Thursday, January 23, 2020

Best path to a younger flock?

Best path to a younger flock? Church asks older members to worship elsewhere

The United Methodist Church has told the 60+ age members of the Grove United Methodist Church in Cottage Grove, Minnesota to shove off. The church is closing in June and reopening in November – 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 reapplying.”

“‘Rev.’ Dan Wetterstrom...said that Methodists’ regional Annual Conference is paying $250,000 to restart the church. They have hired a specialist in starting new churches — Jeremy Peters.

“Peters, 30, has moved to Cottage Grove with his wife and two children. He is working with community groups, laying the groundwork for the relaunch, probably in November.

“‘It’s a new thing with a new mission for a new target,’ said Peters, ‘and a new culture.’”

Though the older members “will not be physically barred from attending,” they are not wanted, and “the expectation is that they will not” attend where they are not wanted.

“William Gackstetter said 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.”

“Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. Honour widows that are widows indeed.” 1 Timothy 5:1-3

“…mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” Isaiah 56:7

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