Opening Up Church Again

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Mormorrisey
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Opening Up Church Again

Post by Mormorrisey » Tue May 19, 2020 12:08 pm

So, they are planning to open up church again, albeit in a cautious and limited fashion. Great.

https://www.thechurchnews.com/global/20 ... ncy-184416

But I can understand why they are doing it, at least in the context of anecdotal evidence from my HC experience. The leaders of the stake are terrified - absolutely terrified, that people have grown to love home church, or no church at all. So I'm sure that this news will be welcome in my stake, although the premier of my province is not in any hurry to open things up, and I think it won't be open any time soon in my area. But we've been having zoom church every week, and I usually skip all or most of it, but Sis M HATES zoom church. When I ask her why she still does it then, she answers that she feels that she "needs to." So I ask her if that's how she feels about church period, and she didn't want to answer.

And that really, is the answer. And why they are doing this. Surely they know that most members can't stand church, hence the two hour block introduction, and they can read all the social media posts over the last couple of months on how much the members are loving doing their own thing, as opposed to actual church. The fear is palpable, and this is just another indication of that. I will be very interested in how this is received. I've already offered to be one of the families that volunteers to stay home for awhile as part of this phased program!

So my lame, apathetic and super non-existent church will continue, I hope, for another couple of months. Yay home church!

Be interested to hear the responses from areas in the Morridor and beyond to this news.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue May 19, 2020 12:41 pm

Note the opening interracial family picture. I've noticed how much the church has been pushing diversity in it's media the past several years; I guess they think that makes up for all the past and present bigotry. Or maybe that's just a "minister" following a single mom out to her car.

Also, the picture of the young men not wearing gloves when prepping the sacrament...because it's not magic enough if they don't directly touch every piece?

And what is it with TBMs thinking that giving a prayer or testimony in another languages makes it more magical? That was always an eye roll for me when a missionary did that at the end of their talk; no benefit to anyone, just a novel way to show off.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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alas
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by alas » Tue May 19, 2020 12:53 pm

We are at our summer place and it is a favorite vacation place. Judging by how tourists are acting at the beaches and other spots, I really hope our local bishop decides it is not a good idea to start any church. We normally run two sacrament meetings, one supposedly for ward members and one supposedly for tourists, but both meetings are normally swamped with up to 1,000 people about 1/2 of whom are in shorts and head straight to the lake. There is no way to regulate how many tourists show up and no way to tell them not to all come at 9:00 so they get as much beach or boat time as they can. Maybe if DH wants to attend church he can drive over to Dingle or Monpilier.

After the way the tourists have been acting in southern Utah, crowding places with no social distancing until they have to be closed because the spot can’t even hold that many, let alone provide space for social distancing, with nobody in masks, and damaging the rock formations, graffiti on rocks, jeeps ramming into rock formations and otherwise just being a**holes, I am not looking forward to that kind of “don’t give a damn about anyone but me” behavior from tourists going to my husband’s ward.

And of course, no announcements on changes to the sacrament to make it safe.

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2bizE
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by 2bizE » Tue May 19, 2020 1:42 pm

I first read this on the MDD board. I was amazed at all the true blue died in the wool TBM people were not very happy about returning. It was quite funny, and I think the underlying concern is that the church doesn’t appreciate the severity of this virus and just wants to get back to the business of making money.
I spoke with my TBM wife about this and there were a few funny things that came from that:
1) We couldn’t remember what time our church is at. Was it 9, 11, 1 ? We knew it wasn’t 1 pm but couldn’t remember.
2) Who is going to sterilize the church after each meeting? Someone will need to clean the sacrament trays, all tables, all benches and chairs, door knobs, the organ, piano, microphone and pulpit, etc)
3) We both agreed it was too soon to return. We may wait for a vaccine as Robert F. Smith from MDD suggested.
3)
Last edited by 2bizE on Tue May 19, 2020 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~2bizE

