I am not in a privileged enough position to be in on the conversations. But, I fear I know what many of the arguments against amalgamation will be – our building, our history, is this or that church “taking over” … and I suspect that really at the heart of many of these concerns is pillar members wanting to have their funeral atthe church they have lived their entire lives, wanting support from their pastor at this stage of life and their community. All of which are valid desires and fears. And we certainly need to make sure the end of life care which is a huge part of our ministry continues.
But, my fears and desires are very different. I am looking to 10 years from now: when there are not enough bodies to make up a church council or money to fix the roof, when we HAVE to close our church, when my family and the one other young family are left without a place to go. Where my community abandons my family.
I do think we have another option, and I think it is an only option. If we join together there could actually be a Sunday school, a home team for youth events, a confirmation class, refugee sponsorship, strong support for larger church programs from a vital congregational base. I could look forward to being a part of a church that will do my funeral, and marry my children and baptize my grandchildren.
For me amalgamation is not letting our church die, it is letting it live.