From 1996 until 2009, I was an Anglican. A member of St Anselm’s, I had grown up there. I had gone from being in the Kid’s Club, to the youth group, to leading the youth group. I had gone from child to adult, and into a form of leadership in the congregation. In the last couple of years, I was really starting to come to grips with the deep meaning in the service, the meaning behind the words, why certain actions were done. Then, I made the most difficult decision of my life.
I moved churches. I left my home church of thirteen years, knowing that I’ll never be at a church that long again, and joined The Salvation Army.
Now, don’t get me wrong – there is absolutely nothing that I regret about my decision, because I love the Salvation Army, and I’m looking forward to my future with them. However, the decision to move was incredibly difficult, and I did struggle with it for a while. For about six months, I was attending both churches, one in the morning, one in the evening. I eventually made the decision that I needed to let people know, and I left on good terms. It was difficult, but leaving with love made it easier.
I’m sure I’ll have a number of farewells to deal with in the next few years. But I don’t think any will come as hard as this did, my family of thirteen years.