The fate of Richard and Tracy‘s church has concerned my church for some time now. They sold their building, which had various problems including bad water, without having a new one lined up. Their priests keep changing for one reason or another.
So the bishop suggested we merge, but nobody wanted to: Our churches are a couple counties apart, if they came to ours they’d have a long drive every Sunday, theirs was nonexistent, and if we found a midway point in the county between us, we’d have to sell our paid-for building and pay for a mortgage for a new one.
One of my friends wants to go there sometimes, because he lives around the midway point, but he keeps asking me if the church still exists because he can’t get information and the building is torn down. Then he does get information, only to find they’re meeting in rented spots because they don’t have a building.
Earlier this summer, our archon (liaison between our church and the archdiocese) said R&T’s church had closed. I have my own concerns, since if their church fails, will they become full-time members of mine?
So I check the website once in a while, but it hadn’t been updated for a year. 😛 (This is why I keep up my church website, because I know how frustrating that is.) Last night, I finally found an update: They have not been meeting over the summer because they don’t even have a priest!
This amazed me because–Where have Richard and Tracy been going all summer, then (if they’re going anywhere)? I haven’t been to every single service this summer because of stuff that happens, but I’ve been to most of them. And I haven’t seen Richard and Tracy there for more than a year.
They also haven’t checked my blog for a month and a half.
I think they truly have backed down. The threat is over. I kept up my blog and didn’t back down, didn’t capitulate and call my truthful writings a lie, just to please them; now they’re gone.
Though I still wonder what will happen if their church does close, and dread the thought, that is a hypothetical worry, not one based in fact. Maybe their church will find a way to keep surviving. Or maybe R&T will move away.
So I must keep focusing on the here and now: Their church still exists, and even though they have not met all summer, R&T are not coming to mine. Maybe the process of healing, and church continuing to be my oasis for a full year, will help me to deal with it better if they do show up again in the future.
Also, unlike last summer, when they specifically stated they were going to come to my church to intimidate me, this time I’ll know it has nothing to do with intimidating me. It’s not their fault if their church does close.
So I can get to the point where I don’t care if I do see them, because their ability to hurt me will be gone. Just like seeing Peter or Phil can no longer bother me, even though seeing them walk through the cafeteria doors set my teeth on edge back in college.
Heck, Peter and I have even kept in touch over the years, and are now Facebook friends.
I may still have to ask for mediation from the priest or a church member, to deal with the issue of sharing the Eucharist without eating and drinking condemnation unto ourselves. But there is hope; the light is shining through; the end is in sight.
[Update 11/6/14: Shortly after, they resumed their blog stalking from different computers/IP addresses, but I have not seen them in person since. Well, except once in a parking lot back in May. And that’s despite the fact that their church is indeed closed, and there is no other Orthodox church in this county.]
[Update 3/14/16: See Now my church is officially merging with my abusers’ church.]