I’m Pretty Sure I Have a Gold Medal in Singleness

9 May

Just when I was trying to recommit myself to attending church on a regular basis…

I got my quarterly church newsletter in the mail this week. The front page is covered in words, but the biggest one on it is FAMILY.

Okay, I’ll see what they actually have to say… Turn the page…

The preaching minister’s column is about how to have a “gold medal family”–and he talks about your marriage and children. Parents and grandparents get a separate mention. And then he says the family is more under attack today than ever before. Hmm. I disagree, but that’s a post for a different day.

Okay, let’s skip the Preschool Ministry and Children’s Ministry pages, because none of that applies to me. Oh, wait, the page after that is Student Ministry, so I can skip another whole page. Where does that get me?

Worship Ministry. Okay, he doesn’t write about family. He’s writing about…um, Eddie Rickenbacher. Okay. Interesting connection to worship, but moving on…

Next page is Discipleship, where the discipleship minister encourages families to take their family vacation to the North American Christian Convention. There’s even a teen convention! Okay, I don’t have the money or inclination to travel to Orlando, and that’s all he has to say on his page, so moving on…

Oh boy. WOMEN’S MINISTRY. I cringe every time I think of the Women’s Ministry, because, well… You’ll see. What is the Women’s Ministry doing this summer? They’re reading books. The Vow, which might be based on a true story, but looks like a sappy romance. And another sappy romance with a local link. Oh, or you could read about how to raise children who are survivors. Yeah, okay, so the Women’s Ministry is really the Wives’ and Moms’ Ministry. Good to know, I’ll skip that page too, from now on.

What do I have left? Missions, which actually is interesting to me, but then part of that page is devoted to a visiting children’s choir. Note to self: skip church that day for sure. The page after that is about the Family Picnic.

…Aaaaand that pretty much exhausts the quarterly newsletter. On the one hand, there are some interesting figures that tell me how much the church is getting in offerings and how much is being spent on missions. But the figures also get my back up, because the church is also averaging over 600 attendees per week to Sunday morning services. Really? Over 600 people a week and you don’t have a Singles’ Ministry? Nothing? Nada? And all you can do is make me feel, once again, like I’m not welcome at your church because I don’t have a husband or kids clinging to my skirts?

I’m not anti-family. I like family. But my church seems to forget that, as a single, I don’t have what you would call a traditional family. Sure, my parents attend the same church I do, but I’m basically a never-married person whose definition of family is not the same as Mom, Dad, two-point-five kids, and a dog. (For one thing, I hate dogs. Sorry, but I’m a crazy cat lady.)

For singles, the entire church is our family. Our friends are our family. And you’re not doing us any favors by making us feel like we’re not welcome unless we come as a package deal with someone of the opposite sex and a couple of rugrats.

Oh, yeah, and one more thing. I’m pretty sure, church, that you did this whole “Gold Medal Families” things four years ago with the last Olympics. Get some new material.

6 Responses to “I’m Pretty Sure I Have a Gold Medal in Singleness”

  1. edarnut May 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Gold Medal Families sounds like a great theme for an adult VBS.

    Is it time to search for a new church family? Or are you going to find others like you there and get something going?

    • SWC May 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

      Ha! That WOULD be a good VBS theme… 🙂

      About searching for a new church family, I don’t know. What drew me there was the amazing Biblical and life applicable preaching and the humility of the preaching pastor. And I still love that part of going to church. I don’t want to give up those sermons. But then again, I could listen to the CDs of the sermons and attend somewhere else for fellowship. But…

      I’m going to try to get in and talk to the pastor, and see if there’s room for a Singles Ministry in the church’s point of view. If it’s not something that he can see happening, I think it’ll be time to start shopping.

  2. Debs May 9, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    Another really great read! My family has historically had mediocre experiences with ‘church families’ so we don’t do the regular church going anymore. Sometimes I wish we did, but it’s hard to find a church tat feels right. I probably wouldn’t have flipped through tat quarterly, but if I had? I would hav seen nothing there that peaks to me, either… I don’t know why singles as a group are so often excluded.

    • SWC May 9, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

      I understand–it is so difficult to find a church home. No church is perfect, obviously, since we’re all human, but some churches definitely seem to fit better than others, so I suppose it’s like the constant search for the perfect bag! (Or am I the only one on that quest…?)

      Something I think we tend to overlook is that the early Christians worshiped in their homes. If your family is worshiping together on a regular basis, I’m pretty sure Paul would have called that a church. 😉

  3. Andrea May 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    You guys should start a singles group – not for dating or anything, just to hang out and have solidarity. We started a group for ‘kids without kids” and its just a bunch of us (paired off and single) who hang out sporting our own versions of family (couple as a family, bunch of friends as family, gay family etc)

    • SWC May 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      That’s something I’ve been arguing with God about for a while…because I don’t want to be “in charge”, for lack of a better term, of a singles group, and also because I still haven’t entirely figured out what it is I want a singles group to be. But I like your idea of a group of people without kids, whether married or single, gay or straight, because in my mind, marriage isn’t as much a dividing line between people as parenthood. Not that parenthood is bad, obviously, but there are an increasing number of us who don’t want to have children, for whatever reason. And we have a much more difficult time (at least I do) relating to parents than to other people who, though married, have chosen not to have kids.

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