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"we miss(ed) you at church" - what's your opinion on this? - Page 2

post #21 of 38
ooh, related item. my 5yo niece asked me saturday night why we (me & kids) don't come to church anymore, and if we can. there's no polite way for me to answer - her parents wouldn't be happy with me if i answered honestly - so i said, "i don't know." it felt really weak. she has asked me many times if we can please start coming to church again, and in her case, it's just wanting to see and play with her cousins, because we don't get the kids together often.

i feel bad about not being able to answer her questions honestly, even a simple honest answer like, "it's not the right church for us," but i don't want to bring my kids there and i don't feel bad about that decision.
post #22 of 38
if you think what she wants is to play with her cousins you just acknowledge those feelings, look for a church alternative and skip the questions.

"we just decided not to go there anymore. did you like it when we went to church together? it was sure fun to see you every sunday. would you like to spend more time with your cousins? when would you like to come over and play?"
post #23 of 38
Originally Posted by somanythings View Post
ITA I left a church for almost 6 months with NO notice/call/letter anything, then returned and had several people say, "I really missed you/wondered where you were/etc." and I was like you could have called or something.
Maybe people meant to send a note or call, then read a thread like this and saw all of the negative comments

And, really, the awkwardness about discussing these things face-to-face or over the phone doesn't necessarily clear up after the age of 5. Especially if people are dealing with hurt feelings. Sometimes mid-conversation you suddenly realize that you're asking the person the equivalent of "so, are y'all still getting a divorce or are you thinking about giving it another go?" It sort of depends on the personalities involved and the reason for not showing up at church, which sometimes people honestly don't know about until they ask you (I tend to be clueless about the gossip at church, totally clueless, stick-my-foot-in-my-mouth clueless, so believe me, it can happen).

This has been an interesting thread to read because I was about to email a friend to say "we've missed you" because 1) the "we" refers to dh and me, since we'd both commented on it, and 2) the best time for me to make communications like this (phone someone, send a note, etc.) is between 7 and 8am, because after that the kids are up and we'll be in full swing until around 10pm; and I can't tell you how annoyed I'd be if someone called ME at 7am to tell me that they missed me. The few times this friend and I have tried to call each other to discuss something it's been a 3 sentence conversation as one of us is dashing out the door. So you people who hate notes and the "we've missed you" are forewarned that if you show up at our church and then disappear you may find yourself getting a note from me that uses those exact words.

So I'm thinking that there can't be a "rule" on this one -- it really depends on the situation.
post #24 of 38
lilyka, i agree that getting the kids together more often is the logical thing to do. of course, she's asking me when the kids are together - because that's when i see her! telling her we don't go because we decided not to, really would not satisfy her, though. she is aware we decided not to. she is asking why, and that would essentially be like saying, "just 'cuz."

queen gwen, i have no problem being honest with an adult. i would like to be honest with my 5yo niece. however, i'm pretty sure her parents would not be happy. i try not to tell kids that i disagree with their parents. obviously i wouldn't say that, but my honest answer is that i don't believe what they teach there. as an intelligent kid, she can infer that i don't believe what she and her parents believe. i don't think that's cool - i would feel disrespected if someone told my child that something i believe and put into practice with my kids is wrong. i can be wrong, but i don't want my kids being told that i'm raising them wrong, so i don't want to do that to someone else either.
post #25 of 38
To me it's like they may as well ask WHERE WERE YOU? because that's really all they want to know. I don't like a small church that notices when I'm there and when I'm not!
post #26 of 38
It's a tricky one, the balance of personal and impersonal, caring and respecting etc.

One time about 10mins after church started, we got a call at home from someone who'd noticed we weren't there, but it really seemed like she'd noticed, reflected and been moved with genuine concern and it was justified.

But having that happen officially would be way over the top.

Another church called us after we'd been there 4 times and used the nursery to ask us which Sunday of the month we wanted to work in the nursery as it was mandatory, which wasn't a particularly encouraging first contact from the church.
post #27 of 38
hmmm, I used to serve on the membership committee of my church and we strive to put in a call or drop a note to someone we hadn't seen in a while. I would really want someone to notice if the kids and I just didn't show up for a month.

I am however not a person that looks for hidden meanings in peoples messages. if they send a note saying they missed me, I assume what the really mean is that they missed me. :
post #28 of 38
I think it is nice to be noticed that you aren't there. But what I don't like is when someone asks me where my parents are because I think that's weird...mostly because I feel bad that I don't know!
post #29 of 38
I'd be more upset if nobody noticed I wasn't at church. I missed a month this past fall due to DD's H1N1 followed by a cold and the pastor himself called to check on us. I was touched that he called. I also got a card from someone else at the church which was just as nice.

