Secular congregations that parallel religious structures have gained in popularity across the United States. Offering community, weekly sermons focusing on current topics in science and society, and song, the gatherings are intended to provide human connection and a desire to belong to something with greater meaning.
However, while these secular communities are responding to social need they lack sustainability and typically disintegrate within a few years. Systems of sacrifice, ritual, and storytelling structure communities and motivate attendance.
The challenge to develop shared purpose and meaningful connections is not simply a response to post-religious structuralism. It also reflects widespread demand for community that is going unmet, with consequences including psychological to societal disfunction.