Our family is entering a new stage in our journey, and I want to share a little about that. Many of you who know us in real life already know about what’s been happening, but for those who don’t, allow me to explain.
We have come to the decision that we need to find a new church.
This was not an easy decision, nor was it one we made quickly. It was not made in anger or over something anyone said or did. In fact, we have no hard feelings toward the church or any individuals. We love the church and the people in it. We have made wonderful friends, people we hope to have in our lives as long as they will have us.
The reason I have not written about it sooner is that we felt we should speak with the church staff and elders first, out of respect for them. That way, they would have heard the story first and anything anyone else had heard could be verified or denied. We met yesterday, therefore we are prepared to discuss what has been going on and how we are feeling.
Our church has a specific mission and purpose. We think that is wonderful, and we hope that the leadership and the people in the church continue to carry it out. We will continue to support all of you who are still part of the church. But we believe that God is calling us in a new direction. We feel God’s leading toward social justice ministry. Although it would be ideal if we could do this and continue to be part of our church, that is not possible. It would be like telling someone who wants to build houses in Africa that they should just donate money to an organization or go on short-term trips.
I’ve posted about this before, about how deeply I was affected by Bill Hybels’ message about what wrecks us. For about the last 2 years, we have both been looking more deeply at what wrecks us and what we can do about it. For a time, we both tried to do this within the context of ministry at our church. We even made some changes in parts of our lives outside of church. But it’s grown beyond that, and we’re ready for more. We’re ready to take the things we’re passionate about and make a difference for others in this world. That’s really what social justice ministry is all about, after all.
If you read this blog regularly, I’m sure that most of you can figure out what I’m most passionate about (and therefore why I can’t do that kind of ministry at our church). As this is my blog, and I believe that my husband is capable of speaking for himself, I won’t go into detail on his behalf. If any of you have any questions, including more information about why we left, what our plans are, or what we intend to do, please feel free to contact us. You can leave a comment here, use the contact form on this blog, message us on Facebook, or email one of us directly. Please respect our privacy by using email or messages to get in touch, rather than calling us.
Some of you may be wondering where we will be attending church now. That’s a fair question, but not one we are prepared to answer at this time. We need to protect our family, especially our children. Being judged for the church we have chosen or for any other part of this process is unfair to them. We know you wouldn’t mean to judge us, but unfortunately, any opinions or advice or discussion about what we have or have not decided comes across as judgmental. You are absolutely entitled to have an opinion. We’re just politely requesting that you keep it to yourself.
We don’t want any of you to believe that you caused any of this. Please believe me when I say that you didn’t. We love you all enough that if one of you had hurt us, we would have told you directly rather than leaving the church. This is entirely on us, based on what we hear God saying to us.
You may pass this along to anyone you feel may want to see it, as not all of our friends read this blog or have Facebook/Twitter accounts. There is nothing secret here, and we won’t consider it gossip for you to discuss this with each other, since you have our full permission to share.
We hope that we can still remain in touch with all of you. Your love and care have meant the world to us over the last 7 years. Thank you for everything and may we continue this journey of faith together, even though we do it in different ways. Blessings, and much love to you all.