Day 66: Sunday Assembly

Being grateful I finally made it to a Sunday Assembly:

Today I took a giant step forward on my healing journey from CFS.

I went along to my first Sunday Assembly, a “secular congregation that celebrates life”.

The Public Charter of this global movement puts it perfectly:

“We are here for everyone who wants to:

  • Live Better. We aim to provide inspiring, thought-provoking and practical ideas that help people to live the lives they want to lead and be the people they want to be
  • Help Often. Assemblies are communities of action building lives of purpose, encouraging us all to help anyone who needs it to support each other
  • Wonder More. Hearing talks, singing as one, listening to readings and even playing games helps us to connect with each other and the awesome world we live in.”

I first heard about Sunday Assembly over 18 months ago from a friend who’d been to one in her home town, and I’ve been wanting to go ever since.

It sounded like a great place to meet like-minded people, to be inspired by interesting talks and discussions, and I was particularly looking forward to having a good ole sing song.

But as each monthly assembly came and went, I didn’t feel well enough to go. But today, it felt like the right time to give it a try.

Accompanied by a few fluttering butterflies in my tummy, I headed into town to see for myself what it was all about.

And I’m so happy I did.

I was greeted warmly at the door, and was made to feel very welcome by the organisers, which instantly put me at ease. I chatted to a few of the friendly regulars, and then it was time to begin.

The theme for today’s assembly was ‘death’. Not a theme I’d have chosen for my initiation into this community, but it was covered tastefully, with compassion and a big dose of humour.

We listened to a few readings, sang a couple of songs – Bridge Over Troubled Water and These Are Days of Our Lives – and took part in a couple of small group discussions about what we’d like our epitaph to be and another to remember our loved ones that are no longer with us and what we loved about them. We then wrote their names on post-its and stuck them on the wall to create a ‘tree of remembrance’.

And then my first Sunday Assembly was over.

And I am hooked.

I realise that feeling part of a community is essential to my wellbeing.  And while I have a wonderful online community which I love and cherish (big shout out to Happier!), it feels good to get out of the house and connect with like-minded people face-to-face.

I felt absolutely wiped out when I got home and have a feeling this may take a few days to recover from. But I climbed into bed feeling very happy and pretty proud of myself for going; it was another ‘stepping out of my comfort zone’ moment and another step forward in my recovery journey.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful I finally made it to a Sunday Assembly.

 

ps With currently over 68 local assemblies around the world, check here to find one near you.