4. The Rise Of The Nones

Illustration by Raymond Biesinger for TIME

In the tiny coastal town of La Misin on Mexico's Baja peninsula, dozens of American expats meet for a Sunday gathering they call Not Church. Many of them long ago gave up on traditional religious institutions. But they function as a congregation often does--engaging one another in spiritual conversation and prayer, delivering food when someone is sick and working together to serve the poor.

On a recent Sunday the group, which began as a monthly discussion about a year ago, featured a sunny-haired ordained Presbyterian named Erin Dunigan delivering a sermon about tomatoes and God's call to Samuel. (Organized religion, she...

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