By Henry Brown
Emmanuel Episcopal Church has a rich history and a thriving senior adult ministry. The aging congregation ministers by quilting, Wednesday night suppers, and providing walkers to people who can’t afford them.
They have also started to get proficient with Facebook. “We just love seeing our grandchildren and great-grands on the Facebook.” Edith Edwards smiled. “But unfortunately our new pastor doesn’t have time for us.” Her smile left.
Pastor Elijah Earley has been their pastor for eighteen months. He is facing division within his church family by not “spending time” with them. He visits them in the hospital, and visits them in their homes, but unfortunately more is expected from him.
“All he really cares about are those new members. I think five families have joined since he came here.” Mrs. Edwards said.
“The problem is pastor Earley won’t accept the Candy Crush invitations many of our senior ladies send him. What makes matters worse is a few of them are widows. Some even homebound,” said Eugene Eaves, twenty-five year Elder chairman.
“I really didn’t know this was an issue.” Pastor Earley shook his head. “I kept getting the invitations but simply ignored them. I don’t know how those invitations work. And if I knew this was a big deal, I would have played.”
But trouble at Emmanuel Episcopal is not new. The church has had several pastors in the last twenty years. Many of them only stay two to three years. From a community stand point, they never get to know the pastor. There is really no outreach, and most of the members are over sixty-five.
Mr. Eaves shrugged, “I don’t know if this new pastor is going to make it. We have been through this before. Pastors come and go, but the church has to go on. The Lord’s work is just too important.”
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