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How do I start a new congregation?

Congregations are one of the two main types of member groups that make up the religious community of The Satanic Temple. (The other type of member group is Campaigns.) TST has congregations across the United States and Canada, and a growing number of congregations in Europe and Australia as well. Before you dive into taking steps to start a new congregation you should reach out to any congregations in your area, or even just nearby in your general region. Even if they are very far away, you should talk to them and find out what activities they are involved in. Even if you do end up striving to form your own congregation, it will be easier and faster for you to do so if you are on good terms with congregation leadership in your region. They may also be able to tell you important history and information related to why there isn’t a congregation closer to you. Or, they may be aware of an existing candidate group in the area that is not an official congregation yet but is aspiring to become an official congregation. You can then either decide to join their effort, or collaborate and coordinate with them to find the most sensible way for you each to form independent groups.

When you have contacted leadership in your state or region, or in a nearby state or region, they may refer you to the Recognition and Onboarding Committee (ROC). The ROC is the main coordinating body that ushers candidate groups along the process of becoming recognized as official congregations. It is usually more productive if you can build a constructive, collaborative relationship with local leadership in your region instead of simply “cold calling” the ROC; however. there will be times when your next move will simply need to be to submit your information to the ROC and wait for advice. Be polite and courteous, and remember that everyone in this organization is a volunteer and operating on limited time and energy. It may take several weeks for you to get a response. Your best move is to simply check in from time to time to politely ask for updates, and in the meantime get involved in our religious community in other ways.

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