Author Topic: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...  (Read 16764 times)

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #75 on: October 10, 2013, 01:19:40 PM »
Especially in small communities, church halls are sometimes the only spaces available for casual rentals for things like playgroups.  And often, there isn't even a fee for using it.  We rent a church hall for our Agricultural Society Annual Dinner, for example.

I agree with Roe:  Invite the like minded ladies to your home, if you have room, or start a playgroup that meets at various venues where the kids can do what you were doing in the church hall.  A park, if it is nice out, for example.
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Lynnv

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #76 on: October 10, 2013, 01:22:34 PM »
POD. I guess I don't understand why someone who has no interest in that specific religion would go to a church of that religion for playgroups. Is there a secular community center where you can meet?

Our church allows secular use of the facilities because:

a) hopefully people will see what nice folks we are and, if they start looking for a church, they will remember "Those folks down at CHURCHNAME were really nice-maybe we should see if we like them at services too."

b) some groups pay a small rental fee which is always beneficial to the bottom line.

Heck-our church has a Farmer's Market that operates in the summer on part of our lot.
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WillyNilly

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #77 on: October 10, 2013, 01:29:14 PM »
Especially in small communities, church halls are sometimes the only spaces available for casual rentals for things like playgroups.  And often, there isn't even a fee for using it.  We rent a church hall for our Agricultural Society Annual Dinner, for example...

I live in NYC, the absolute opposite of a small community and we have no affordable, casual rental spaces. Churches are a often used as de facto community centers for non church related activities.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #78 on: October 10, 2013, 01:41:34 PM »
Since you like these ladies, invite them over to your home and keep in touch with them that way.  Or start your own playgroup.  That's what I would do. (and have done)

POD. I guess I don't understand why someone who has no interest in that specific religion would go to a church of that religion for playgroups. Is there a secular community center where you can meet?

It sounded to me like the church was one of the few places friendly to English-speaking Americans.

TootsNYC

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #79 on: October 10, 2013, 01:43:50 PM »
Since you like these ladies, invite them over to your home and keep in touch with them that way.  Or start your own playgroup.  That's what I would do. (and have done)

POD. I guess I don't understand why someone who has no interest in that specific religion would go to a church of that religion for playgroups. Is there a secular community center where you can meet?

Well, I do--because finding space for something like that can be hard. And many churches let outside organizations borrow their space--it's a way of giving back to the community, serving as our Lord has told us to, and creating goodwill with people who might then start to be more linked to our community, and maybe even come to faith or join us (if they don't).

My church does this--loaning out our space. But we don't hold a bible study in the middle of the dance troop's time.

I think the fact that there's not a clear leader anymore might have fed into this.
And maybe this lady got the idea started, but didn't get a chance to wave the pastor off.

Maybe you guys should do a little more to codify what sort of group you are (draw up a constitution, elect a president, empower that person to re-negotiate the use of the space). Right now the church may feel that you're sort of an offshoot of them, that this is *their* playgroup. Especially if they had some people who are members.
  Creating more organization might help create that distinction.

(though, if I were a member, I'd probably prefer to just play that day anyway--we have Sunday school and church, so Bible story time would seem extraneous.)

alis

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #80 on: October 10, 2013, 01:52:31 PM »
Since you like these ladies, invite them over to your home and keep in touch with them that way.  Or start your own playgroup.  That's what I would do. (and have done)

POD. I guess I don't understand why someone who has no interest in that specific religion would go to a church of that religion for playgroups. Is there a secular community center where you can meet?

It sounded to me like the church was one of the few places friendly to English-speaking Americans.

Correct, although we are fairly international, mostly Canadian, American, and some girls from Europe. Point being, it's an English-language play group which is something we can't get at the other groups, our kids would be required to speak French (which is fine, but we'd like them to share our heritage too iykwim?)

ladyknight1

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #81 on: October 10, 2013, 02:03:56 PM »
Thank you for all the replies.

Deetee

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #82 on: October 10, 2013, 02:07:03 PM »
And I forgot to add that this woman is ridiculous.

