Grieving This Season of Loss

I hope this blog post doesn’t come across as negative and I hope that people don’t think this is a blame game kind of thing. I’ve rewritten this post a few times since I keep sharing my feelings too much.

I want to start off by saying that the pain that I’m feeling isn’t because God failed me. God has always been there for me and I know that God is in control of all things.

faithingod

I couldn’t figure out why people would stop going to an in-person church. For me, it made no sense since I feel that Christians should worship with other Christians. We shouldn’t just sit in front of a computer or a TV and be spiritually fed. My opinions and feelings have changed since there have been way too many curve balls that have been thrown.

I’ve been looking for answers to the question that is based on why do people stop going to churches in person.  There’s a lot of questions and answers. But, this is something that I found on another website and for me, this hit the nail on the head. This website page is called “The Life” and this is the page on their church that discusses many of the things that I have been feeling for some time now. “The Hurting Church”.

Being hurt by the church is not something that happens once in a while. We often find people who have been deeply wounded by the family of God, leaving them worn and exhausted. Leaders are sometimes in conflict with other believers, robbed of the joy that Jesus promised. When we examine our own bruised souls, it can make us want to leave the church and even put God on a “back burner” since he has allowed it all.

I’ve been finding for some time now that I’ve been hiding my hurt feelings for quite a while. I don’t want to upset people since sharing my honest thoughts might cause pain in someone else’s life. I don’t want to offend others by sharing what’s really going on in my life.

I’ve heard over and over again that I just need to suck it up and basically that I need to put my Sunday best on my emotions and to trust God. I’m always hearing how I’ve overreacting and that things will get better.  So, I end up grumbling and pushing my pain away. Eventually, something else is said or done and those feelings come back even stronger. Then I end up blowing a gasket and I fully unload everything that I’ve been feeling all at the same time.

I didn’t want to share much of anything about what’s been going on at my church. but, I think I need to voice my feelings since they are eating away. I hope this doesn’t offend people. But, if my feelings do, I can’t help that. These are the reasons why I’ve been having a very hard time spiritually speaking and why I’m at a point in my walk with Christ. I love the Lord. My issues right now are the hurt that I’ve been having over the past 2 years in my church.

My church has been going through a lot of changes this year. It started before 2020 kicked into high gear. I’m so ready for 2020 to be done and over with. Before Christmas 2019,  our pastor put in a notice saying that he was resigning. It was actually less than two weeks. A search committee was formed immediately and we began scrambling searching for our next pastor.

Then about eight weeks or so covid-19 virus literally forced churches, businesses such as restaurants, stores, and so on to shut the doors. The search committee was forced to think outside of the box. I told my daughter Jessica that it’s like Satan has a hold on an entire nation and world because of this virus. However, no matter how bad things get Satan doesn’t win, Christ wins.

On June 14th, our church voted on uniting Pastor Sam Martin from Red Mesa Fellowship. St. George Comunity is basically a church that was for senior citizens. I’ve talked to Pastor Dean before he left about how if we don’t change things such as bringing younger people, families, and students from Dixie State University that our church will die. Nearly all of the members are in the over 60 age range. Since the merger took place there are people of all ages.

Last year, a lot of people left the church for various reasons. I won’t share their reasons since it’s their job to share if they want to. Many of those who left, they did that because they weren’t being heard. Their feelings were dismissed and told that if they don’t like how things are going, then they should leave. I’m not using the exact phrases. But, in general.

I know that things are always changing. St. George Community needed a pastor who has a vision to bring in people of all ages. I’m all for that. We needed to find a pastor that also has leadership skills. I’ve been watching Red Mesa Fellowships youtube channel for a long time. I don’t have a problem with pastor Sam, but I do have a problem with how it feels like St. George Community Church has died.

The church’s name has changed. The only ones who can use the church are those who are with Red Mesa Fellowship. My daughter formed a flute choir and has been using the church building to practice and she was told that since it isn’t from Red Mesa Fellowships that she can no longer use the church to practice. My daughter is a member of St. George Community Church and it’s a slap in the face when they say that she can no longer use the church.

churchreopening
This use to be my church- St. George Community Church

St. George Community Church no longer exists. When te pastor and his team got voted in, St. George Community died. I’ve had many people sharing their thoughts and concerns. I didn’t think what they said would actually happen. instead of our church hiring a new pastor, they felt like our church handed over the keys and ownership of St. George Community Church to the person who was supposedly hired.

I defended and even voted for our church to hire the pastor. I had some concerns and that was over the name change. I didn’t think things would happen the way it did. There has been a lot of pastors in our area who said that St. George Community is located in a location that every church and pastor would want.

One of my pastor friends told me that if they knew how easy it was to gain control over the church, they would have pushed harder to become the new pastor. Most of what my friend said I don’t agree with. But, some things I do. I won’t go into a lot of details since this post is way too long already. I don’t want to do the blame game.

St. George Community Church is located directly across the street from a university. it’s the perfect church to reach out to the students at Dixie State University. Unfortunately, there isn’t a St. George Community Church any longer. it’s going to take me a long time to heal and I don’t know if I will be able to trust what any of the leadership team of what used to be St. George Community Church. As of right now, I won’t walk through the doors of any church. I will be watching church online. But, emotionally I can’t trust any church or pastor.

dyingchurchI’m very hurt by what’s going on at Community. The pain I’m feeling right now is like I’ve lost a loved one. St. George Community is down the street from St. George Cemetary. I think thee should be a plot and headstone since I feel that there needs to be a funeral. I’m sure there are many who thinks I’m being dramatic. Anyhow, this is how I’m feeling.

cemetary
The city of St. George, Utah  Cemetary

I haven’t lost my faith, but I think it’s because I’ve been mourning the things that have been going on at church. I know I need to find the right church. I think that’s the best thing to do. I need to be around those who are like-minded. I’m very hurt by what’s going on at Community.

