I’m posting this as both a quick experience, as well as question I guess. My wife, daughter, currently unborn child and I, are all good practicing Catholics. Recently, a very good friend of the family invited our daughter to attend a week of Vacation Bible School at their church, Calvarly Bible Fellowship Church, in a neighboring community. (Daughter is currently 5 years old, and getting ready to attend CCD this fall).
Long story short, she had an absolutely fantastic time, made a lot of friends, really cute crafts, and even put a little play on, along with all the other kids from the week, on the last Saturday of the camp. It was VERY cute, and very family oriented.
My wife and I, of course, attended the play\sing along and picnic afterward. We also had a great time, met a lot of nice people, and over the course of the week had a really good time. Now, don’t get me wrong, we have no intention of “switching” faith, churches, or anything else, but I can’t help but feel that the folks from this church have a real sense of community. They all knew each other, well at least it seemed that way, had a lot of weekly activities at the church, a lot of family oriented gatherings, and well, really seemed to enjoy each others company.
This is all of course a GOOD thing, but I can’t help but feel, after spending a week there, that my parish, and perhaps others I have been a member of, are “lacking” in this department. Don’t get me wrong, we have the yearly carnivals, occasional Sunday breakfasts, fund raisers etc., but no one ever really seems “into it”. We also all just seem to come and go, without paying much attention to each other. Example, when attending a recent baptism course, for our child due in October, the class was rather cold. The people there seemed to be there only because they HAD to be there; not that they WANTED to be there. I get this feeling a lot when attending even local events at other parishes. Is it just my area, or are Catholics sometimes a little too “serious” or “going through the motions” in what they are doing?
Again, hardly bashing anyone or anything, but after seeing the community at the recent Bible School our daughter attended, it really got me thinking that maybe there is something I can do to help bring this sense of community to our parish. The problem is, I’m not even sure where to start!
Anyway, thanks for listening, and thanks for any input or insight.