By CHRISTINE ZIMMERMAN, Special to the Bulletin | Published August 15, 2013
ATLANTA—In late 2010, a small group of single adult Catholics from the Atlanta Archdiocese found themselves often hanging out together and discussing how they had “no place to go” when it came to a singles community in which they felt comfortable. Feeling out of place in young adult groups but not yet ready for senior groups, the friends began talking about forming a community that would meet the needs of singles like them who felt “somewhere in the middle.”
By July 2011, iConnect Singles was launched and has been growing steadily ever since. Now, two years later, the Catholic singles group includes a roster of more than 300 adults and offers a calendar of events that is varied and full. Regular events include hikes, trivia nights, first Friday Mass and cookouts. A core leadership team regularly coordinates additional activities such as concert outings, participating in service projects, and taking in local sites to ensure a wide variety of events to choose from. While most other singles groups define themselves by an age range, iConnect Singles prefers an “all singles are welcome” approach to let newcomers determine if the mix and makeup of the group is right for them.
Co-founder Angel Livingston, who serves as president, focuses on helping the group grow and thrive.
“I am pleased to see how the group has grown and all the friendships that have developed over the past two years,” said Livingston. “I hope iConnect Singles continues to build as a community throughout the archdiocese and that the group helps single adults grow deeper in their Catholic faith.”
In July, iConnect Singles celebrated its second anniversary at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur. Dave Mattingly, co-owner of Eddie’s Attic and iConnect member, offered use of the patio restaurant to host the event. Participants also enjoyed dance music via a live video feed from the music venue.
“We at Eddie’s Attic feel honored that iConnect chose our venue for their second anniversary party,” said Mattingly. “It was great seeing everyone dancing and having a good time.” Known for its legendary stage that has launched many national stars, Eddie’s Attic has also started several unique series including a Young Artist Showcase, acclaimed classical acts featuring Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians and noted international stars, and a Christian series that strives to take Christian music beyond the churches and Christian media outlets “to the streets” said Mattingly.
“The anniversary celebration was a fantastic event that drew about 50 people, and having it at a popular venue like Eddie’s Attic made it even more special,” said Livingston.
During the celebration, Livingston mentioned the contributions of each member of the iConnect leadership team and in a special way recognized Bob Armbruster, Tim Solan and Tammy Thornton for their generosity in giving of their time, talent and treasure to support iConnect. In addition, Ed Kujawski, Martha Robert, Tony Rozier and Mari Temple were each recognized for their assistance in helping the group in various ways.
The “iConnect Angel Award”, which is the volunteer-of the-year award given to a member who has gone above and beyond throughout the year in helping with events and serving in numerous capacities for the group, was given to Shawn Austin. A noteworthy occurrence also celebrated was the recent marriage of Armbruster and Melinda Tye, who met through iConnect Singles and came back from their honeymoon to join the anniversary celebration.
As iConnect Singles continues to focus on its mission to help active Catholic single adults meet and connect with one another socially and spiritually, the group looks forward to an exciting future.
“We have an enthusiastic leadership team and a lot of great ideas,” notes Livingston. “All single adult Catholics are welcome to join any of the iConnect Singles events and share in the fun and spiritual growth opportunities.”