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A 1 House of God Split By Nathan Sullivan This is a story of how my church become split on how it was to be run and who was to run it. This took place over a year ago however the events that took place still effects how many people feel and react to the events that are taking place now. My church has been split for some time and there are those that still don't truly know the things that took place. My family and I however were caught in the middle of all the things that happened, we were the first offended as well as the leaders of trying to replace our pastor. I will tell the things that took place as they had happened and how they had affected my self and my family. As a person can expect something this complex will not be easy to explain I will do my best to tell all the things that had happened. When my family came to Friendship Lutheran Church we were hoping to find a place that felt like a family. We had just left our first church do to the fact that we were unaccepted there because my brother and I did not attend the private school that the church also offered. So after a year of waiting to be deemed members we were still looked down on, I was in the sixth grade. The next Sunday my dad had found a small church on the outskirts of Champaign and with that we began to hope that things would be different and that they would accept us as a part of their church family, and that is just what we found. As soon as we walked into the building we felt more than welcome be a number of people that came to get us. To tell the truth it was almost intimidating but I had never felt so happy in a place that I have never been to before. After only a few 2 weeks we had called this church our home, my parents were a part of the new members class, my brother joined the Sunday school classes and I was a part of their confirmation class. We had been with the church for four years and my brother and I had become great friends with the other kids in our classes we were always hanging out with them, but we weren't the only ones making new friends our parents had become friends with as many of the adults as we had with the kids. My dad had even become the president of the church board and my mom had joined the alter guild. We had things even better then we were hoping to get, our family felt truly blessed to be where we were. Things had been going so well that at one time my dad had said that he was hoping that when we were old enough that my brother and I would be married to our wives in this church. No one in my family could have guessed at what was going to take place in the next few weeks would sake all of this to it's core. The event that would start a landslide took place at one of the adult's night out parties that the adults would set up once every month so that they could all have a get together with out worrying about their kids for a night. At one of these the subject of turning an old barn that was next to the church into a building for the youth group had come up. This was being talked about for more than a few months and after seeing how much it would cost to fix up this run down barn it was found out that it was cheaper just to tear it down and put up a new building, which was far off from what the church could afford. So with that the idea was put off as a possible later project, but our pastor wanted to get to work on this now. It was with this mindset that our pastor brought up the barn again weeks after it had been shot down, he said that we could put some space heaters in and it could work for the time being. Every one at the party thought he was joking, he 3 had to be the barn was full of old and broken tools, dust and dirt, along with various small wildlife both dead and living. As we would find out he was far from joking, once everyone started talking about how much of a bad idea it was our pastor, the man that confirmed me and thought me what it meant to be a Christian suddenly snapped. He began raving about how this is what the church needed that this what God wants for us. The adult began in disbelief to explain how they all wanted a place for the youth group to have their own space but now was not the time that the church could afford to build one; we were struggling to meet all the weekly bills by themselves. Our pastor continued to claim that we needed to have this thing built now that the church would not survive if we didn't expand now. The feeling began to grow tense in the home that was hosting the party so one of the older members stated that she was going to go home now. Our pastor ran out to his car to move it behind all of the other cars so that no one could leave until this was "all settled". Roughly an hour later every one was in their cars headed home from what would be the last adult night out. The next Sunday my brother was going to an all-state soccer match so my parents went with him and I got a ride to church with one of the families that lived near by to our houses. Just before the service started I was desperately asked to help out with the nursery in the basement of the church because one of the girls that said she could help was sick, I was more then happy to help out and that may have been the best choice I would make all that day. When I was in the nursery the spellers were turned on so that all of us down stairs could still hear what was going on. The service went on as normal until the sermon started. The things that I had heard made me want to run away from that place, our pastor was stating how he was like the prophet Elijah with the plans that he had 4 for our church and any one that opposed him were like that those would not lesion to Elijah and we would be deemed to hell. I would not go up to the church because I felt so unsure of what I should do the man that said we have no right to judge others around us just said that my family and I would go to hell. At the time that I heard this I had no idea of what happened at the adult night out except that our pastor had gotten mad with the adults and most of all my dad. I stayed in the basement till the family that took me came down to bring me home. As soon as I got home I saw that there was a message on the answering machine it was my parents asking me to call them as soon as I got their call. I called as soon as I got that message, my parents said that they had been called by one of there friends from church about what happened with the sermon they also had been told that our pastor was planning to come by our house later that day. They told me to lock the door and not to answer it or even go near it if someone knocked. So by myself I sat at home hiding from my own pastor hoping that my parents would come home soon. Thankfully nothing happened that day, however, the following months were full of drama. For the next three months were spent by the church to remove our current pastor and my family was leading the group, along with others that had been affected by his out burst. During these times we found out that this was not the first time that something like this had happened in this church. A number of members came forward to tell what had happened to them in these past events. But even with all of this things coming out of all the holes in the past of our church there were still many people that either couldn't believe what was being said or didn't want to. It was at this time that our church, our home became split in half. After long and uncomfortable months of planning, debating, and unrest our pastor was finally asked to leave the church. And with 5 that we began the search for our new pastor, which took a little over fourteen months. The elders had talked to many pastors to try and find a person that was able to work with not only a traditional service but a contemporary one as well. After some time we found a man that said he was more of a traditional pastor but he would be able to work with a contemporary one as well. With this and a little bit more looking into what his sermons were like the elders had picked pastor Brain Pape to become our new pastor. Pastor Pape was new to the church and quite aware of what we had gone though in the last year and a half and it was clear that he was a little nervous when he preached, but we all welcomed to our church with wide-open arms like we would any new member. In only a few weeks he had become very comfortable with preaching here, almost too much. He had begun changing the way that the sermons were being held he had started to put contemporary music and skits into the traditional service. All of the members that attended that service were unhappy but were ok with letting him do a few things just because he was new. However things got worse and when members of the church had come up to talk to our pastor it felt like he would lesion to them and just forget what they had said as soon as he walked a way. This continued for some time and most of the members no longer said any thing if they disagreed with it. Then one day our family was pushed to hard. One day in the services leading up to Good Friday the sermon was replaced with a skit that was about the trial of Jesus, there was no sermon every thing was read off of a script that was written for elementary school children. But the worst was in the middle of the skit the man playing the judge banged his gavel on the alter, when I heard that sound I was unable to look up for the rest of the service my mother looked like she was going to be sick and I cant remember the last time that I had seen my brother look so angry. It 6 was at that moment that I thanked God for my dad being out of town because I knew if he saw this right now he would have stood up and began to argue how wrong that all of this was. After the service we were asked what we thought of it because are family was the youngest attending the traditional service that week and we let the know with no holding back. It was with this finale straw that my family left Friendship Lutheran Church. Although we left the church were are still close friends with all of the members and with talking to them we have found that we were not alone in how we felt. Almost every person was feeling the same as us just every one was to scared to stand up and say so, they were asking us to lead them again in getting things changed in the church. But we were still to tired from already leading the church to get rid of our last pastor and leading the search for a new one there was no way that the Sullivan's could go thought that again. And that is why I have written this paper, almost everyone feels the same as us just no one is willing to stand up and take the lead. They want their battles fought for them and I feel that this is one of the largest problems that our time faces. No one is willing to be the one that stands up when every one else is seating down. And this problem is making my church fall apart it is making my second family split in half once again. And I have no way to help them all stand up for themselves I've told them to talk to the pastor and to let their points know but they don't seem to care and now I don't know what to do to save the place that I still call my church. I have neither given nor received nor tolerated the use of unauthorized aid. ... View Full Document

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