Sunday, October 28, 2012

Installation & Fitting In

Today we attended the installation of my sister-in-law into her new church.  She is an ELCA (Lutheran) minister and was called to a new congregation. At first I didn't want to go.  I am still dealing with abandonment issues regarding her leaving the church that our kids attend school at and moving to a new congregation.  In the end, though, she obviously needs to do what is best for her and her family and I need to get over myself. 

It was really a great service.  I can understand why she is attracted to the congregation.  It is much more dynamic, open to innovative ideas on how service should be conducted.  Today, the Liberian members led the worship.  The kids and I loved the music.  It was just so joyful.  In fact, the whole service felt joyful and light.  While her installation was a special occasion and not every worship will be like this, I have the feeling that this is not unusual for them. 

Of course, I had to compare this with our UU congregation.  While we have our light-hearted moments, some times it just feels heavy and so serious. I am not sure why that is.  After the ELCA service, I felt like hanging out with these people and coming to their chili cook-off the following Saturday.  I then saw pictures of my congregations Halloween party on Facebook.  We were invited, but didn't attend.  In fact, we rarely go to events at the church.  I love many of the people at church and have several Sunday friends.  But, for some reason, I am reluctant to connect outside of the church morning.  What is my problem?! I feel like something is holding me back and I don't know what it is. I want to be fully connected, but somehow don't feel like I fully fit in.   We have been attending this congregation for a few years, but I am still struggling with committing 100 percent.  Any one else have these issues?  Any solutions?

1 comment:

John Hansen said...

It's a similar issue with me and my congregation. In my area there are two UU churches: the big one downtown, and the little one near my place in the suburbs. I go to the little one. Time to time, we have joint services like the All Souls Service we had yesterday which was pretty serious as its intention was to remember those we lost over the past year.

I like both congregations but even after four years of attending, I feel like a visitor. The big one is in an affluent neighbourhood and its congregation reflects that. The little one is an older congregation without many younger people and I feel as though, while I'm welcome there, I'm sitting in on someone else's club.

I'm not sure what to do about that.

That said, I'm always happy to find UUs on the internet.