December 23, 2018 at 9:16 am #9197
I was the minister of a Unitarian Universalist church for about ten years. I think we really could form congregations in different parts of the US. I’m not familiar with other country’s requirements for starting religious fellowships. Would love to explore this topics with others.
December 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm #9218
My small “congregation” meets at the local bowling alley. It’s not formal, but I wouldn’t mind running a true congregation…
December 24, 2018 at 7:17 am #9460
I think meeting at a bowling alley is perfect. Many bowling alleys also have classrooms and might be the best place to get going. I could be wrong but believe bowling alleys would welcome a group who would meet regularly, bowl as part of their ritual, consume white russians and oat sodas, and bring the laid back jocularity of the group to their business.
How did you meet others in you area (remind me where you live) who were interested in meeting once per month?
December 26, 2018 at 4:30 am #9751
Happy Winter Solstice Holidays Russ!
I’m in Buffalo, NY. It started out as just a couple of my friends and I, then, just from posting on the good ol’ facebook that we were having services and to let me know so I can reserve enough lanes we started to grow a little more. We’re up to about 12 people when most can make it. But the winter and summer are much slower (a lot of the group is still in college and leave the area when on break).
December 26, 2018 at 7:15 am #9774
Very cool Joe!
I’ve recently deleted my FB account. I’m glad I did but it will very possibly make finding like minded souls a bit more difficult. Keep up the good work! I’d really like to commune with other Dudeists face to face.
December 31, 2018 at 4:08 am #10506
I’m liking the idea of congregation building at Lebowskifests. It’s the best chance of seeing like minded folk en masse.
December 31, 2018 at 6:13 am #10513
If congregations were to be formalized (right now, my group is basically just a laid back bowling meet-up) what would be discussed? What type of format would the services be? Would it be segmented and regular like a “normal mass” or would it be more of an open forum/discussion with a moderator/priest?
I looked up what a typical UUA service is like and the format could work for a dudeist service (with some tweaks of course)
Elements of a typical Unitarian Universalist Sunday morning worship service include:
•Words of welcome
•Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith
•A multigenerational segment, such as a “story for all ages”
•Music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles
•A time for lifting up the joys and concerns of the congregation
•A meditation or prayer
•Readings—ancient or contemporary
•A sermon given by a professional minister, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation
•An offering, collecting financial donations for the congregation or for justice work in the community.
( https://www.uua.org/beliefs/get-involved/sunday )
There is also the weekly Taoism.net meetings that usually start with a welcome, then a reading of a chapter of the Tao De Ching and a discussion/sermon about that chapter.
I’m going to do some digging and see what it takes to have a true congregation in my area.
December 31, 2018 at 6:47 am #10515
I’m loving all of the other religions websites right now! The Universal Life Church has a great article on starting your own church. http://www.ulc.orgtraining/starting-a-church
It sounds like the best option would be to start a “ministry”, going full formal church requires a lot of legal stuff and probably isn’t the best way to start. Simple ministry seems like the way to go. Start small with what will basically be a meet-up group, then if the need arises and growth occurs, look into going 501c3 not for profit / incorporating.
It doesn’t make sense to go through with all the legal hassle to have it fizzle out a few months later.
I’m still researching this. I hope to find a small, non-major denomination church to see what it takes to start.
December 31, 2018 at 3:56 pm #10563
i think you and I are very much on the same page. I’m biased towards the UUA form of “worship” because I believe it could be applied to just about any form of religious expression. I also believe the ULC has some things to offer us as far as forming/creating religious communities.
The thing is, as best I understand it, our form of worship can be or look like just about anything. I wonder if a little tai chi might be worthwhile? I wonder if a sacrament of a White Russian (or J) might be a part of the service. Could bowling play a role? I think a message should be the centerpoint of a service. Unless the mother church requires a particular liturgy we can do what works best in our particular locale.
I’d also suggest looking at other resources for congregational formation. My understanding is that most states make it quite easy to start a religious community. Most, in fact the vast majority of, religious communities are not 501(c)(3) organizations. The ULC because of its legal status might be looking to be extra careful. Though this could be instructive for us too…
What I believe to be most important would be a core of about 20 people who’d really like to see the group get up and going. I think we could really do this!
January 6, 2019 at 3:07 pm #11426thecranecorreiaParticipant
Hi! I am a current minister, I’m Rev. Miguel T. nice page!
January 7, 2019 at 9:38 am #11551
I’m meeting with a fellow Dudeist this weekend to chat about getting something “official” up and running. I’ll update with what we discuss, but I’m thinking we would start out as a simple ministry, without a formal meeting space. We would likely meet at coffee shops/parks/public gazebos or shelters/etc. If we gain a substantial, 20-30 person, congregation then we will look into making it more formal and consider calling it a “church”.
