OK, so I just moved to a new town, and I want to make some friends.
I am Christian, so I expect that I should be able to just jump into a church and meet all kinds of people there. After church people tend to talk and make plans to be social during the week, and the church communities tend to have parties where they talk and eat, etc..
I've tried a couple of churches, and I noticed a common behavior among them. They always stand in these semi-circles or circles while they talk (usually about 3-7 people in a circle), and since I don't really know anyone, I don't know how to join the circles. I assume this is normal behavior for people who know each other; I've observed similar behaviors at parties in the past. My response to this, so far, has been to awkwardly walk around the room or look at my phone, listening for an opening that I can jump in on.
Typically, the conversations they have pertain to pop culture or shared experiences. I figure I need to join the group before I can have shared experiences, so my only hope is to attempt to contribute something to a conversation about pop culture. But I'm a huge nerd. These days I'm spending my free time reading Josephus, Tertulian, and Plato, and I don't know how to talk about pop-culture.
My age group is early 20s, college/working.
How do I interject into an existing conversation about pop culture?