Agnostic.com

10 5

So funny story I’d like to share - this past year I had been researching to find atheist / humanist groups in my area. Someone suggested I check out the local UU oraganization (Unitarian Universalism) - which I knew nothing about.

I found that one of the most historic buildings in the town next to me housed the UU meeting and their website welcomed new comers to attend the upcoming meetings.

So one Sunday morning I decide to check it out all by myself. I was greeted warmly as I entered the building and was awestruck by the beautiful architecture inside the building. I decided to sit a few rows from the back of the church off to the extreme left. I wanted to observe as best I could how the meeting would go and limit my participation as much as possible. The meeting filled up quickly and only a few benches here and there were empty.

Since I’d never attended a UU meeting I was not sure what to expect - early in the meeting the patrons were all asked to move to the center of their benches so as to not leave gaping holes between people. I was a little uncomfortable with this request but decided to accommodate them . At this point I’m now in the middle of the meeting hall with several patrons around me.

The meeting is going well and I’m enjoying some of the speeches and songs. At one point they started this ritual where the leaders call certain patrons up to the front of the church to acknowledge them. These patrons then would stand in a line with their hand on the shoulder adjacent or them. The leaders continue to call this group and that one - and the patrons get up and get in line at the front of the church. As this ritual continues I begin to realize that that are more people standing up at the front of the meeting hall than people sitting down. Eventually all the patrons were standing up with their hands on their neighbors shoulders and I was the lone patron sitting - all by myself - alone in the middle of the meeting hall ... and all eyes were staring at me- the new comer. A few giggles and laughs started to escape from the standing patrons as it dawns on me that I’m awkwardly just sitting there trying to act like everything is normal. I then panic and quickly jump out of my seat and scuttle to the side of the hall so as to not be the center of attention. I was so mortified! The leader made some kind comments about newcomers being welcome into their group but at this point I was so embarrassed I didn’t know where to look!

Needless to say at the end of the meeting I found a side door and dashed away quickly!!

Anyway I laugh at the whole experience now and wonder if anyone else had this type of thing happen to them??

fmcamyg 5 Jan 31
Share

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account

10 comments

Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.

1

I’ve gone to a couple of UU churches on and off for years, and none of them put on a performance like that one. Is there perchance a UU church in your area that’s not run by weirdos?

1

Sounds like a nightmare to me. Why all the formal performance? If they want to get together as a group to discuss issues of interest why can't they just do that?

1

I occasionally go to my local UU church. I have gone many times over 30+years and always feel welcome. They know I come & go. I like to attend a forum they have after a service. Usually about 11:30 on Sundays. There are pertinent, important subjects discussed. Many with a group about racism, white privilege, sexual preference, etc.
Very welcoming. Please try it again..introduce yourself. Say you're there to observe now. Ease in.

1

I occasionally go to my local UU church. I have gone many times over 30+years and always feel welcome. They know I come & go. I like to attend a forum they have after a service. Usually about 11:30 on Sundays. There are pertinent, important subjects discussed. Many with a group about racism, white privilege, sexual preference, etc.
Very welcoming. Please try it again..introduce yourself. Say you're there to observe now. Ease in.

Thank you for the advice - I’ll consider going back - I was interested in some of the discussions during the meeting

2

As an ambivert myself, I would have found that exceedingly uncomfortable, not just the being singled out but the enforced physical closeness, particularly amongst a group of total strangers.

1

That kind of stuff just happens. I'm sure the first new comer that had that happen. If I were you, I wouldn't use that one embarrassing incident as an excuse not to go back.

1

Only in dreams. Pretty bizarre.

1

Oh no--I so feel for you!

Carin Level 8 Jan 31, 2019
4

I think the leader goofed up there.

Yes, they should have invited any visitors to come up, & maybe not right at the end. Sounds like they don't get many!

4

That sounds like introvert hell. I would have run for the door. The only time I was in a Unitarian Church was for a wedding. It was a little out there...with smudging ceremonies and turning to acknowledge the person next to you, but non-threatening, on the whole.

LB67 Level 7 Jan 31, 2019
Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:278601
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.