Like someone else said, I don't look for reasons to get offended.
post #30 of 38
When close friends would say it to me, I was pretty sure they meant it! I left a church almost a year ago (how time flies!) and I did tell the pastor that I was leaving. Whenever he sees me, he says, "I miss you" and it bugs the heck out of me! If he misses me, then he can invite us over for dinner or something. I feel like he's trying to manipulate me to come back, and it really doesn't sound sincere. But maybe he really does miss me and hasn't figured out that there are other ways to see me besides church. Depends on the person and the context, I guess!
post #31 of 38
I actually stopped attending a church this past summer, around the same time my husband went away. I know the priest had intended to stop by after he left, seing as I was left alone and pregnant and so on, but in the end never did.

I had mixed feelings - relief I didn't have to explain that I had defected to another church (which was a bit cowardly) and feeling a bit put out. Though I know that the priest is really overworked.

OTOH, the Sunday school director popped by a few times and was very kind and had my oldest dd come to play with her grand-daughter. Which made me feel a bit guilty for leaving.
post #32 of 38
It REALLY REALLY depends on the church, the situation, and who contacted you. In some larger churches it really is a numbers game (its sad, but true) and they automatically send out cards after a certain time just to make sure their numbers don't drop. At other churches this is a really personal thing, and the cards are sent by someone who honestly cares about you. I used to send out the cards/make phone calls for the kids in our church. I always made the cards personal, and didn't use pre-printed ones, and those seemed way too impersonal.

So, I'd have to agree with everyone that says it can go either way. I always liked to make personal phone calls to families who didn't show up. And I always called families in bad situations, to make sure things were ok, and they had the basics they needed (some kids in our church were too poor to eat dinner every night).
post #33 of 38
My former church would send a computer generated postcard after you missed 3 times in a row. The church administration asks everyone in the congregation fill out a "friendship care" and give it to an usher at a designated time at the end of the service. In reality, you could be in attendance but not fill out a card and still receive a "we missed you" postcard, reminding you to fill out your card if you are still attending. If you missed more than 2 months you got a form letter, asking your intentions. Eventually your name would be removed from the rolls.

I didn't really feel missed. The computer noticed we weren't there so I guess the computer missed me. If people noticed we weren't there, then a handwritten note or a phone call asking if everything was okay would have been a nice gesture.

I consider the computer generated notes a business move to generate goodwill with the clientele.
post #34 of 38
i went to a church for a few years. was even on the congregational council for 2 years. in the choir too. the congregation claimed to have a desire to grow, let alone keep its members. yet when i stopped going, it was over 6 months before anyone contacted me, and then it was the pastor who left a brief voice mail. no email inquiries, no other phone calls. i might have gone back if someone had noticed sooner... but at this point (it's now been over 4 years since i stopped going), i'd just be annoyed.

ETA: should add that new people who indicate such a desire actually get a visit from a member, with a fresh small loaf of bread. even before they're members. so for there to not be contact after even 2-3 months of absence... i was somewhat dismayed. curious that even though we live in a smallish town, i rarely run into anyone from the congregation.
post #35 of 38
I wish I got a card or an email. Instead when I do show up I get the girls in the young women's group (I'm the second counselor) coming up and saying "Where were you? Ignoring your responsibilities, hmmmmm?" Yes because after getting 2 hours of sleep due to my baby screaming all night from his acid reflux, I'm totally going to get up at 7.30 on Sunday morning to go to YW. Then if I say something like "Well we had a rough night" they say "Man, I wish I had a baby to use as an excuse for everything." (I think, "Shut up, you're 12 and 14, you don't know jack") Like that's going to make me want to go to church?!?!
post #36 of 38
Originally Posted by JessicaRenee View Post
I get the girls in the young women's group (I'm the second counselor) coming up and saying "Where were you? Ignoring your responsibilities, hmmmmm?"
it sounds like your next yw class should be about respecting their elders! hello, your child is one of your responsibilities, no?
post #37 of 38
Originally Posted by doubledutch View Post
it sounds like your next yw class should be about respecting their elders! hello, your child is one of your responsibilities, no?
post #38 of 38
Usually i run into someone form church at the grocery (if not several someones), or my kids Sunday School teacher has been known to mail them small notecards when we've had extended absesence (usually due to illness, cause as soon as 1 has it - it makes it way through all 5 of us over a few weeks). Usually it take it as a reminder to let her know that yes, we're alive and well, and we've been sick/busy with family stuff (as when my sil was getting ready to leave for aghanastain), etc.

It's nice to see that we're missed, and I don't find it to be in a rude manner for us.
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