What non-religious communities and social groups do you belong to? I am seeking a sense of community for my kids that is not based in a religion.
Join an "interest group" instead, gardening, walking, chess, martial arts, travel club and especially natural history or science, whatever. (It needs to be something they can enjoy.) It does not have to be a support group as such if they are only well integrated into a social group, then they will in the end find the support they need from the people who care about them there, the important thing is to meet people who like the same things they do, and in the mean time they can have fun. And people who have interests are generally people who care and think.
it's funny that all the responses i see (at a glance anyway) are churches of some kind!
i don't know for sure but i suspect the girl scouts have some kind of god thing going; i know the boy scouts do, alas. so... how about irish dance, or some other kind of athletic/artistic group endeavor? is there a way for kids to volunteer in some meaningful way? sorry, i don't have kids but it seems to me there must be something out there.
I am told the Unitarians are nondenominational and have atheists attending who wish for the sense of community that religion provides (in my opinion, the sense of community and belonging is th eonly positive aspect oforganized religion).
meetup.com has many atheist, critical thinking groups, but I am nto aware of any tht include kids in activities.
Just took a minute to do a quick Google search. There evidently are soem atheist family oriented activity groups, although not many. Try searching "atheist kids group" followed by your zip coade in Google. If you are ever lookign for anything local, do a search using your zip code.
Easier said than done. In my community you can be a "don't ask, don't tell" covert unbeliever in a liberal church (e.g., Episcopal), you can be an open atheist for the most part in a post-Christian congregation like the Unitarian-Universalists, and you can volunteer for various charities, either secular or run as separate non-profits by religious bodies. That's about it. If you're lucky enough to be near a humanist club that has some form of public meetings, that's another option.
When you think about it, atheism is a pretty limited and narrow belief position on a specific topic. It doesn't really have much to work with as a basis for community, which requires some kind of shared experience to coalesce. For example, the shared experience of grief and loss brings people together to cope therewith, but it's not a broad enough basis for the whole family.
I'm not sure eradicating all religious overtones from a community is necessary to enjoy it. In practice people mostly don't go to those places with each other in a sufficiently liberal-minded environment. It's a live and let live ethos. Don't discount it.
My wife and I don't seem to get anywhere with this more because we're introverted and private people, who find socializing exhausting and intrusive by the nature of our personalities. But if you really need community (not merely the notion of it) then you probably in most cases are over-limiting yourself by requiring it to be 110% religion-free.