I dislike my ward. There are a few people in the ward I like. Let me be clear. There are about 5 people I feel I have any sort of real connection with. That's it. Going to Church should be relaxing and uplifting. I find it stressful. I shouldn't feel so out of place in a ward where people are my age. But I do. A lot.
We're supposed to be each others family. But my ward members live with their families (for the most part), so why do they need a ward family? They don't. The people I get along with don't live with their families and need a ward family to help sustain them. So what it comes down to is this, my ward is very cliquish, split down the middle with people that grew up together on one side, and those of us transplants on the other. Very few people cross this line. I've tried. It doesn't work.
Which means, that if I am still in this ward when I turn 31, I will not be upset to leave. At all.
Which brings me to Part 2:
There are three types of wards in Utah. (I have to specific here because the second type I mention only exists in Utah.)
- Young Single Adult: This is for anyone age 18-31, and single (unmarried).
- Mid-Singles: This is for anyone age 31+, and single (unmarried).
- Family: anyone can attend these wards, but if you fall into one of the other demographics, you're encouraged to go to those wards.
I get why they don't want someone who is 40 in a ward with 18 year olds. I understand. I do. But the way we currently define the wards seems silly. I'm 29 and in a YSA ward. I have no connection to the kids who are 18-22. None. At all. I have more in common with my roommates (who attend the Mid-Singles) than I do with ANYONE in my ward. But I can't go to their ward, and they can't come to mine. Silly.
What really bugs me, is that this distinction cuts people off. Say I liked my ward, and I got kicked out at 31. Then what? I'm now cut off from the people who had been supporting me through my life. And I have to start over at one of the most difficult times in my life? Not cool. It explains why a lot of people my age go in-active. We know we don't fit into the ward life. We know that no one really knows what to do with us. We're aberrant. Anomalies. And we feel it.
So, what I propose is simply new distinctions. Something along the following lines:
- Young Single Adult: 18-25. This will cover most people IN college. And give you a bit of time after you're done with your schooling.
- Single Adult: 26-35 (about there...I mean, it is, after all, arbitrary, right?)
- Family: Anyone. At all. :)
Can we agree that something needs to change, at the very least?!