I shouldn’t feel this way since it is just a building. but, Community was more than a building, it was a place to worship God and be with brother and sisters in Christ. The reality of all of that has been a sucker punch.

I would appreciate it if anyone could pray for me and for me to find some direction from God. I also need prayers so I can get past the pain that I’ve been feeling. I also need prayers for me to be able to forgive those who have caused all of these things that are going on. I don’t know who or what that’s causing all of these things to happen.

Thanks for letting me share my feelings and the pain that I’m feeling.

5 thoughts on “Grieving This Season of Loss

  1. Sandie, I understand how you feel and am grateful you didn’t lose faith in God over what these cruel people have done. To me, throughout my life I have been to good churches and bad ones. In my mind, God lives in my heart and not a building. I left the churches that just didn’t do anything for me and looked and looked until I found the right one, if it was a short or long stay there. What I have read here and what you have told me it sounds like it was all a scandal to get into this church. St. George Community Church was stolen from right under the members feet. Wish there was something the members could do. It wasn’t right what Pastor Sam did. I hope they know that God was watching this and most likely wasn’t very pleased. It also isn’t fair that Jessica and her flute choir aren’t able to practice there anymore but why play in a house of worship where thieves live. I pray she will find somewhere else to do her flute choir practice. God will find her the place. As for you, you are hurting deeply about all this. Especially with putting in your time since 1999 with St Georges church power points, website and fb page. I’m laughing that this new church dared to ask you for the loggins and passwords for these accounts. You stood your ground and I’m proud of you. Just keep in mind you did this all for a church and its members with your heart. You will be remembered for this. You enjoyed doing it all and God is also proud of you for what you did in His name. Churches just like people in our lives are here either for a short time or for a long time. God puts both into our lives for a reason and for as long as He feels a need for it. I believe St George Community Church ran its course for you and for others. Alexander Graham Bell once said “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” There is an open door for a new church for you Sandie. Right now, just get through the grieving process for this one but don’t sit too long!! You may miss the new door which may have something more beautiful behind it then the old door. You will get through this. I have many times and yes, the next was better but also again, you’ll be visiting it as long as God wants you to. This is all about Him and not about us. Will keep you in my prayers dear friend and I know you’ll be listening for His calling once again. Love you lots!!!!!!!

    Ramona

  2. I didn’t realize how much pain and hurt feelings that I’m having. I know that something had to be done since St. George Community had most of the members leave for one reason or another. I can’t and won’t blame God. nothing that happened is things that God has done. Man is infallible. I don’t understand why and how all of these things that’s been going on for quite a while now. I don’t even think it’s Pastor Sam’s fault. St. George Community could have said no and yet they didn’t. Chuck and I even voted yes for Pastor Sam to be hired as our new pastor. We didn’t understand what the consequences of saying yes would be. I’m not on the search committee or the leadership board. I just know how I feel. I had to step away for many reasons and for my own mental and spiritual health. I’m very upset over the fact that Jessica who is a member of St. George Community can no longer use the church. She said that she is cancelling her membership.

    This post was my final post and the closing of this season and chapter. For my own mental and spiritual health, I need to look ahead. I can’t keep getting upset and I can’t keep focusing on the hurt. If I do that, I will never be able to close this chapter. Now, I’m looking for a new church home since my church is no longer there. I’ve been told that I’m blowing it out of proportion, but, I can’t help what’s going on in my heart and soul. When I was told that it’s only a name and the church isn’t the building. I very much resented that. For me and so many of those who have left St. George Community was more. It’s always been more of a family type of church. Those who went there and left said that it was as if everything was taken and most, like me, are grieving the loss of a loved family member.

  3. You’re not over reacting. Everyone takes things like this in a different manner. You have every right to feel like you do. These are your feelings and others need to respect your feelings. Don’t listen to what they say. You need to get over this in your own way, not their way.

    Ramona

    1. Thanks for saying that. I’ve been holding my feelings in for so long since I didn’t want to offend anyone at Community or Red Mesa. I drove past the church and when I seen the sign on the corner changed from St. george Community Church to Red Mesa, my heart sank big time. I shouldn’t be worked up like I am since it isn’t healthy. I didn’t realize how much pain and grief that I’ve been carrying. I know it sounds silly to be crying over a church. But, I’ve put my heart and soul into reaching others for Christ and doing the best I can do to witness to others. I can totally understand how people will leave a church. I’ve been finding also when I listen to the sermons and music from church that I’ve been muting parts of the service. I’m just at a place right now where I’m not worshipping God. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I was abandoned and dismissed. I’m beyond upset and depressed over this. The only response that I fet from some at church is that if I feel like I need to go to a new church home, then i should do that. When they say that, it makes me feel like them willingly OK with cutting me loose.

  4. Everyone has their own opinion. You need to not worry about what others say. Do what you feel is right in your heart. 25 yrs in the same church is a long time, almost half your life. Like I said before things and people come and go in our lives. Listen to God and He’ll get you in the right time. Please dont put the burden in your heart and mind of what people are saying. You are yourself, not them. Ignore the negativity that you are feeling and move in the direction that our Lord will guide you. No better person than Him to guide us. He feels your every tear and despair over this but He will guide you into the right direction, not other people. You’re strong and I believe in you that you will overcome this if you just don’t listen to others. This is between you and God right now, not them. Keeping you in my prayers, love ya lots!!!!

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