Sunday, September 13, 2009

No comment

Well, that is sad. No comments or constructive suggestions on what to do with those single people in the Church. I do appreciate what was said to me in emails in response to the announcement of the post. But that was all. What are we or I to make of this ennui?

It causes me to not have anything to say. The silence says it all. It tells me no one cares enough to even think about any ideas or voice concerns for the single people in this Church. I am discouraged but I will persevere in one way or another to welcome the stranger, the single stranger who is my brother or sister, who is near or far.

Catherine

photograph by Joshua D Hall

8 comments:

Kirkepiscatoid said...

Oh, I would say that for some of us, it's just such an incredibly raw nerve that we dare not speak up, having felt so ignored or dissed before. Society is so uncomfortable with those of us who are single and reasonably satisfied with it, they are not sure what to say. They don't always understand our "lonely" is not just "lonely for a mate/sexual partner/person in the same house all the time." It's too hard to explain when that is not the norm. So, in my case, I mostly just remain quiet.

Dr. Abigail E. Reynolds said...

I would suggest that your readers have remained quiet on the subject as a result of fear. Perhaps the fear is of being alone, single, isolated from the community of couples. Or perhpas of fear of responsibility. If I do not acknowledge there might be a problem of welcoming and helping to feel at home singles, then I do not have to take the responsibility of addressing the concern within my own church family. The problem for most of us in being alone though is in the fact that alone we must face ourselves. And the issue of singleness forces us to question our aloneness. Whether we are single by choice, by design, by hapenstance, by fate, by the death of a spouse, we are still faced with our aloneness. And people who are not immediately faced with their own possibility of aloneness, perhpas choose not to make an issue of anothers aloneness.

Dr. Rural said...

I'm single. I've also moved a lot, and so have been a member of dozens of churches in the past twenty years. Those churches have ranged from fantastic to ice-cold, but my experience of them had nothing to do with whether they had a "singles ministry" or not.

What distinguished the best parishes was that they had a lot going on: book groups with different focuses (fiction, theology,etc.). Active volunteer opportunities. Prayer groups. Choirs. Habitat for Humanity. A regular afternoon set aside making sandwiches for the soup kitchen. Ideally, any of these should attract both singles and others, forming "mini-communities" within the larger community. I've been in excellent choirs that did just that.

(I do like the idea of common meals. But why limit it to single people? They are the most likely to show up, but why not invite everyone?)

My current church, I'm sorry to say, is kind of a disaster in dealing with single people. Everything from the sermons to the volunteer opportunities tends to assume that parishoners are married couples with school-age children. The rest of us? We don't exist. And so I'm drifting out the door . . .

Jan said...

I'm sorry, Catherine. I seem to have few ideas at all these days. Love.

eileen said...

((((Catherine)))) I'm with Jan - tapped for good ideas, and consumed with work at work...

I don't think I'm "fearful" of single people though..perhaps just at a loss as to what someone who is single might desire/need - after all, I haven't been single in over 20 years, and when I was, I lived at home with my parents, so even then I wasn't exactly "single", if you know what I mean.

This doesn't mean, however, that I'm not open to hearing what those needs/desires are, and helping to implement them. I'm lucky to be in a church with lots of activities and opportunities, which have a wide variety of participants - marrieds and singles alike.

(((((you)))))

Jan said...

Please blog again!

Lisa Fox said...

Catherine, I read your post on being single in the church, and I wanted to respond, but I didn't quite know what to say. Because I don't want any special ministry offered to be as a single person in church.

I would run screaming from any "singles dinner." Those things do seem more like something like a match service. But a dinner at church on Thanksgiving for anyone (single or couples) who want to be with the faith community? I'd sign up in a flash!

I'm with Dr. Rural. I don't want "singles" events. I'd like to have book groups, theology discussion groups, ministry opportunities, etc. which might let single people meet but are -- more importantly -- about ministry and community-building. Those wouldn't make me feel so self-conscious about being single. I'd like more opportunities to meet people who might be friends, whether single or partnered.

In expressing a wish for more such opportunities, I'm not criticizing my parish; it's just too small to have many of them.

Diane said...

Catherine, I haven't been getting around blogs as much as I'd like, lately, but I am thinking and praying about how we welcome the stranger -- single people, but also people from other cultures and places.

Will continue to meditate on this.