Depending on the legality of everything, if we go formal and register as a church, I’d love to be able to call it “The Buffalo Church of the Latter-Day Dude” or just “The Church of the Latter-Day Dude” but I’m also keen on the name “The Buffalo Church of Dudeism” or “The Buffalo Ministry of Dudeism”
All things to be discussed and considered. There’s a lot of strands in ol’ Duder’s head, lot of ins, lot of outs, lot of what-have-yous.
January 8, 2019 at 12:53 pm #11741
Hey Joey, think about libraries too. Often if you are a member they’ll allow a free room or for a small fee. They’ll sometimes help you advertise to other members through meeting notices. I think you are taking a great approach.
January 9, 2019 at 6:55 am #11835
Never thought about libraries! That’s a solid idea! I’ve been looking into the idea of “Pop-Up” churches and how mainstream churches are now beginning to do this very thing we are discussing: holding church services outside of the church.
People don’t want to GO to church. It’s just not something we do anymore. It’s not in our social DNA any longer. As a society, we have moved on from the set schedule and are now in the “on demand” era. People don’t rush home to catch their favorite show, they either DVR it or watch it when it’s convenient for them on HULU. Hell, even our stores support this. Stores don’t close anymore. Most are 24 hours if you’re in a fairly big city and you can just go out and grab whatever you want/need whenever you please.
You can see the correlation between stores that close and populations that still go to church. I grew up in the country. Our one store would close at 9pm and most of the town would attend one of the FIVE churches we have there. I graduated with 12 other kids from my town. The idea of 5 churches (all sitting around the town’s central park with an old church and the town hall being the other buildings) in that small of a town is crazy to me!
Now, people can’t be bothered with something that happens at a specific time and they have to go to a certain place to do it. That’s where the pop-up church comes into play. Instead of the people going to you, you go to the people. I’m also looking at the possibilities of bars (specifically bars in bowling allies) as a prime location for the pop-up church.
wow…I’m rambling like crazy right now. What was I talking about?
January 10, 2019 at 12:14 pm #12067
Hey Joey! Love how you are thinking out of the box. One thing to keep in mind is that anything we call a “church” will turn some people off. People of the Jewish faith are not inclined to go to church. That’s part of the reason why you’ll see many UU churches call themselves “congregations” or “fellowships” (the latter is used for other reasons too) as to be a bit more inclusive. That way Walter can attend too:-)
My initial idea was to think about a bowling Center because they often have classroom space and a bar (for sacramental purposes of course!).
January 10, 2019 at 12:18 pm #12071
Totally agree. I’m hoping to find an alley that will “sponsor” the dudeism services, aka let us use a room for free then we all pay for bowling/drinks after. That would be dope. I’m meeting a fellow dude on Saturday to talk shop and to brain storm some ideas.
January 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm #12073
Far out! The bowling center would benefit too from having a group of regulars bowling and buying drinks. Good luck Saturday and have fun.
January 31, 2019 at 3:27 pm #15150pdunningParticipant
Following dudes. Great ideas thus far.
February 1, 2019 at 4:30 am #15248
Update: We’ve had a crazy little blizzard and my meet-up has been postponed yet again.
February 2, 2019 at 8:59 pm #15452DudesssParticipant
Howdy! Any Dudeists here from Wyoming or thereabouts?
February 7, 2019 at 9:58 am #16284BobG9638Participant
Became an ordained Dudeist Minister in 2016
Formally registered as a resident clergy in my state (Massachusetts) in the summer of 2018, and performed my first Dudeist marriage on 10-7-2018
My flock is small, but, hey, why not 🙂
February 13, 2019 at 6:23 am #17926
Did you notice your spirituality increase after performing your first wedding ceremony? After I performed my first wedding I felt a great surge of validation. It really drove me to explore the religion as a whole.
February 7, 2019 at 11:42 am #16341
Very cool Bob!
March 14, 2019 at 5:39 am #21829
Howdy! I finally have an update!!!
I met with my friend to discuss the idea of a Buffalo Church of Dudeism. We have come up with a preliminary plan to get the ball rolling.
- To start, we are going to try for a once a month gathering/service.
- Over the summer months it is going to just be us, our special ladies and a few other dudes.
- We will hold our first ‘public’ service in September
- It’s going to act as a ministry for now, until we can get a strong and regular congregation.
- We are currently aiming for a 5 year goal of becoming a true church, 501(3)(c) and all.
- We would like a solid 50 person congregation before involving the government and any money
- Long term would be to open a small, free standing church that is basically a private bowling alley.
- We talked some preliminary ideas for this which include:
- A possible monthly membership for unlimited bowling
- Free bowling as part of the regular services
- The actual service taking place at the bar, with the bartender being the facilitator of the talks.
