There are so many ways people choose to share a common set of beliefs; church being likely the most obvious among them. It seems that lately I have found myself in the company of quite a few friends who are either aetheist or agnostic; that is, either they believe there is no god, or they think there may be a god or gods, but they don't believe in him/her/them.
Regardless of which camp I fall into, I've learned a great deal from having such a diverse group of friends. People are passionate about their beliefs and will argue and defend them tirelessly to any detractors.
The most amazing discovery I have made is this - I love the debate. I enjoy a well thought out argument and relish the chance to match wits with anyone who sees it as a healthy intellectual exercise, and not a personal attack. I don't expect to change anyone's mind; nor do I think anyone will sway my beliefs one way or another. What I love is hearing people passionately defend their belief systems and showing me their rationale for believing what they do. What I find annoying is those who follow on blind faith alone.
The past year has taught me something very interesting about myself. While I am not a "church goer" in the traditional sense, I am far from lacking fellowship. My ever-growing circle of friends is more supportive and fulfilling than I could ever imagine an "organized" group to be. They are my family as much or more than any blood relative could ever be.
2012 has given me so much, and I hope I have, in return, given back at least a little. Find your people, whomever they are. Enjoy each other, and allow those around you the same freedom, in whatever form that takes.