As a married gal, I have come to loathe New Year’s Eve. The pressures to attend events I’d prefer to not be at, the sadness of not being included in the ones I actually want to be involved with (which honestly has happened more as a married woman than when I was single, and I married late! I feel the same as you, but as the forgotten married friend), and then the way as a childless woman it brings lots of pain with hopes dashed and lost, and the mindless comments at the events I feel obliged to attend with those who profess to know me but really don’t. I’m now saying no to those events and treating it like another day. It’s easier that way.

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Jan 2, 2023·edited Jan 2, 2023

This confounds me. Not the loneliness, but the decisions of Churches to close functions that amount to friendly contact, and relationship building, during public and church holidays. Even at boarding school (a long long time ago) our Sunday Chapel services just finished! But there were a 100 or so boarders who wandered off to wait for the lunch bell some hours later. [But that is ancient history.]

But today, here in Australia, in many metropolitan churches and also in many regional and country churches, our Christmas and Easter services finish, . . . ! And whatever follows at other times, the coffee and cake or biscuits, and catch up conversations are silenced.

I am not sure I have one solution, but I write this to say I hear you Dani, and others. In my view those who especially miss out, are not only 'singles', both those who are singles again, living partners of those who have died or whose marriage has failed. For some of us, this broad group of singles make up a large part of our church membership. (Our churches census data, from most data sources, support this evidence.)

Not to condemn the digital communication revolution, at least that part called social media, but it seems we have given up the physical and emotional contact and growth, for the electronic emotional reaction that lasts five seconds. Although the following statement is a bit strong - 'We appear to choose isolation for the purpose of not relating too much to our single sisters and brothers in Christ'.

Perhaps the better action here is to question if our lack of relationship activities on these public holiday events, often a church calendar celebration day, is sending a message; that does not actively support the teaching that we are to be all part of the one body?

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