- We talked some preliminary ideas for this which include:
We also discussed some preliminary outline ideas of how the services would go. Here’s what we liked most:
- Having 1-2 people facilitate a group discussion of a Dudeism related topic.
- Topics could also be Taoist/Buddhist/Confucian ideas that relate to Dudeism.
- Service takes place at the bar
- while in the ministry phase, setting up shop at tables in a corner
- Ultimately at our own bar of our own bowling alley.
- Bowling and further discussion after the discussion/jam sections.
- The facilitators will start the discussions with a small reading from their source info. Then they will give their ‘sermon/homily’ on it. Followed by a group discussion/jam on the topic.
- We will be playing with the idea of having a second topic, but will probably stay to 1 at the start.
- The service will take place while waiting for the lanes to open up
- The facilitators will rotate and be open to any member who has been ordained.
- The only rule is, if you preach any negativity or break any of the rules that the facebook groups have, you will get a warning and your privilege to preach will be revoked after a second offense.
- We will set up a board of directors once the group reaches a certain level of membership. We are thinking 20-25 for now, but that may end up happening sooner.
- The Board would have someone in charge of scheduling the facilitators, someone in charge of the facebook group/meet up group, and whatever else we realize we would need during our summer test phase.
Other random things we came up with:
- Free sessions where we set up a TV and Wii Bowling
- These can be at public parks where there are shelters with power
- typically first come first served
- Will operate as a ‘pop-up church’
- These can be at public parks where there are shelters with power
- Not limiting ourselves to just one bowling alley.
- Coffee shops, libraries, parks, anywhere!
Our next step is getting together at the lanes and seeing what happens!
March 14, 2019 at 6:21 am #21835
Holy effin Smokes Joe!
This is massively impressive!
March 14, 2019 at 6:34 am #21841
Felt great jamming with John. A couple times during our talks we got side tracked with concepts and starting discussing various dudeist topics and it was very nice conversation. I can only hope that the Dudeism Services conversations go the same way.
My favorite topic we talked about, which I really want to turn into an article for this site, was the uproar over the Dude being in the Stella commercial. This lead to the topic of the ‘Canonized Dude’. Great stuff came out of that convo.
March 14, 2019 at 11:16 am #21860
Our first (preliminary, not open to public yet) Dudeism Service will be next Wednesday the 20th. Going to keep it small 6 max (one lane) to ensure we can get a lane. I’ll add a recap after.
May 24, 2019 at 4:22 am #28609
It has been a WHILE since I’ve been on here. I was knocked out with a medical issue on 3/15/19 so that initial Dudeism Service didn’t happen. However! Our next scheduled service is on June 2nd. We are expecting at least 6 people in attendance, possibly up to 10. I’m both nervous and excited for this adventure.
The preliminary idea is:
- Scope out the bowling alley, if it’s packed, get on the waiting list and head to the bar, if it’s empty go right to the bar.
- Grab some oat sodas and a table
- I’ll do a little welcome (most of the congregation is from my network of people)
- I’ll introduce fellow Dude, John.
- John does a short reading from the Abide Guide and does a homily of sorts
- I then do a short reading from the Dude de Ching that correspondes to Johns reading and do a little homily of sorts
- Then we will have an open forum discussion/jam on the topic of the week.
- If we are waiting for a lane, we’ll start in the bar and continue when we bowl
- If we waited to get a lane, we will get a lane and start the conversation there.
- Bowl a couple games while talking about the week’s topic.
I’d LOVE to start the Welcome part with lighting a small white birthday candle, symbolizing the ceremonial ‘sparking of the jay’ and end with scattering wood ash in the parking lot taken from a Folger’s can. But that’s something we may add later.
Again, I’ll post a recap of how it goes.
May 25, 2019 at 12:23 pm #28699Average DudeParticipant
[quote quote=28609]I was knocked out with a medical issue on 3/15/19[/quote]
Hey buddy, only noticed that bit today. Hope you’re doing better now. Just make sure to take it easy. 🙂
May 31, 2019 at 12:11 pm #29045
Hey buddy, only noticed that bit today. Hope you’re doing better now. Just make sure to take it easy.
I’m good! I had appendicitis. Didn’t burst. I’m all healed up now!
June 1, 2019 at 5:33 am #29096Average DudeParticipant
Glad to hear it! 🙂
June 3, 2019 at 4:21 am #29236
First service is in the books! Full post in a new thread
September 3, 2021 at 4:51 pm #95195larkinmarieParticipant
I know there’s been a whole pandemic since this thread was started, but I love the idea of Wii Bowling or some online or VR bowling while discussing Dudely topics.
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