Author Topic: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...  (Read 17439 times)

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Roe

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #90 on: October 10, 2013, 07:16:09 PM »
I don't think it odd to hold playgroups or meetings in a church. That's a pretty common thing to do but my point still holds, maybe the OP can invite the ladies she has much in common with to her home or to a park.  There are other ways to keep in touch, if this particular group disbands.

lmyrs

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #91 on: October 10, 2013, 07:48:15 PM »
I don't think it odd to hold playgroups or meetings in a church. That's a pretty common thing to do but my point still holds, maybe the OP can invite the ladies she has much in common with to her home or to a park.  There are other ways to keep in touch, if this particular group disbands.

I agree with you but I don't think that the OP has to resign herself to the group disbanding before checking in and stating her opinion and getting a vote from the other moms. If the church was insisting on this, I'd probably say to just let it go, but from everything I've read here, this is not a church policy. It is the desire of one mom in the group.

katycoo

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #92 on: October 10, 2013, 08:58:26 PM »
Who organised the group?  Who books the space and co-ordinated you to meet together?  That is the person who should be approached about this.

EllenS

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #93 on: October 10, 2013, 09:02:38 PM »
Yes, I think this is a situation where it's worth getting some clarity.  Fortunately OP seems to have good communication with the keyholder, so I hope we get an update.  It would be a shame for one pushy person to be manipulating the situation and spoil it for everyone.  I foresee PushyMom losing a lot of credibility with the church leadership, if she took it upon herself to arrange this and assured them it was wanted, and they wind up driving moms away.

katycoo, OP has said that the original organizer no longer attends, but OP is in touch with the mom who holds the keys to the space and therefore would be the quasi-"official" liason with the church.  Keymom is not the same person as Pushymom who was trying to start the religious activities
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katycoo

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #94 on: October 10, 2013, 09:31:31 PM »
katycoo, OP has said that the original organizer no longer attends, but OP is in touch with the mom who holds the keys to the space and therefore would be the quasi-"official" liason with the church.  Keymom is not the same person as Pushymom who was trying to start the religious activities

Must have missed that.
I would certainly start by getting keymom's thoughts on this development.
Does Keymom still attend?

Psychopoesie

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #95 on: October 10, 2013, 09:44:13 PM »
katycoo, OP has said that the original organizer no longer attends, but OP is in touch with the mom who holds the keys to the space and therefore would be the quasi-"official" liason with the church.  Keymom is not the same person as Pushymom who was trying to start the religious activities

Must have missed that.
I would certainly start by getting keymom's thoughts on this development.
Does Keymom still attend?


I thought the OP said the key holder wasn't the organiser, just another participant who still attended. OP did say she was planning to talk with the keyholder about the situation:

Yeah, I'm going to talk to the keyholder (who is not the organizer, it's just an informal group) and see what is going on. Bizarrely enough, the woman who organized the church to do this wasn't even there, she left early because her son was grumpy. I really enjoy the girls at this group but we're not religious and it makes me uncomfortable to participate in bible stories/games.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #96 on: October 10, 2013, 10:33:02 PM »
I'd send a "polite bafflement" email (or Facebook message) the group. Eg "Hey guys, I'm confused. I thought we all agreed that the Kids' Bible Time would be at 4pm Sundays, and that Thursday mornings would be our usual playgroup time. So I was surprised to see [Religious Person] turn up today and start doing bible activities. Can anyone clarify what's going on?"

Hopefully, the other members will say "Yeah, that's not what was supposed to happen!" and it won't happen again.

johelenc1

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #97 on: October 10, 2013, 11:35:23 PM »
Well, it seems to me you have a solution.  You had three - counting you - mothers either walk out or ignore it.  So - you have a new group.  I would send the email from LifeOnPluto.  Then, at the next meeting, if the rev. walks in, get up, announce "anyone who wants to continue the playgroup in the room next door/outside at the playground/in the hall way/at the coffee shop....Come with me!"  Then off you go:-)

I bet they get the picture.

aiki

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #98 on: October 10, 2013, 11:50:08 PM »
Well, it seems to me you have a solution.  You had three - counting you - mothers either walk out or ignore it.  So - you have a new group.  I would send the email from LifeOnPluto.  Then, at the next meeting, if the rev. walks in, get up, announce "anyone who wants to continue the playgroup in the room next door/outside at the playground/in the hall way/at the coffee shop....Come with me!"  Then off you go:-)

I bet they get the picture.

Is this a particularly evangelical church? I'm guessing not, if they allow secular groups to use their buildings.

I'd still be betting that the Reverend has been lead to believe that some sort of kids' bible study has been requested by the group as a whole. I think it would be polite to contact her and just ask what her understanding of the situation is, and give her a heads-up if she has been mislead. I imagine that most clergy have had to deal with the fallout from an overzealous member of their congregation overstepping their boundaries from time to time, and this will allow everyone involved to deal with any misunderstandings gently and in private.
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CakeEater

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #99 on: October 11, 2013, 01:43:32 AM »
I don't know why it's got to this stage.

You know that most/all the members don't want the religious aspect, right? So just take it upon yourself to ring the pastor and have a quiet discussion. Just that most/all of the group aren't interested in a religious element at the time of your playgroup, and was he lead to believe otherwise? Then just thank him for his effort, but you'd all prefer to keep it as just a play time, or let him know that you're happy to find a new venue if this is a problem for the church.