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue May 19, 2020 1:51 pm

alas wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 12:53 pm
After the way the tourists have been acting in southern Utah, crowding places with no social distancing until they have to be closed because the spot can’t even hold that many, let alone provide space for social distancing, with nobody in masks, and damaging the rock formations, graffiti on rocks, jeeps ramming into rock formations and otherwise just being a**holes, I am not looking forward to that kind of “don’t give a damn about anyone but me” behavior from tourists going to my husband’s ward.
I've been witnessing the destruction of natural places on Instagram and while out adventuring. With the national and state parks closed this past month, people started branching out into the more remote areas, camping and not being responsible. The canary in the coal mine is the poppy bloom in California. Instagram "influences", some with millions of followers, go off the designated paths, stomp down the flowers and get their selfie laying in them or with their Jeep driving over them. They climb over fences, fly their drones where they want, ride their ATVs where they want, all for thousand so likes on their images, sometimes paid by companies to get pics of products in there. They are so narcissistic that if anyone calls them out, even nicely, they call it bullying and try to claim they didn't break any rules. Then thousands of their followers go to the same place to get the same picture. We are seeing fires blackening the white Bonneville salt flats, 4x4 tracks where they should never be, trash left everywhere, dog $hit in bags just left on the side of trails, it's very discouraging. I couldn't believe how many people I saw out in trailer/shanty towns with their ATVs all over S. Utah, often flying the American Flag. I only saw one confederate flag.

Sometimes I wish the virus was powerful enough to just wipe all the humans off the planet. Maybe our AI will take care of the human problem someday, if it's not too late.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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græy
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by græy » Tue May 19, 2020 2:10 pm

2bizE wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 1:42 pm
I first read this on the MDD board. I was amazed at all the true blue dies in the wool TBM people were not very happy about returning. It was quite funny, and I think the underlying concern is that the church doesn’t appreciate the severity of this virus and just wants to get back to the business of making money.
I have spoken with several people from our ward council, many non-ward council families, and my own distant family members, NOT ONE of them wants church to start back up. Several of them expressed how much the enjoy smaller more intimate discussions with their own families. Nearly all of them LOVE the easy Sundays without fighting kids to get dressed and get in the car. None of them miss the incessant barrage of meetings and activities.

I even have anecdotal evidence from friend's TBM families to "get so much happiness" from church and yet relish not going to church.

How do they not see the obvious? Church doesn't make you happy! It only makes you stressed, and sucks away your irreplaceable time and hard-earned money!

Today's announcement immediately left me feeling a bit anxious about returning to church. Luckily, I am somewhat severely immuno-compromised (never thought I'd say that), and DW feels equally frustrated with the lack of hard-line rules for keeping sacrament attendees safe. I will not be returning to crowded meetings with communal singing and infested bread trays any time soon. If that is inappropriate for an EQP, then they can release me.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by Mormorrisey » Tue May 19, 2020 2:26 pm

græy wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 2:10 pm
Today's announcement immediately left me feeling a bit anxious about returning to church. Luckily, I am somewhat severely immuno-compromised (never thought I'd say that), and DW feels equally frustrated with the lack of hard-line rules for keeping sacrament attendees safe. I will not be returning to crowded meetings with communal singing and infested bread trays any time soon. If that is inappropriate for an EQP, then they can release me.
This might be my only saving grace - the missus is deathly afraid of germs, and she is very concerned about taking sacrament in the post-covid world. In fact, I suspect if it's business as usual, she won't be going back until something changes on how sacrament is done. That will be interesting.

