Monday, March 30, 2009

Turning back the clock

About ten years ago our church split in a very destructive way. People on both sides were hurt and some still struggle with the memory.

The group that left started a new church just down the road and then, a couple of years ago, merged with another. Over the last nine months or so, people who left Linden have started drifting back, culminating yesterday in the return of the man who was one of the instigators of the split.

It wasn't a shock - he'd talked to our leaders beforehand and they in response had talked to us, seeking opinions and feelings - but at one point yesterday morning I glanced across the room and all I could see were 'returned' faces. It felt as if the clock had not gone forward an hour but leapt back ten years.

When Chris asked me how I would feel about this man returning I was able to say, 'Fine, no problem,' and I stand by that, but I hope and pray that we've all learned from the events of the past.


sally in norfolk said...

Mistakes are fine aslong as we always learn from them :-)

Furtheron said...

It is such a shame when things like that happen.

Something happened in a group near me a little while back and it still rumbles on. Someone who'd been away for some time came back and couldn't believe the damage done... It's very sad when someone looks in on it and exposes the failings on all sides.

James Higham said...

One wonders about ecumenical splits and what is behind them. Surely scripture is scripture.

Amanda said...

I think this happens in groups a lot, someone gets a bit control-freaky and/or thinks they can do a better job - I avoid group situations ;0)

McBöbø said...

Oh Liz, it's hardly one of the great Schisms, of which Christianity has such a considerable flair.

No one got burnt or excommunicated or anything.

Zealots just aren't what they used to be...

CherryPie said...

Yes hopefully the mistakes have been learned from. At least you are forewarned and will be able to spot any warning signs.

Leslie: said...

We went through that years ago and finally last year there was a reconciliation.

Liz said...

I hope so, sally.

It is, furtheron. Everyone loses out.

Scripture is scripture, james, but people are people.

It was a difference in vision and direction, amanda. (and control freaks!)

Ah, yes, bobo, did I mention the bonfire?

And we'll all be on the look-out, that's for sure, cherrypie!

It's always sad, leslie.

NitWit1 said...

Church splits are common in every flavor of church in US, including my own. I never participate in one that results in establishing a second group.

When we become dissatisfied, we visit existing groups and find one in which we fit. We find this much less painful than tearing up the congregants of any one group.

Megachurches are the curent phenom in US which tend to be more socially minded than religious.

Luckie, currently chewing on a bone bigger than one of her legs, say hello to George.

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