Then send a message to everyone that you've had this discussion and whatever the outcome was. Just take the initiative. If there's not a leader, per se, then someone just needs to call the pastor, or whoever arrived at your playgroup and clear it up.

sweetonsno

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #100 on: October 11, 2013, 01:57:03 AM »
Well, it seems to me you have a solution.  You had three - counting you - mothers either walk out or ignore it.  So - you have a new group.  I would send the email from LifeOnPluto.  Then, at the next meeting, if the rev. walks in, get up, announce "anyone who wants to continue the playgroup in the room next door/outside at the playground/in the hall way/at the coffee shop....Come with me!"  Then off you go:-)

I bet they get the picture.

Is this a particularly evangelical church? I'm guessing not, if they allow secular groups to use their buildings.

I'd still be betting that the Reverend has been lead to believe that some sort of kids' bible study has been requested by the group as a whole. I think it would be polite to contact her and just ask what her understanding of the situation is, and give her a heads-up if she has been mislead. I imagine that most clergy have had to deal with the fallout from an overzealous member of their congregation overstepping their boundaries from time to time, and this will allow everyone involved to deal with any misunderstandings gently and in private.

I totally agree with this. I really doubt that the Reverend tried to muscle her way in. She probably thought that she had been invited. It also seems likely that she noticed that a few people left/ignored her, so it could turn out that the issue resolves itself when she asks for clarification, either from the other group members or from the person who arranged for her to come in. If she realizes that most people aren't actually interested in Bible studies, she could very well simply stop coming and offer the Bible study for Sundays.

I would probably take it up with the group on Facebook before speaking for them to the Reverend. If you notice that a lot of other people are confused about the turn of events, then call her.

alis

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #101 on: October 11, 2013, 07:15:14 AM »
I don't know how it got to this point either? I thought it was agreed upon that this would be held on Sundays so it was totally out of left field when church staff showed up halfway through the play session.

There is no organizer anymore, she is long gone, this is a long-running group and once your last kid hits school age, the key just passes to another mom.

I don't know much about denominations, it is an Anglican church. It doesn't seem particularly "pushy" in that sense (I grew up in the bible belt myself so to me, it seems rather tame in that respect, but who knows).

The Reverend herself is actually quite friendly and nice so I think I'm just going to bypass pushymom and go straight to her next time and clarify.  I actually don't mind my kids being exposed to this religion (I do feel they should learn to respect beliefs of others), I guess I just don't want to deal with the oldest making awkward statements like "my dad said this is just a fairy tale" or something like that, in the middle of a story. He tends to come out with off-side comments, he has autism and he tends to miss social cues  ??? That being said, I think the situation is quite unfair to one member who is Muslim and seemed to be quite upset about this.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #102 on: October 11, 2013, 07:53:15 AM »
Well, it seems to me you have a solution.  You had three - counting you - mothers either walk out or ignore it.  So - you have a new group.  I would send the email from LifeOnPluto.  Then, at the next meeting, if the rev. walks in, get up, announce "anyone who wants to continue the playgroup in the room next door/outside at the playground/in the hall way/at the coffee shop....Come with me!"  Then off you go:-)

I bet they get the picture.

Is this a particularly evangelical church? I'm guessing not, if they allow secular groups to use their buildings.

I'd still be betting that the Reverend has been lead to believe that some sort of kids' bible study has been requested by the group as a whole. I think it would be polite to contact her and just ask what her understanding of the situation is, and give her a heads-up if she has been mislead. I imagine that most clergy have had to deal with the fallout from an overzealous member of their congregation overstepping their boundaries from time to time, and this will allow everyone involved to deal with any misunderstandings gently and in private.

I believe OP said it was Anglican, and (correct me if I'm wrong) the Anglicans don't seem to be of the evangelical sort.  The Episcopal church, which is part of the Anglican church, isn't very evangelical.   

I do get the feeling that the one mother led the Rev. to believe everyone was for this even though they'd voted against it.  And considering how busy any clergy member can be, it seems SS to deceive them and take their time to do this knowing people are against it.  Or thinking "Well if they were to just take part, they'd see it's not so bad!"  ::)
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Twik

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #103 on: October 11, 2013, 09:57:26 AM »
Before organizing a whole new group, one does have to keep in mind that the play group space does not appear to be paid for, but is rather offered in generosity rather than obligation by the church involved. One can't go, "Well, we'll just meet some other time, then," if the church is not willing to let you have that space at another time.

As must as the group may not want a religious cast to the group, it would be wise to remember that without the church, they would have no free space in which to meet, and they have limited leverage here.

I think a talk with the minister would be the best way of clearing things up. Like others, I suspect that s/he is not aware of the dynamics going on here.
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secretrebel

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Re: Politely declining religion at a children's group*Update pg5, Uh oh...
« Reply #104 on: October 11, 2013, 04:32:21 PM »
I hope you stay in touch with the Muslim lady. This seems particularly hard on her because (if you're in the US) Muslims are really in the minority and face a lot of prejudice and exclusion. Since the group is supposed to be non-religious it's really not right to force a religious aspect on anyone though - whether atheist, agnostic or of another faith.