It has happened again. Long-time, fully vested members of the church have announced they are leaving. The only reason for this I've heard is that they "don't like the direction the church is heading."
When/if this happens in your church, how do you personally and corporately respond? Do you go on as though nothing has changed? Do you talk about it? If you talk about it, how? In what setting? Is it ever acknowledged to the congregation as a whole?
In my setting, it is never addressed in any formal setting and speaking of it at all seems to fall into the area of gossip. Questions are pushed aside because of confidentiality issues. (Yes, I know what happened but I can't tell you. You need to talk to the people personally if you want to know anything. This is not a topic I feel comfortable discussing.) Does that mean each of us needs to individually set up an interview with those leaving and then keep what they tell us to ourselves? Is there any legitimate forum for sharing our corporate grief when we have been served "divorce" papers by members of the family?
(In my "gossip" group where we actually talk about such things rather than pretending nothing is wrong, I mentioned the part about not liking the "direction the church is heading." We agreed that we really need to dig further into this. Who knew there was anyone among us who had figured out which direction we're headed?!)
Just curious as to how others handle such times of upheaval in the faith community.