first and foremost a community, but I realize it is also an incredible platform for conversation. How rare is it to sit around a table with all of these backgrounds, find some commonality of experience, and uplift different perspectives in ways that enrich all those who are gathered together? We all learn from one another.
It is a wonderful gift to share conversation together. These relationships matter as people are welcomed and heard, invited to share insights, and brought into friendships they might not have made otherwise.
I am grateful, grateful.
Here is a story about us in the Toledo Blade newspaper: ‘Nones and Dones’ help conflicted reconnect to their spiritual side
You can follow Michigan Nones and Dones here on Facebook.