Shakespeare's Juliet said: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet". Thus our organization could be the same irrespective of it's name. However, in practice, most people are not as wise as Juliet, and names do have an influence, especially when a new organization is being built from scratch from the ground up. A few of our members have objected to the word "church". I sympathize with them; I'm not a fan of churches in general, but we have not found a better word. We need an organization that can grow very large if we want to influence governments and corporation to take good care of our biosphere. And we probably need to impact people's world view, because materialism and the dedication to economic growth is a key part of the problem.
There are problems with any name. I googled on Earth Fellowship
and found several organizations using those words in various
combinations. The ones I looked at were all associated with pagan
and/or Wiccan beliefs, which is somewhat different than what we are into.
Some of our members are Humanists, and many humanists are atheists, with a strong anti-religious bias. But "humanist" does not automatically imply a strong anti-religious attitude. I consider myself a humanist, but I'm not opposed to all religious beliefs. I'm opposed to any kind of fundamentalism, including dogmatic, devout atheism. The truth is that there is a lot that we don't know, and probably a lot that we are incapable of knowing. I like the quote from J.B.S Haldane: he said something like "The universe is not only stranger than we know, it is stranger than we CAN know."
Einstein was a humanist, yet he had a religious view, in the broad or
general sense. He was in awe of the universe. He often used the word
"god". He seems to have believed in god as a mysterious unknowable
permeating the the universe. I suppose you could say he was a
pantheist. I would have no trouble calling myself a pantheist. Many
famous scientists have had views similar to this. And of course many
were Christians, or Jews, or Muslims, or Buddhists or Hindus.
P.S.: On Oct 10 we changed our name to "Earthchurch". (From "Church of Earth")