An acquaintance I've known for many years - inexplicably, our relationship hasn't moved beyond that of mere acquaintanceship - messaged me on Facebook recently to say she's leaving her church of 14 years. She thought I should know.
She said it was a difficult decision. I didn't pry for her reason. I was not surprised by her decision, however. Every family I knew in this church - and I knew close to two dozen families - has left. She told me many more than I know.
She consoled herself with the notion that friendship goes beyond the building and that she has supportive friends from various churches. I asked about finding another "church home" (I speak fluent, if antiquated, evangelese) and she named a couple of alternatives. I'm confident her husband will take the lead in this situation and get the family settled before the summer is out. I suspect if it were up to her alone, she would be content on her own for a while.
In talking with my immediate family, I've learned a peculiar fact: I'm the only one attending church. Not merely "regularly," but "at all." They have their reasons, mostly involving change: leadership, liturgy, mergers. When I told my husband that my mother hasn't been to church in years, he exclaimed, "What's the world coming to when little old ladies aren't even going to church?!" It will be difficult to find a sponsor for Kenny's confirmation in a couple of years.