The benefits of supportive social groups
Research on the health and mental benefits of religions show clearly that belonging to a spiritual group can make you feel better, stay healthier and live longer.
This has nothing to do with the actual beliefs of the group – it is simply a result of greater activity levels and greater social support in time of need.
It’s clear that you do not need to have supernatural beliefs in order to get the benefits of belonging to a mutually supportive group. Pantheist groups can provide the same benefits, as well as helping you to:
- make like minded friends
- feel that you are not alone
- share experience and wisdom with others
- give your children a sense of belonging
- share mutual support in times of need
- join with others in social or environmental action
There are four main ways for Pantheists to do this:
- Join our Ning community, join your local group there, and set up gatherings.
- Join a Unitarian Universalist fellowship if there’s one near you, and set up a group inside it.
- Hold a local meeting and post notices in suitable locations.
- Use Meetup (not recommended unless you already have a group going)
|Our Ning community is currently the most effective channel for local gatherings. Your group may already exist – sign up to find out!
Ning is a leading provider of multi-featured social sites with images, videos, music. World Pantheism Ning already has many Pantheist local groups for individual countries, big cities, and US states or regions. A growing number of these groups have arranged local meetings and some of them have turned into regular local groups which meet on a monthly or quarterly basis.
What to do:
USEFUL HINTS FOR NING
| Unitarian Universalist fellowships may be the easiest way of finding other pantheists and getting a group going.
Unitarian Universalism is a non-creedal “religion” whose diverse members are mostly Humanists and other types of non-theist, Pagans, and extremely liberal Jews and Christians.
In most fellowships between a third and two thirds of members are essentially Pantheists. They may not be using that name or have a proper understanding of it, but you can soon put that right.
|Getting a local group going yourself is possible, but you will have to be committed and willing to work hard.
You will need to:
|Meetup may work where there are plenty of people and you are dedicated to making it happen.
Meetup has proved a difficult place for pantheists to get a group going. The cost is high – $144 per year for one location (you can have up to two others for this subscription).