Sunday, June 15, 2014

case study

The church board had allowed a single mother and her two teenage daughters to live in the vacant parsonage, that was about to be placed on the market after the pastor's family had gotten their own place. They had been living out of their van but should be able to pay rent soon, one of the daughters works at McDonald's in a nearby town.

Naturally this was only meant to be temporary way to help someone out, but as the weeks dragged on there wasn't always clear communication between the mother and the church. And then, one weekend they wouldn't allow one of the men of the church to access the inside of the parsonage to do some needed work in preparation for listing, after which he promptly ended his association with the church.

At some point the mother came forward at an altar service and made her life right with the Lord, confessed some sins, etc. She was present at nearly every service and brought some jello fruit to a picnic. I didn't have any.

Still, her daughters were very distant when greeted and the mother did most of the talking. She sat next to me in one service but I pretended not to notice.

Gradually the women of the church had been expressing their initial reservations as well their take. Pastor's wife said get rid of the squatters. Men of the board said we had to be good Samaritans. 

Then one day the pastor informed me that to get a hold of him to use his wife's cell number, because they had switched. Evidently the mother had "developed a crush" on the pastor and his wife was putting a stop to her calling at all hours.

At this point all communication failed, and the board had to arrange for an eviction notice. On the morning the eviction went into effect they were nowhere to be seen, but trash and damage were everywhere. The congregation did a second work day to re-prepare the place for listing. Some nail polish would not come off of the counter top.

The last time they were seen was when the infamous van pulled up alongside the pastor's wife as she drove down a 4-lane road, flipping her off and yelling insults.

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