My son was recently married, and it was a great weekend. Everyone enjoyed the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, and the reception. It was a lot of fun.
The ceremony was very well done, and one aspect of it struck me. At one point in the service, the minister asked the parents of both the bride and groom to stand. We were then asked if we would do everything in our power to help uphold the bride and groom in their marriage. We of course answered “We will.”
The minister then asked the entire congregation of family and friends to stand up, and she asked the same question of them, and they all said “We will.”
It was a nice way to develop or reinforce a sense of community among those who were there to witness and support the bride and groom. It brought everyone together in an important sense, and the ceremony was surprisingly emotional for many of the people there.
Robert Putnam, in his book, Bowling Alone, the Collapse and Revival of American Community, discusses a decline in a sense of community in the United States over the past few decades. The title comes from the observation that in the 50’s and 60’s, people bowled in leagues, but now they bowl alone.
Putnam also discusses the fact that most Americans in many ways are aware of the missing sense of community and feel that somehow we need to reconnect with each other. Fraternal Benefit Societies like UCT are focused on community service, and are communities in and of themselves. Members feel a common bond with their fellow members, and enjoy volunteering with each other in their local communities.
Look into joining UCT, and reconnect with other people in your local community to help make it a better place.