|Stay on the path, and watch for alligators and snakes!|
Do you enjoy meetings? Some people do. Even the people at Aldersgate who like meetings are weary of them these days. We’ve had a lot of meetings.
We needed to meet a lot because you cannot over-communicate in church. During the spring, when members missed an important meeting, they wanted me to hold the meeting again so they could get the information first-hand. I always offered the same meeting multiple times. Some people came to every single meeting; others, to only one or two. We had informational meetings, prayer meetings, discussion meetings, “dreaming” meetings, and official meetings. I met with individuals when they asked, to explain the concept of “house-church” and intentional living community.
Interestingly, the people who missed the most meetings were not the ones who asked me to meet with them personally.
Most of our church meetings focused on: Should we sell the church property? If we do, what are our options? If we don’t, what does the future appear to hold?
The coming threat of light rail construction was usually a part of our discussions, but there were a number of people who believed light rail would not happen. That spring, it was less of sure thing than it is now. Even now, it is not a sure thing.
A dark thread running through our spring-time and early summer meetings was the way building-and-grounds safety issues seemed to be falling through the cracks. One of the community groups who use our building accidentally left on an old coffee maker on a Wednesday night, and it wasn’t discovered smoking and stinking until Friday morning. It might have caused a fire, but it didn’t. The handicapped button on the main door didn’t work right, and when it got pressed, it occasionally swung violently outward and almost knocked people over – but never did. A large tree that was leaning over the playground and needed to be cut down – wasn’t. It fell on a Sunday night, smashing through the playground where – thank God – no preschool children were playing. One or more of the toilets would run without shutting off, and we’d get a horrific water bill. The thermostats were always messed up. Weeds grew in the flower beds and Memorial Garden.
The poor Trustees had to meet a lot, dealing with other building issues. I felt the dwindling membership could no longer adequately handle all the problems involved in maintaining a large, aging building and grounds.
Some of our many meetings were “official.” At our April 1 congregational retreat, we had a show of hands that indicated a large majority of people wanted to move forward with potentially selling the property, which required the permission of the Corridor District Board of Church Location and Building. I explained that the Board could give us permission to sell the property, but we would need to present a plan of what we were going to do should the building actually sell. The meeting was scheduled April 27.
Ironically, the Orange County commissioners met the same evening to vote on moving forward with light rail plans.