Monday, December 17, 2007

Snake Among Church's Youths

One of the best way to meet people is to join a church. It is not exactly an ideal reason to attend one, but nonetheless, it still is the best place to make friends. And so I've been going to the one and only Korean Catholic church in Atlanta. It has been more than three months since I've started get aquainted with the church members, but it has proved to be everything but a smooth ride. First I thought it was my problem; I wasn't smiley enough, maybe. But, oh boy, didn't yesterday's meeting prove me wrong. There was something rotting all the way down from the root.

Yesterday's youth group meeting was supposed to be a quick, 30-minute-long discussion in regards to changing the youth group's mass schedule. It ended up being 1 1/2 hour long, blame-game, pointing fingers, crying a puddle, messy meeting where people could dump whatever they had on their mind about current affair of the group.

The current situation of this group is like this: Ever since a couple years ago, this group had been having a hard time retaining its members, let alone having a new member. Not knowing what the problem is, they decided to move the mass time into another time, which seemed like a great fresh breath at the time. It was, for a short time, until things got back to where it was before. People are not supportive of the group, new comers are not joining the group, and there has been tension between officers and members; members didn't see any reason to help in ever-so-gloomy group, and officers were feeling betrayed from the members for not helping them out. With things going like this, new comers must've felt this unwelcoming atmosphere, and simply left and never returned.

I'm not saying that I haven't sensed such aura when I came here. While there were care and loving gestures and smiles in small groups, such as choir, Legio Mariae, and so on, there were none in the youth group. Worse, when they tried to bring me in, it didn't feel welcoming at all; rather, it felt as if I was being preyed upon. I can only speculate they were hungry of new members for a long time that they were so forceful.

The only reason I went yesterday is to veto with every right I have, if I had any, against changing the mass schedule, which would force my involvement in the choir to end. And instead, what I got was a glimps, or more like a whole feature-length grand viewing of an inner suffering of a wavering group, which, pitifully, I was now a part of.

How will we fair now that we had a chance to directly face the root of our problem? I don't know. If yesterday's after-meeting visit to a restaurant, where officers were in a seperate table from everyone else, is any indication, it doesn't look good.

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