Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Guest Blogger Stops By

Lest you all think I just make up my troubles with the church, something happened to my friend that I wanted her to share. So for today I am turning my blog over to her so she can tell the story in her words. I will add a few explanations in blue for those of you who are not religious.

Hello, I am the one called Assassin (MW's hubby gave me the nickname, don't ask) and I will be your guest blogger for the evening. First some important background info--I am a member at MW's church and also her good friend. I started attending there during their hiatus and have been there about eight and a half years. My son, nickname "Mario", turns five this month. He is in a two person Sunday school class. The other person in the class is E. The class is taught by MW. Get the picture? Not a real active children's program.

I grew up in a church with a very large and active Sunday School and youth program and I feel strongly that Mario should have the same foundation. The lack of children at our church is not a new development, and I probably would have looked for something more for Mario earlier, but I stayed because of my relationships with MW and hubby. Oh, and I shouldn't say lack of children, because there are a few more children, but apparently our church is pretty famous for parents not being able to get their children ready in time for Sunday School at the ungodly hour of 10 am. Also, I hold a position within the church, am active along with MW in several areas and was heavily involved in the efforts to "save" the church. That was all the background, now here's the story MW wanted me to share with you.

I have made no secret that when MW and her husband leave, I also am leaving to find a church that can offer my son a Sunday School class and other children his age. I mean, I don't have a t-shirt printed or anything, but I have told a few people and I tell people when they ask. When the poop hit the proverbial fan (the announcement of our departure), I was called by a certain powerful long-time member because she was sure I had foreknowledge of the event (which I did not). I told her I was leaving and I told her my reasons (not that I need them, really).

So weeks go by, people have settled, accepted, everything seems good. Until last Sunday. She, certain powerful long-time member, cornered me. And she's one of those low-talkers, who's voice is always so sweet and sugary and soft, even when she's chastising you. So she corners me about having said, months ago, that I was leaving. She wants me to just see them (the church)through the transition. I'm a committee chair, I owe them that, she said. I, once again, point out that once MW leaves there will no longer be a Sunday School class for my son. "Oh, there will be a teacher." she says. That doesn't change the fact that my son will be the ONLY STUDENT. I asked who, she didn't know. I said, where was that person before? MW only took it on because nobody else would, and because the only way for me to participate in the adult study was if someone was willing to watch Mario.

Since I could tell the conversation was going nowhere, I pull out the promises made at Baptism thing (the baptismal vows involve a parent stating he or she will raise the child with a Christian education). I said I had made the promise to bring him up in the church and educate him and I didn't feel I was living up to those vows. She tells me that Christian education is not just the responsibility of the church. Well, not solely, but they all said the same vows at his baptism (During the baptism, the church is asked to vow to help provide access to and raise the child in a Christian education. )

So then I repeat my stance and add that I have been praying about this for a long time, and I have been. The church has been in trouble for a while, and we all knew that this was a possibility. Plus, in our conference pastors don't stay around for very long, especially at our church--I'm on my third pastor in eight years. She keeps the guilt going a little longer and then says "You need to pray about this." I said "I have been." Then she said, "Well maybe you need to listen then."

And that's my story.--------------------


Jeannie said...

Sounds pretty typical to me. Yup. If you aren't getting anything out of the church you're going to, it's your fault. Ask not what your church can do for you but what you can do for your church.

CC said...

Ah, yes. The typical person who thinks that prayers are only answered if they get exactly the answer they want. In other words, you need to do what I want you to do, otherwise you're not listening to God, because I say so.

Don't let them guilt you into staying at a place you're no longer comfortable with, and which is obviously not meeting your needs.

Anonymous said...


Sadly that's one of the reasons I'm not involved with any type of religious organization and I HATE the phrase "I think you need to pray about this"

Every time I hear it all the person is really saying is
"I think you need to stop thinking for yourself and do what I say." Because it only seems to crop o¥up after I have thought, studied and prayed about something for a REALLY long time, and the other person just doesn't want to discuss it.

Good luck with it all and don't let it get you down, I'm sure there is a great church out there just for you guys.

cbrks12 said...

It sounds to me like God is answering your question by showing you how little this church family cares about YOUR needs. It sounds as though you need to follow God's promptings to find a place where you can be nurtured because it is going to be hard with your friends leaving - and since they are your friends, do you really want to stick around and hear them unjustifiably bad mouthed? Good luck...keep praying...and you're listening just fine.

Anonymous said...

Just tune them out and don't look back. What a bunch of creepy people

The church I grew up with had a very active youth program and it was a lot of fun.