Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Thursday, April 19

Back to the original church

We met with the leaders of our old church (Vicar and NSM) yesterday.

We put it to them that we were seeking advice.

We told them:

• How our original calling to the new church seemed to be floundering as the Curate was leading the church in a very different direction

• Our daughter was not suited to their strategy for children in church

• How when we met the Vicar of the new church to discuss ordination, he had said we were too old and in any case he didn’t know us and we would have to go back to the old church for endorsement of our applications.

• We would like to go back, but…..

• To do so would mean flip-flopping back and forth between churches in a way that does not seem right

• To do so would mean seriously letting down our new good friends at the new church

• You can’t keep running from problems. Maybe God intended us to stay at the new church, face the conflict and see it through.

Their response was very positive. They would be very pleased if we decided to go back. (Obviously they had to stop short of actually asking us to go back as that would be sheep-stealing). They disagreed that we were too old for ordination, with the NSM saying that most people on her course were in their 50s. They understood that our first priority has to be for our daughter’s spiritual wellbeing (who incidentally has sometimes asked ‘can we go back to that church?’). Basically, they want us back NOW, but understand that we do need to manage the transition to minimise damage.

So the decision is pretty much made.

We are now working on a letter to send to the ‘new’ [soon-to-be-‘old’] church, giving our friends enough information to understand why we feel a need to move but without being provocative, moody, or mud-slinging.

Going back will solve many problems. My Reader’s licence is linked to that church. We are much more comfortable with the worship style there. We will be re-united in worship with our other children who remained there when we left. It will be good to be a living demonstration of the reconciliation that can be achieved through Christ.

But I’m still confused about God’s purpose in all this and why we are flitting from one place to another – not good.

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