Single White Heathen?

8 May

Tonight I was talking on the phone to a close friend of mine. She is also single, also Christian, and someone whose opinion I respect a great deal. Over the course of our three-hour conversation, we covered a lot of ground. One of the things I confessed to her was that I haven’t been going to church much lately.

Yeah, I admit it, except for a couple of Sundays during Lent, I haven’t been to church since Christmas.

I have a lot of reasons for not going to church. At least, I call them reasons. You might (rightly) call them excuses.

  • God made me a night person, and when you’re not going to bed until 3 or even 5 in the morning, it’s not easy to get up for 10:30 church.
  • My church doesn’t have Saturday night services.
  • I’ve never felt very connected, despite being a member for 5 years, because there’s a definite emphasis on family and parenting.
  • There is no singles ministry.
Despite all this, I am feeling pretty good about my relationship with God. I honestly believe iit’s better to be in community with other Christians, but I also feel I have that community—online. I have Christian friends I email or phone. I have a Christian discussion group online. I have been doing a better job of almost-daily Bible reading and much more consistent prayer.

But I feel guilty for not going to church. I feel guilty complaining about my church instead of trying to help make things better. In a congregation of 600+ people, I can’t be the only single thirtysomething trying to find my niche. I could talk to one of the ministers about the gap I sense in services. i could try to find a toddler-free small group.

…Instead, I’m starting with a baby step. I’m thinking about Wednesday night services. Despite growing up Christian, I’ve never been a Wednesday night kind of person, so I have no idea what to expect. But maybe I’ll see someone else sitting by herself. Maybe I’ll have the guts to introduce myself.
Maybe not. But I’m going to try.

6 Responses to “Single White Heathen?”

  1. Joelle May 8, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    I have periods like that too. I’ve been going pretty steadily *this* year, except I skipped out the last couple weeks because the messages were on raising children and blended families. Sorry to hear you don’t have a Saturday service, because I love that option in the non-winter months, so I can get out early Sunday morning and enjoy God’s creation.

    Good luck with Wednesday night!

    • SWC May 9, 2012 at 1:12 am #

      Thanks! I just found out the “theme” at church for this summer is Gold Medal Families…. that doesn’t make me all tingly with hope, but I’m going to give it a try…

  2. Debbie May 9, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Gold Medal Families… sounds right.
    I have a job that requires me to be on site 24/7, unless I take un-paid time off so I haven’t been involved in a church since I moved to Texas from Oregon a year and a half ago. I have, however, made some surprisingly dear friends and found an interesting, very diverse community on line. Most who read TMG are Christians, some are of other faiths, some are still searching. We’re good for each other. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • SWC May 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

      Wow, that sounds like I rough job! But yeah, I feel like I’m not the only person at my church who probably doesn’t find it easy to attend morning services. I live in a part of the state where there are a lot of factory jobs, so there are probably a lot of shift workers who don’t find it easy to worship.

      I agree that the diversity of the online community is part of its appeal. I feel like I have grown and matured in ways that I might not otherwise have done, before becoming part of an online blogging community. (My roots are at LiveJournal, so I’m still learning WordPress.)

  3. kittu9 May 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    I understand and sympathize with this–I’m orthodox Christian, but since moving to Chicago two years ago, have had a difficult time getting to liturgy. I have excuses too–physical disabilities, finances, and graduate school all make it difficult to travel–but I really miss having a church community. It is terribly difficult to be part of a community that comprised of families, though; I like babies as much as the next person, but it’s hard to find the parts of the message that address the concerns and needs of a single person.

    (Found you through the 100 Things index–I’m a SWC myself, so I was curious about your topic.)

    • SWC May 22, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

      Hi, and thanks for stopping by! ๐Ÿ™‚

      It is difficult to keep going it alone, isn’t it? And for me, it’s so much easier to start making excuses when I feel like I’m part of a group that the church isn’t really going out of its way to welcome. I honestly don’t know what the answer is. I don’t want a church that’s full of only single people, but I want a church that realizes it’s made up of more than just married folks with kids. ๐Ÿ™‚

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