I have been getting seriously involved at the UUAA lately. It all stems from one action. A month ago, feeling especially lonely (you know, the usual “all my friends that I know from grad school have moved away, and I have two friends left!” feeling), I messaged the UUAA 20’s & 30’s Yahoo group to see if anyone was interested in getting drinks occasionally. Now our 20s & 30s group is not very active at all. Like most UU churches, it seems, there’s a dearth of activity for/by adults in that 20-39 (+/-) age group. A few people came out, then a few more people joined, and suddenly, I know people in the congregation. In the space of a month, I’ve gone from feeling like an outsider (albeit one who’s been going for a year) to feeling like a member of the congregation. I actually talk to people during Social Hour.
As a result of talking with one of the people who went to the happy hour, I ended up attending the membership class and also trying out ushering. As a result of attending the membership class, I met more people and am signing the membership book this Sunday. And ushering – I liked that. I liked being able to say hi to so many people, I liked greeting them with a smile and a cheerful message and feeling like I make a small difference in making their day a little brighter. Plus, I think it’s important for other adults my age to see someone in such a conspicuous position in the church. We are there in the congregation, you know, and we need to make ourselves more visible and part of the community.
Oh, and finally, I am facilitating Chalice Circles this coming fall and winter (this was arranged last spring). We had a facilitator’s “training” this last Saturday, and it was so inspiring. I know this is going to be a very meaningful experience – and a learning experience, too.
So yes, what a lot! And I love it. I finally feel like I’m becoming part of the community – and I’ve missed that so much! I’ve missed being part of a large group of loosely and tightly connected people. The more I become part of this group, the more I crave. I hadn’t realized how much I needed this sense of community until I suddenly seem to have it within reach. For an introvert, I sure do need to surround myself with people!