Author Topic: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...  (Read 16336 times)

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CakeEater

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2013, 04:28:13 PM »

I assume this is a Facebook page dedicated to the play group? I think I might write back on the same page and ask for clarification. "Sorry, I'm a little confused--are you suggesting we replace the Thursday morning playgroup with a Thursday morning worship service for the same children?" And I would wait and see what her answer is.

I agree, it's possible she's trying to make the playgroup more religious and hoping that everyone who attends playgroup will instead do the worship service. Or she could mean something else, and just hasn't thought it through.

Even if someone was a member of the church, I can easily imagine they would rather have playgroup then, when their kids can run around, be a bit noisy, play with toys and crafts, etc.--they probably have another day of the week when the regular worship service/Sunday School is held, when their kids are given religious instruction and expected to follow more structured activities. For me the two things are not equivalent at all, regardless of the religious content.

Definitely. If my church wanted to replace our playgroup with a church service, I'd be out of there! Those aren't the same activity, and I have no interest in getting my kids to stop playing on a Thursday morning and attend another church service.

I think I'd go short and sweet. 'I prefer to keep the Thursday playgroup just as it is. Thanks!'

magician5

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2013, 04:45:08 PM »
I find the idea of the imposition of "Sunday school" into an initially neutral/secular event odious, but if it happened to me I'd figure "hey, it's a church, and it's their space and we're using it free" - it may be just one member, but how could anyone ask them not to do what they do?

It may be time to go elsewhere.
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Twik

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2013, 05:02:54 PM »
I find the idea of the imposition of "Sunday school" into an initially neutral/secular event odious, but if it happened to me I'd figure "hey, it's a church, and it's their space and we're using it free" - it may be just one member, but how could anyone ask them not to do what they do?

It may be time to go elsewhere.

If they're simply replacing a play group with a church service, this is the church's business. However, I'd be tempted to speak to the pastor. S/he may have no idea that it's being superglued onto a play group.
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flickan

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2013, 05:05:40 PM »
I find the idea of the imposition of "Sunday school" into an initially neutral/secular event odious, but if it happened to me I'd figure "hey, it's a church, and it's their space and we're using it free" - it may be just one member, but how could anyone ask them not to do what they do?

It may be time to go elsewhere.

As a churchgoer I appreciate this viewpoint but I have to agree with the other's that it's inappropriate.  I'd be pretty miffed to find out that my church was allowing service to interfere with a secular group that had been given prior permission to use that space for their needs.  It must feel like a bait and switch to those people whose children attend the group.  It's definitely the church's business to prioritize what goes on in the building and use the space as they like but I think the group members have a right to raise an objection to the method.  Unless I'm misunderstanding the OP it sounds like this is just one person trying to organize a religious group that will draw in those kids already at the playgroup.  That's weirdly underhanded.

Twik

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2013, 05:07:30 PM »
If she's asking people "what they think" on Facebook, I'd answer honestly that I thought it was a terrible idea.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

PastryGoddess

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2013, 05:11:33 PM »
POD to the others.  I think you need to speak up and let her know that you aren't interested in having your child attend a church service instead of a playgroup

Peregrine

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2013, 05:21:02 PM »
I find the idea of the imposition of "Sunday school" into an initially neutral/secular event odious, but if it happened to me I'd figure "hey, it's a church, and it's their space and we're using it free" - it may be just one member, but how could anyone ask them not to do what they do?

It may be time to go elsewhere.

This is where I fall on the issue.  If you are getting the space for free you may need to accept the strings that the venue (or the key holder) attaches, or bow out.  Now if you were meeting in private homes or a public place I would absolutely speak up.  Are you absolutely sure this is in no way a religiously sponsored play group?  I did some research on MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) and was really surprised to find that it was actually a religious organization.

EllenS

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2013, 06:30:03 PM »
"We love attending the playgroup.  We would not be attending a church service."

alis

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2013, 06:44:31 PM »
Thanks everyone!

Just to clarify, this is a hall attached to a church and it is empty on this particular day. There are only around 4-6 mothers with babies, we are there because we are a linguistic minority (English-speaking) and it's an Anglican church. I know "church service" sounds confusing, I would say more like she is asking to turn it into a Christian circle time/children's meeting, instead of our regular sit around, drink coffee, and let the kids run around.

alis

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2013, 06:45:41 PM »
BTW a bit of a tiff has already broken out about this and one of the more polite girls recommended she hold her own gathering on the weekend instead of our already-set Thursdays.

*inviteseller

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2013, 07:14:21 PM »
Sounds like Head Mom is making assumptions on religious beliefs, or is trying to convert people.  I would just tell her that you like it the way it is with no religion involved.  I foresee a moving of the group to a neutral location, and without that mom.

EllenS

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2013, 07:33:22 PM »
Sounds like Head Mom is making assumptions on religious beliefs, or is trying to convert people.  I would just tell her that you like it the way it is with no religion involved.  I foresee a moving of the group to a neutral location, and without that mom.

I like the quote (which I am probably getting wrong) about "never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity".  ChurchyMom may just  be assuming you are all of the same/similar enough religion, or that everyone would enjoy a cross-cultural discussion.  Some people actually do like reading and discussing different religions.

I don't see why just asking about it is so terrible, as long as she doesn't push past anybody's "no".  But if there is already a tiff, then that makes me think she was being pushy.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2013, 02:05:01 AM »
Thanks everyone!

Just to clarify, this is a hall attached to a church and it is empty on this particular day. There are only around 4-6 mothers with babies, we are there because we are a linguistic minority (English-speaking) and it's an Anglican church. I know "church service" sounds confusing, I would say more like she is asking to turn it into a Christian circle time/children's meeting, instead of our regular sit around, drink coffee, and let the kids run around.

So the church service is intended to replace the playgroup, rather than be a separate event. That being the case, I think you're fine in politely stating that you would prefer the playgroup to continue as it currently is.

Sharnita

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2013, 07:24:54 AM »
"We love attending the playgroup.  We would not be attending a church service."
This

TootsNYC

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2013, 10:39:37 AM »
I like


I might also say, "Is it required that we allow the church to proselytize in order to be allowed to use the space?"

My church has a food pantry as one of the things we do to serve. We've started to add a small worship service *before* the food pantry opens (the line forms early). You don't have to attend the service to get food from the pantry--though you might feel a little bit trapped.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 10:42:10 AM by TootsNYC »