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:
1. Sign up.
2. Put your pin on the World Map so people can see how many are near them.
3. Hover you mouse over the Groups tab and choose Local Groups, search for your area or browse through the list.
4. If your area is not there, suggest that we create a group for it (this link is also under the Groups tab). Be realistic in your suggested boundaries so you are accessible to a sufficient number of people.
5. Once your group is going, announce meetings in the Events section (under the “Members” tab) and also on our Facebook page.

For sharing, use the groups or the Wall. For debate and academic stuff, use the discussions.
After you sign up, take it slowly: don’t try to do too much. Join your local group, read the Wall, and maybe join one interest group. Limit the emails you receive.

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.

Our Unitarian Universalist resource pages include hints about forming a UU Pantheist group, sample sermons and services, and leaflets you can print out to put in the literature rack.

Getting a local group going yourself is possible, but you will have to be committed and willing to work hard.

You will need to:
1. Print notices of the time and location and a contact number
2. Post them in suitable locations – bulletin boards in health food shops and cafes, Unitarian Universalist fellowships, and environmental and freethinking groups.
3. Place small classified ads in suitable local papers and free publications.

Image1.jpg (15143 bytes) 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).
You may be able to recoup this from members, but you may end up carrying the can. It can work for interests and areas with plenty of people, but it’s tough for smaller groups.
Under the Meetup model there is a paying organizer who chooses the venues. Of course, if attenders are paying their share, they will want a say in where you meet, also.
RSVPs are a problem: Pantheists don’t seem to be good at that (nor are Unitarian Universalists). This means that no-one is quite sure how many people will come, and few people are ready to take the risk of turning up solo.
Click the link below to see what Pantheist Meetups there are and where. Be aware that because of Meetup’s stupid policy, many non-pantheist groups show up in the list (especially pagans and atheists).
Look at the numbers waiting to see what the potential might be iff you start one.
If you decide to jump in, remember that it will only work if you are conscientious and promote the group and message the members and much else.

Pantheist Meetups near you
World map of Pantheist Meetups

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Southern California,  Lake Malibu
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London,  Hampstead Heath
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Rome,  Italy