It will be interesting to see if they will force people back to do callings, if they are really concerned to go back, or like you, graey, have conditions that make going back problematic. Keep us posted.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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græy
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by græy » Tue May 19, 2020 2:44 pm

Mormorrisey wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 12:08 pm
But we've been having zoom church every week, and I usually skip all or most of it, but Sis M HATES zoom church. When I ask her why she still does it then, she answers that she feels that she "needs to." So I ask her if that's how she feels about church period, and she didn't want to answer.
I like your thought-provoking questions here. I think I need to start being a bit more bold in my questions about DW's obligations to church.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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alas
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by alas » Tue May 19, 2020 3:45 pm

RubinHighlander wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 1:51 pm
alas wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 12:53 pm
After the way the tourists have been acting in southern Utah, crowding places with no social distancing until they have to be closed because the spot can’t even hold that many, let alone provide space for social distancing, with nobody in masks, and damaging the rock formations, graffiti on rocks, jeeps ramming into rock formations and otherwise just being a**holes, I am not looking forward to that kind of “don’t give a damn about anyone but me” behavior from tourists going to my husband’s ward.
I've been witnessing the destruction of natural places on Instagram and while out adventuring. With the national and state parks closed this past month, people started branching out into the more remote areas, camping and not being responsible. The canary in the coal mine is the poppy bloom in California. Instagram "influences", some with millions of followers, go off the designated paths, stomp down the flowers and get their selfie laying in them or with their Jeep driving over them. They climb over fences, fly their drones where they want, ride their ATVs where they want, all for thousand so likes on their images, sometimes paid by companies to get pics of products in there. They are so narcissistic that if anyone calls them out, even nicely, they call it bullying and try to claim they didn't break any rules. Then thousands of their followers go to the same place to get the same picture. We are seeing fires blackening the white Bonneville salt flats, 4x4 tracks where they should never be, trash left everywhere, dog $hit in bags just left on the side of trails, it's very discouraging. I couldn't believe how many people I saw out in trailer/shanty towns with their ATVs all over S. Utah, often flying the American Flag. I only saw one confederate flag.

Sometimes I wish the virus was powerful enough to just wipe all the humans off the planet. Maybe our AI will take care of the human problem someday, if it's not too late.
I know this is a tread jack, but what is it about the times or the Corona virus that is making people want to destroy nature? Our ATV club has had several small groups out doing clean up in the popular areas. Just picking up people’s trash. Areas that are normally quite litter free are just trashed. I want people to go back to work, before the selfish a**hats destroy any more.

I have noticed out ATVing that many of the inconsiderate jerks that are leaving garbage are flying the “Don’t Tread on Me”, Trump, or Confederate flag. All being used by the same mentality. I won’t tread on them, that is like stepping in shit. But I would like to bury them in a 6 foot pile of dirt, like shit should be. We saw one group with a big 4 foot Trump flag and aN equally big US flag, that left where they stopped for lunch and left a mess out in the desert. We cleaned up after them, with me wishing I knew how to send down a lightening bolt. They may not realize that they make me hate his Incompetence even more when they act like that and proudly proclaim that they are stupid enough to support him.

End thread jack.

Getting back on subject. I am worried about my husband going back to church. Of all the things he does, that is the biggest risk factor, and the sacrament has just GOT to be changed. We are both high risk, For multiple reasons, as are all of our children who are between 45 and 50, so not age high risk, but diabetic, former smoker, asthma. Two of my child in laws are also high risk. My middle child is so high risk that the government is paying her to stay home even though her job is not one she can do at home, so her job is being covered by others. Tax season and all IRS employees are working from home or working spread apart, or the highest risk are on paid leave. And every one of my children either are active or someone in their household is. So, I am not anxious for church to resume.

What are they going to do about callings with high risk folk? How is a ward going to function with splitting up into or three sacrament meetings, and in church buildings with four wards, how will they ever sanitize the building between those 8-10 sacrament meetings.

And, other than loved ones being exposed, I don’t have to worry at all about the logistics of holding church during a pandemic.

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Hagoth
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by Hagoth » Tue May 19, 2020 4:09 pm

From the mailer that accompanied the announcement:

"A priesthood blessing requires the physical laying on of hands. Normally, two or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders administer, but one may do it alone."

