"What we really would like to see is a community center where people can come by at anytime and to use it as a space to study or have a meeting for various committee," said Chris Stedman, the assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard.
Stedman said he sees the new building as a place for people to gather, not only to become part of a humanist community, but to also become more engaged with the world.
When he talks about his plans for the future, Epstein appears to long for a time when the new community center could mimic aspects of church - a place for baby-naming ceremonies, weddings and funerals.
The success of an atheist church will depend on walking the thin line between too much and too little ritual, Epstein said.
Humanists boast a proud freethinking streak, and some at the Harvard event said they don't want to be associated with any sort of dogma or belief system - or even a system based on disbelief.
Anyway, Esptein said his congregation will be less a group of people united by beliefs - or disbelief - and more like an opera, or a painting.
"Our community is like a work of art," he said. "Hopefully people will respond to that work of art and it will garner controversy and discussion like a work of art."