I hope you can set up the playgroup elsewhere or without the silly woman.

Arila

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #83 on: October 10, 2013, 03:40:44 PM »
Since you like these ladies, invite them over to your home and keep in touch with them that way.  Or start your own playgroup.  That's what I would do. (and have done)

POD. I guess I don't understand why someone who has no interest in that specific religion would go to a church of that religion for playgroups. Is there a secular community center where you can meet?

We had a secular board gaming group who met in a church parlor area on Friday nights. We selected that location for a variety of reasons, but in particular over a "community center" because all of the "community centers" in our area were more like youth-gang intervention types of things rather than generic buildings for the general public to use to gather. They were rather a place for teenagers to go and be somewhat supervised instead of running wild on the streets, and furthermore their hours didn't suit us.

So, I don't think it's that unusual for secular meetings to occur in a church. Furthermore, it was advantageous for both sides. We took up a "voluntary" donation for the use of the space, which more than covered the electric bill increase we gave them, and was still cheaper than our previous situation.

bopper

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #84 on: October 10, 2013, 03:57:50 PM »
You could also talk to the Pastor and say that you joined this playgroup because it was in the neighborhood and you wanted to meet local moms. You are grateful for the use of the church but were very surprised by the bible time as that is not something you had agreed to nor did other moms.  You have no issues with there being story time after playgroup, but X-X+1 oclock on Tuesdays you would like just to be regular playgroup time.

lmyrs

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #85 on: October 10, 2013, 06:29:36 PM »
I wouldn't necessarily go to the pastor. I would get on that Facebook page and just "clarify". Just say something like, "I joined this play group because it was non-religious even though it is held in the church. I would like to understand if what happened today should be expected again so that I can make other arrangements. I was under the impression that we as a group agreed to maintain the play group as secular but that was obviously not as clear as I thought it was. I would like us to take a formal vote on whether or not we will agree to include a religious component to the play group in the future."

Then have a formal vote. If you lose, well, at least you know that this isn't for you. But, if you win, you'll know you have the majority behind you. I don't think you have anything to lose by being a leader on this particular issue. If anyone gets super mad at you over it, well, it's probably someone who you're not going to be great friends with anyway. And, it will shed some light on the like-minded folks in the group that may want to join you if you do end up having to leave this group.

Edited because I thought I'd fixed the secular vs non-secular mistakes but didn't. Thanks Yvaine!
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 07:01:37 PM by lmyrs »

Yvaine

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #86 on: October 10, 2013, 06:53:30 PM »
Just to clarify something before any letters get sent--there have been a couple of uses in this thread of "non-secular" to mean "non-religious," when in fact it means the opposite. I think "nonsectarian" is the word you're looking for.

aiki

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #87 on: October 10, 2013, 06:53:38 PM »

And today, at 10:30am on a Thursday, the reverend and someone from the downtown Dioceses came in and started a bible story time. I just picked my kids and left, I didn't know what to say.


Hmmm - I wonder what information the Reverend got, if PushyReligiousMum has been doing all of the communication. He might be highly embarrassed to find out about the position that she has put him in.
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darkprincess

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group
« Reply #88 on: October 10, 2013, 07:00:57 PM »

And today, at 10:30am on a Thursday, the reverend and someone from the downtown Dioceses came in and started a bible story time. I just picked my kids and left, I didn't know what to say.


Hmmm - I wonder what information the Reverend got, if PushyReligiousMum has been doing all of the communication. He might be highly embarrassed to find out about the position that she has put him in.

I bet this is the case. He is probably very confused by the reception he recieved. I bet he thought he was invited.

gramma dishes

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #89 on: October 10, 2013, 07:06:05 PM »
...   Bizarrely enough, the woman who organized the church to do this wasn't even there, she left early because her son was grumpy. ...

He was probably grumpy because he knew his play group time was going to be shortened that day.   :D

And I think that Mom left early because she knew this was going to happen and that it was NOT going to go over well.