So that means a second person is completely unnecessary and one person could do it all along, right? It's like taking the sacrament with your left hand, you CAN do it, but you better wait for permission to do so. Do you think people will continue to feel justified giving anoint-and-pray solo blessings after the virus passes, or will the permission be rescinded?

Also:

"After taking every necessary precaution, when conditions prohibit placing hands on a person’s head, a prayer can be offered, including using technology. This is a prayer of faith and not a priesthood blessing."

Were technology assisted prayers not ok before? Does technology extend the range and/or strength of prayer rays?

I'm not comfortable with the instructions for administering the sacrament. The aaronic priesthood should wash their hands and promise not to touch their faces, something they should have been doing all along. Then you just pass the stuff around as normal with everyone handling it. Local leaders are given some latitude, but without specific guidelines, to make modifications as necessary, like requiring members to leave an empty seat between them. That should do the trick!
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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wtfluff
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by wtfluff » Tue May 19, 2020 4:21 pm

Yay! Lots of people who don't really care meeting together to share Sa-Corona-Ment!

I'm glad I won't be going in one of those filthy "ward houses" at any point in the future, though way too many of my neighbors will be dabbling in that crowd, and I have a house-mate that doesn't seem to care, so we'll see what they drag back. :? I guess my Disney™ Princess "Stay away from me" mask will be getting a lot of use.

I actually am a bit surprised that many claimed believers are not excited to return. There are definitely going to be changes to the ways humans interact due to this invisible microscopic enemy, it seems some of those changes will actually be good for the human race. (LESS RELIGION!)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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2bizE
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by 2bizE » Tue May 19, 2020 7:57 pm

I just don’t understand the church needing to open. What could be so pressing that people’s lives are put at risk?
There is also a tremendous push to open temples.
Why didn’t the church simply state that the health of members is more important than church services and that the churches would remain closed at least until the country and world are at green levels? It feels like the church needs to compete with the restaurants and businesses.
~2bizE

Aware
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by Aware » Tue May 19, 2020 8:45 pm

Well it's been a long time. I used to be a member of the old board but life has gotten (and continues to get in) the way...

I don't know what I believe anymore, except that it's unlikely we're on earth accidentally.

So, the past couple of months of home church has been an interesting experience. My DW is a pretty firm Mormon ( :) ) believer, and I knew she'd want to do home church sacrament, so I prepare it for her every Sunday.

After that we read a chapter or so out of the New Testament, and call it a day. We're both happy with the service.

Now, here's the point - We actually read about and talk about JESUS!!!

Totally unlike the regular church talk about things "the church" is doing, or what someone did on a mission, or about ministering, or quotes from some general conference. In those church talks, Jesus is rarely mentioned, except in passing.

In my years of being a renegade I've had the opportunity to attend a number of Christian churches. Whether they know what they're talking about I couldn't say, but I do know that they at least try to have and pretend to have personal relationships with Jesus.

LDS corporation services, are almost entirely devoid of talk about personal relationships with him. Any talk of Jesus is in a very abstract and impersonal manner.

It's no wonder that so many of us have withered to one degree or another. The corporation has sucked anything we had right out of us.

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wtfluff
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by wtfluff » Tue May 19, 2020 9:21 pm

2bizE wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:57 pm
It feels like the church needs to compete with the restaurants and businesses.
Hmmm... Methinks there's a pretty good answer to "why open" right there at the end of that sentence: "The Church" is not actually a church.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Culper Jr.
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by Culper Jr. » Wed May 20, 2020 4:06 am

Hagoth wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 4:09 pm
I'm not comfortable with the instructions for administering the sacrament. The aaronic priesthood should wash their hands and promise not to touch their faces, something they should have been doing all along. Then you just pass the stuff around as normal with everyone handling it. Local leaders are given some latitude, but without specific guidelines, to make modifications as necessary, like requiring members to leave an empty seat between them. That should do the trick!
Yeah, wow. Had a discussion with TBM DW last night about this. "They have a handle on this and know what's best," she said about church leadership. I mean, we're being led by a doctor-prophet after all.. :roll: My suggestion was to go to SM, not take the sacrament and I'd administer it when we got home. I thought that was reasonable. She wanted to wait and see what the leaders say. :? I am still astounded at the level of influence the "church" has over my family. I have to fight just to have us take reasonable precautions during a pandemic. Grrrrrrr.

