Joyce and I went to church this past Sunday – we no longer do that with the regularity that we used to — and stayed for a “reconciliation” meeting. Apparently there is conflict in the congregation.
We are an amalgamated congregation. Like many other churches, our previous congregation saw declining attendence as the younger generation stayed away. I attributed part of that to the hyper-responsibilty of the older generation; there was no responsibilty for the younger people to pick up, so they stayed home.
When our previous congregation amalgamated with two others, it was with the expectation that all three buildings would be sold, (2) we would all relocate to some more viable location, and (3) the program focus would be on youth. We chose to sell two of the congregational buildings and meet at the most central congregation until we could carry through on that plan. That was ten years ago, and the current conflict appears to be between those who want us to stay where we are and those who want to move (as had been our expectation). Many other locations have been proposed, but none have won general acceptance.
The moderator of our discussion, our “reconciliator,” asked how long we had belonged to the present (amalgamated) congregation, and many said “Since we amalgamated.” Others gave a much longer period of time: twenty years, etc. I presume that their affiliation continues to be with their previous congregation, in whose building we still meet, rather than with the amalgamated congregation, which probably accounts for at least some of the conflict.
In the meantime, most of us old-timers have either died, moved to nursing homes, moved away, or are no longer able to drive or can afford to so so.