How Important Is Fellowship


#1

How important do you think fellowship is within a congregation?


#2

I put very important. Because I live in an area where i have no family or friends. My friend options at work are not appealing to me because they lead very non christian lifestyles.

I wish there was more of a fellowshiping atmosphere at church. I have been there a year and only know two peoples names.

the usual, rush into mass…rush out of mass. oh well.:o


#3

I voted not important simply because I’ve been there and done that, and it was great for our social life, but didn’t do much of anything for my spirituality. I found myself in a big gossip mill and began avoiding any functions not related to worship anyway. Now daily Mass here and there, Novena’s, pot lucks after Mass, my son is in baseball and goes to Catholic School, that’s enough for me, I’m pretty busy anyway.


#4

Fellowship is important, but not as important as worship–so I chose “somewhat”.


#5

I put “somewhat” because it depends on the person. Some folks (myself included) think glad-handling and cookies after Mass are over-rated. I go to Mass for the Eucharist and (hopefully) a good sermon.

Others, I have come to realize, find it *very *important. Perhaps these people are lonely or just more social, but they seem to crave the human contact more than I would, for example.

Even though I am not in this last camp, I recognize the value of someone of similar bent making an attempt to at least try to accomodate these folks. The rest of us, who don’t especially have a need for it and/or aren’t especially good at socializing, can and should skip it. It could be helpful if it is sincere and not forced, obligatory or contrived.

I think the best way to get to know people in a parish is to get involved with a parish ministry in which you meet a cross-section of people. Help out at RCIA or go to daily Mass. Pretty soon, you’ll at least know enough people so you won’t come in every Sunday completely anonymous.


#6

I put “somewhat”. Maybe one reason “fellowship” doesn’t get much attention is because with a lot of parishes, everything gets tossed on the priest’s back. . . and Lord, he’s got enough to do!

And a lot of churches aren’t constructed with that purpose in mind, making it physically tough to do well.


#7

I agree. I really think that there should be a paid position for this function. We call eachother brothers and sisters in christ. but it really doesn’t feel much like family at church.

But my dad told me that back in the forties and fifties peoples lives did revolve much more around church. He also said that priests were always going to peoples houses for lunch and dinner and to say hi and what not.

Sounds like people have become way more isolated from eachother since then


#8

I feel the same - been there - done that.

I put somewhat important though… maybe it’s important for other people?


#9

I put “very important” for the same reason that several other people put “somewhat important.” As has been said, there was a time that the members of a parish were much closer and many things revolved around the Church. Since that time, people (in general) have stopped participating and look where our society has gone. I wish that everyone would again take a more active role in their parishes. I believe that only good would come out of it.


#10

I suppose the importance of fellowship depends on who is waiting for you when you get home. When you have no family, or no family nearby, it becomes a lot more important.

That being said, I think there’s a lot more true fellowship to be found in participating in church ministries suitable to your talents, than in brief, meaningless chit-chat over a cup of coffee, or silly glad-handing during the sign of peace. :rolleyes:

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#11

That’s very true, if you have no family it becomes very important I would imagine.

A little OT I’m not sure if it’s my Parish or not, but all the activities and volunteer opportunities are run by the same people and it’s kind of closed off. Does anyone else have that problem? They’re a private clique and others aren’t really welcomed into it. That’s the biggest problem I’ve seen with fellowship activities.


#12

if you mean gladhanding and back slapping during Mass, not important at all and detracts from the liturgy. if you mean a parish that truly functions as the Body of Christ within its boundaries, treating one another as brothers and sisters, acing in unity to carry out the evangelizing mission of the Church, then it is all important. Define your terms.


#13

That’s not a problem in my parish. I don’t know whether it has to do with my parish being a large, urban parish – it’s just too big for everything to be done by the same people, and large, urban parishes filled with all kinds of people don’t lend themselves well to “clique-i-ness”.

It was a problem in my former (smalll-town) parish. I wasn’t even made to feel welcome as a religious education helper for middle school students! That’s not always the easiest job to fill! :bigyikes:

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#14

If you come from a large family, you have it made. If you are a stray person, forget it. I wanted to take an active part in welcoming the newcomers to the small church I attended, but I was told: “They don’t want to talk to you, why don’t you go to some meetings, sit quietly and see what you can learn.” I switched churches, but now I keep to myself and rather than fight being invisible, I accept it. I can find warm acceptance at any non-Catholic church, but then I might be tempted to leave (again), so I stay away from them, too.


#15

I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with the phrase “meaningless chit-chat.” What is that? Since when is it “meaningless” to spend a little time with someone? Maybe even a friendship would develope. Is friendship meaningless as well? Please forgive me. I am not trying to judge you and I am certainly not trying to suggest that Church ministries aren’t important as well.

If that is true, then it is a sad thing indeed. However, it’s been my experience that many of those who are always involved would LOVE to have others step up and assist. However, many simply see it as too much of a time restraint and not worthy of their effort. If you really are seeing this type of thing in your parish, may I suggest such organizations as the Knights of Columbus? I promise you that you won’t be turned away. We are always looking for members. I am very sure that there are womens groups out there for the ladies as well.


#16

That’s horrible! I’m sorry that you experienced that and hope that you won’t allow that to continue to stop you from being social within your new parish. Does your Priest invite people to sign up for different things after the Mass? Does your Church have a bulletin? Inside there should be many activities inwhich you can take part. As I said before, find your local Knights of Columbus and ask to become a member. You will not be asked to “sit quietly and see what you can learn!” God bless.


#17

No, of course friendship isn’t meaningless, but I was referring to the few minutes of conversation you have with a total stranger during “coffee and doughnuts” (when you’re single, you often end up with people you don’t know sitting at your table) – then everyone leaves, and you never see each other again.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but it just doesn’t last long enough for actual friendships to develop (did I mention I belong to a huge, urban parish? You don’t see the same few people over and over again). I can get to know people a lot better when I can see and talk to them for more than two or three minutes – as in choir rehearsal, for example. :slight_smile:

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#18

Fellowship makes the road to Heaven a little easier, IMO! :smiley:


#19

I thought the Knights were only for men. I am hoping to leave this area in the next 2 years and move to a large city where being anonymous is a positive instead of a negative.

Blessings to you as well.


#20

It’s very important to some people so I think there should be opportunities available for those who really need it.

I’m not one one of those people, at least not at this point in my life. There were times when I was first coming back to the church that is was much more important to have that support system epsecially since my husband wasn’t Catholic at the time… I have a close circle of Protestant Christian friends and a couple very orthodox Catholic Christian friends, plus my hubby whom is now Catholic. So at this point in my life fellowship within my parish community isn’t really a great need of mine.


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