Late last night we got an email from the bishopric saying they were resuming taking the sacrament to those without PH in the home on May 31, so I guess still no church in the short term. That was good news.

lostinmiddlemormonism
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by lostinmiddlemormonism » Wed May 20, 2020 7:42 am

2bizE wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:57 pm
I just don’t understand the church needing to open. What could be so pressing that people’s lives are put at risk?
$$$$

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Palerider
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by Palerider » Wed May 20, 2020 7:53 am

Aware wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:45 pm

Now, here's the point - We actually read about and talk about JESUS!!!.......

.....LDS corporation services, are almost entirely devoid of talk about personal relationships with him. Any talk of Jesus is in a very abstract and impersonal manner.

It's no wonder that so many of us have withered to one degree or another. The corporation has sucked anything we had right out of us.
Interesting observations here Aware. They remind me of the Savior's comments to church leaders at the time.

Matt. 25

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."

Church leadership either makes people more judgemental than they were before or the Corp just sucks the life out of you.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Corsair
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by Corsair » Wed May 20, 2020 8:46 am

2bizE wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:57 pm
It feels like the church needs to compete with the restaurants and businesses.
In a way, I think the LDS church does need to compete with restaurants and businesses. A bunch of states have functionally opened up. I got a haircut this week. If I can do more than just get takeout, LDS leadership knows that members will form opinions on this.

The areas most open in the United States are also many of the areas that have more Mormons. They are running an experiment to see if it's safe to go out and there is a chance that this experiment will turn out poorly. I suspect that the people who want to return to church also overlap with the people who want to reopen everything.

It's not hard to find sharply divided opinions on the health risks of this strategy. The institutional LDS church has indicated how it feels and we will see the results of this real-world test.

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Not Buying It
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by Not Buying It » Wed May 20, 2020 10:28 am

RubinHighlander wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 12:41 pm
Note the opening interracial family picture. I've noticed how much the church has been pushing diversity in it's media the past several years; I guess they think that makes up for all the past and present bigotry. Or maybe that's just a "minister" following a single mom out to her car.
I suppose I should applaud the Church's attempt to be more inclusive - but it rings so hollow when a couple of years ago they still had lesson manuals discouraging interracial marriage:
The discouragement of marriage between those of different ethnicities by church leaders continued being taught to youth during Sunday meetings until 2013 when the use of the 1996 version of the church Sunday meeting manual for adolescent boys was discontinued.[83] The manual had used a 1976 quote from past church president Kimball that said, "We recommend that people marry those who are of the same racial background generally".[84]:169[85] The quote is still in use, however, in the 2003 institute Eternal Marriage Student Manual.[5] Additionally, a footnote to a 1995 conference talk by the apostle Russell M. Nelson notes that loving without racial discrimination is a general commandment, but not one to apply to specific marriage partner criteria since it states that being united in ethnic background increases the probability of a successful marriage.[86]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interraci ... day_Saints

I say the Church should repudiate its racist teachings before publishing a picture that clearly goes against teachings in Church manuals from just a few years ago. It was wrong for them to teach against interracial marriage, and an organization with any integrity would admit it was wrong. A few pictures in their news releases is insufficient as an acknowledgement of their wrongdoing.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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slavereeno
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Re: Opening Up Church Again

Post by slavereeno » Wed May 20, 2020 10:31 am

I do NOT want to go back.

Like, ever.

DW misses the people, not the meetings.

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