I am so excited that the NAS series is back!! It was nice to have the summer off but I missed participating as well. This weeks topic is a HARD one for me..but here we go!
What other ways can we be more involved at church or in our communities? Is there a parish ministry you have been wanting to help with or start up? What about that after school program for homeless kids? Has something been preventing you from getting involved? How do you think this will help you personally, spiritually, and emotionally?
Getting involved has been hard for me the last few years. A lot of the groups I have joined have fallen apart over time. I feel like sometimes people don’t care enough to stay with it or that people meet and become friends and it becomes cliquish that they just do stuff together so they don’t need a formal group.
For me as an introvert it’s really hard for me to go to “mingling/social events” I really need a structured event or activity to build the social-ness off of. The idea of going somewhere with no purpose other than to maybe eat or drink freaks me out as I never know what to say and sometimes I think I say too much and scare people off..or I end up saying barely anything and I come across as rude. Or maybe I’m just socially awkward. HA.
In the last few months it’s been easier as I recently moved to a better area for social activities and groups. Over the summer I joined a Theology of the Body study group that has been really good. And once that finishes up I’m hoping to join a bible study. I’ve also been more active in looking for groups and events on websites like Yelp! and MeetUp. I haven’t attended that many this summer but I plan on doing more in the fall as things start to get back to normal.
PRO TIP: I highly recommend looking on Yelp and MeetUp for events in your area. Some groups/events are hit or miss but it’s a good place to start to look for things to do. Newspapers and websites are also good (just make sure you are looking at updated information).
I went to an event to learn about non-profits and volunteering opportunities over the summer but unfortunately it really wasn’t what I was looking for. It was more about how each organization had these professional groups that have high dues $50-$100 a year and they basically have speakers and meet and greats a few times a year…which really isn’t what I was looking for. It seemed like they were more advocate groups than volunteering groups.
I’m still a work in progress on finding more volunteering opportunities. I did find out that Operation Christmas Child has a whole volunteer program and meetings in the area that I am going to look into getting more involved. I really want to go up to an area that has a distribution center and volunteer in going through and packing up the boxes. I’ll be finding more out about that in the next few weeks and what days/times are available.
I have helped with Confirmation at my parish since college. This year I won’t be teaching every confirmation session as we have some guest speakers, priests, and deacons doing some of the classes but there will be a few classes for me to help with and I’ll give a talk at the retreat in the spring. There are other weeks and events that I’ll help with different things at my parish. So I am pretty good at staying involved at my parish which I try to do. I’ve also tried to go to adoration more often.
Granted I’m somewhat highly involved and do things I still don’t really have a community here. Everyone I meet here just seems SUPER BUSY and say they don’t have time to do things. You’ll see people at 1 event and then the next time it’s a totally new set of people. I so long for a friend that I can talk to every.single.day whenever I need and see at least once a week (maybe more). Is that asking too much? I’m not sure but sometimes I think it is. But sitting at home on Friday and Saturday nights gets really lonely and boring and it doesn’t help that social media is a ghost town on the weekends. It’s a constant struggle that I and many others deal with. Unfortunately we all don’t live in the same city. For now I just continue to pray about it and research groups and find things to keep me busy that won’t break my budget.