Letter writer: Asheville offers multiple spiritual (and nonspiritual) paths

I enjoyed the cover article for a December issue (posted online on Dec. 24) entitled “Churches in the fall: local churches get back to their roots in a rapidly changing millennial culture” [Dec. 25, Xpress].

Howard Hanger, founder of Jubilee! definitely helps with the hanging chads left behind by more conservative expressions of orthodoxy and orthopraxy (right behavior). Hopefully an equally charismatic minister will lead Jubilee! when Hanger retires.

I joined David Brandt Berg’s Merry Pranksters in 1971, became an independent associate in the fall of 1973 and broke ties in 1976. My cousin sold roses at stoplights for the Moonies.

The Twelve Tribes/ Yellow Deli folk got their start in Chattanooga in the 1970s. Here in Asheville, they are known as Gladheart Farm. They use the same Acts 2:44 collectivist model that Berg’s group does, now known as The Family International.

There has been a rise of the Nones in recent years, folks with no religious affiliation.

Asheville Humanist Meetup has over 150 members and has been around since 2012. The international Sunday Assembly Movement — catering to agnostics and atheists — has been around since 2013. No Asheville chapter yet as far as I can tell, but there are chapters in Atlanta and Nashville. Bart Ehrman would probably fit right in.

Social media provides community for many. As a recent New Yorker cartoon put it, “My LinkedIn account is starting to pay off: I got two new followers on Twitter.”

My nephew enjoys an affiliation with The Church of the SubGenius.

When will we have a church for those who are religious but not spiritual?

— Mick Bysshe


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