This totally doesn’t make any sense.

So, it’s not like I intentionally try to misrepresent myself, but I think often my actions don’t translate well into “normal people speak.” I linger too long in churches. Hell, the fact that I am a 27 year old female with no children and go to church at all is enough to put me in the “weird” category, add in this reluctance to move from my pew or space in the church for much too long after the service probably puts me into “creepy weird” and for those churches and congregations where I really would like to attempt to semi-integrate myself, I try to hang out afterward and I just don’t have the communication skills to bring me out of “that creepy weird quiet girl who hangs out here.”

Two congregations I think of in particular. Both of which I kinda love. Neither of which I have any background in previously. Both of which have accepted me as they can. I also get the distinct feeling that the members of both expect that, by my continued presence, I want to become a member. People from both congregations have asked me if I am attending or plan to attend the classes for introductory preparation to “convert” if you will. I am not. At the time I said that I couldn’t commit to going every week because of my work schedule. Which is true. More true is that I’m not sure I would go even if my schedule allowed. Because I honestly have no desire to commit to any one denomination, or apparently even religion.

I have a question though. Am I being dishonest to these congregations by showing up? I never represented myself as anyone other than a wanderer. I don’t think I have it in me to say to any of the congregants, “Sorry, I really have no intention of converting at this point.” Though I’ve also never said “I’m a catechumen/undergoing conversion.” I just really like the way they pray.

My disdain for the term “convert” can be continued at another time.

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3 Responses to “This totally doesn’t make any sense.”

  1. joanne Says:

    The children and I attended a church for over a year and had no intentions of ‘becoming members’. The elders had a real hard time with this … I asked them to show me in the Bible where it says I have to ‘be a member’ of their church (in a club sort of way) and I’ll sign on the dotted line. Of course they were unable to do that and had to admit that becoming an official member of a church is a tradition of men.
    Yes, this can make you seem like an outsider … and feel like one too … because really you are and always will be if you do not play by their rules or operate in a way they think is acceptable. If you always just ‘visit’ and never ‘join’ I think they will always question your intention. That is of course unless you just straight up tell them your intentions 🙂
    I’ve been to plenty of churches where I’ve held up the wall wondering if anyone was going to talk to me … and if someone did finally come talk to me, I pretty much sounded like a dummy anyway. I have a terrible time with social situations, but I think I’m good at hiding it!! The last year has been a great time of growth for me in that area, praise the Lord.
    I agree with your choice to not commit to any denomination … I would not do that either. The only thing we can commit fully to is Jesus Christ (the real Jesus).

    Lord bless you as you keep searching for Truth. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the term “convert”.

    Love, js

  2. Elle Says:

    I think what you’re doing is perfectly acceptable. The idea that if you hang out with a religious community regularly, you’re going to be one of them is an invention of that community based on past experience. After all, people hang out with women/men religious all the time without the expectation that they too will become a member. However, you might want to consider being honest about your intentions when asked.

    That said, The [“normal” members of the] Episcopal Church Welcome You. : )

  3. dana Says:

    Hm. I don’t think of joining as a club sense, i see it in a sacramental way. (as to whether or not that can be found in the bible, I don’t know. but I’m not a sola scriptura person. though sometimes the idea is appealing.) And as such, I will probably end up doing it eventually, it’s just a matter of time and ability to commit.

    I know what you mean about holding up a wall. But let me tell you, sometimes it’s better that people don’t come talk to you. Because sometimes what they say, it’s enough to knock the awkward into a generally sociable person.

    Which leads me to: Dude, Elle, I’m beginning to think there are no “normal” members of the Episcopal church. Or rather, “normal” members of the Episcopal church are not so normal members of society.

    And, I think if asked straight up about intentions, I’d be honest. but their questions haven’t been so much about the intentions, just the going to class & whatnot.

    All of this being said & I’m still beginning to compile an STL church list.

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