This might be funnier if it weren’t so disappointing.
The Grove United Methodist Church in Cottage Grove, Minnesota will be closing down in June… and then “re-opening” in November. There’s no physical renovation taking place. The name will stay the same. The only change church leaders are hoping for is new clientele. And that means telling the mostly older current members of the church to never come back.
They’re seriously trying to kick out the old people in order to rebrand themselves as a place for young people. Because nothing expresses the love of Christ more than a church giving members an expiration date.
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.
Officials say the church needs a reset, and reopening the church is the best way to appeal to younger people.
Looks like Operation Eliminate the Elderly is working great…
The most interesting thing about all this is that the church leaders freely admit this is their plan. This isn’t some media invention or left-wing conspiracy.
They’re arguing that no one will want to join their church unless it’s appealing to young people, but instead of addressing what it might be about their beliefs that keeps young people from wanting anything to do with them, they’re getting rid of the most loyal members of the church.
Cottage Grove is growing quickly and the church should be growing, said the Rev. Dan Wetterstrom, head of the two-location Grove church.
“We have not figured out how to reach new people there,” he said.
He 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.”
Maybe that’s good since the current mission is a lie. According to the front page of their current website, they urge people to “Be who you are – you’ll be celebrated.” They specifically include “age” under that description.
… [Congregation member] 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. “As if anyone would do that. This whole plan makes me sick. I believe it’s evil.”
Cheryl Gackstetter added: “We are supposed to be silent partners, and still give money.”
Why would anyone of any age want to join a church like this…? It’s everything you hate about church minus the very people who make you look forward to going to church.
At least they’re all finally realizing that Christian leaders don’t actually care about them. Only their pocketbooks.
The love of Jesus comes with an expiration date, everyone. Should make for one hell of a sermon in November.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Erick for the link)