Why Even Atheists Are Attracted to Rutgers Presbyterian Church in Manhattan

At the centuries old, progressive Rutgers Presbyterian Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, an evolving culture of faith that includes an active pursuit of social justice is drawing atheists among its flock.

“It’s something I never thought would happen,” Valerie Oltarsh-McCarthy, an atheist who sat among the congregation listening to a Sunday sermon on the dangers of genetically modified vegetables told The New York Times.

Despite her personal position on God, McCarthy told the Times she was attracted by “something in the spirit of Rutgers and something in the spirit of the outside world” that caught others like Katharine Butler off-guard too.

She visited the church one day after responding to an advertisement about their environmental activism. She got so involved in that aspect of the church’s work she soon found herself involved in the more traditional parts of the faith community.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this, singing away and all the Jesus-y stuff,” she said. “It was wonderful to find a place larger than me, that’s involved in that and in the community and being of service. It’s nice to find a real community like that.”

The church, according to their website, hosts a Peace and Social Justice Network meeting on the second Sunday of each month that supports issues like anti-war efforts nationally, and healthcare and education advocacy locally.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair