Author Topic: Church to usher out gray-haired members in effort to attract more young  (Read 198 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Cop

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 1408
[Excerpts]

“I pray for this church, getting through this age-discrimination thing,” said William Gackstetter, as the gray-haired heads around him nodded in agreement.

Gackstetter and other members of the Grove United Methodist Church in Cottage Grove are upset enough that their church is closing in June. What makes it worse is that their church is reopening in November — pretty much without them.

The church wants to attract more young families. The present members, most of them over 60 years old, will be invited to worship somewhere else. A memo recommends that they stay away for two years, then consult the pastor about attending the Cottage Grove location again.

Officials say the church needs a reset, and reopening the church is the best way to appeal to younger people.

But the older church members say they see that as an insult.

“This is totally wrong,” said Gackstetter’s wife, Cheryl. “They are discriminating against us because of our age.”

After the plan was explained by a pastor on Jan. 5, she said, “I called him a hypocrite. I said, ‘You are kicking us out of our church.’ ”

The older members will not be physically barred from attending, but the expectation is that they will not.

“We are asking them to let this happen,” said Wetterstrom. “For this to be truly new, we can’t have the core group of 30 people.

How long should they stay away?

Wetterstrom’s timetable for the transition explains: “15-18 months after weekly worship is launched at Cottage Grove campus — those members of the current campus who are interested in migrating back … connect with (Peters) about how to best make that transition.”

Church leadership has suggested the present-day members could be welcome if they supported the youthful new identity of the church. “If they are on board with that, they are welcome to attend and engage,” said Peters. The plan was communicated to all church members.

 ...the aging membership has been asked to continue maintaining the church until it reopens without them.

“They want us to mow the lawn and shovel the snow,” he said. “As if anyone would do that. This whole plan makes me sick. I believe it’s evil.”

Source: https://www.twincities.com/2020/01/18/cottage-grove-church-united-methodist-young-parishioners/
My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me....That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave."
— Stonewall Jackson