This is the third post (part one and part two) about my recent move after 14 years in the Boston area. You are probably thinking that my loneliest day at Church was my family’s first week in the new ward. Actually our loneliest week was the last Sunday in our old ward – the ward we were in for 14 years. Here is the story:

My wife and had moved into the ward when it was a branch. We had served in nearly every imaginable leadership calling in the ward. Over time the ward had transitioned from a ward comprised of a few students (which we once were) and many “natives”, to a ward made up of significant numbers of dental students. This has resulted in tremendous turnover in the ward each year. In addition, we are now 10 years older than many of these students, many of whom we don’t know well. For the last few years, my wife and I were both in the primary which means that we have been fairly isolated. In addition, we have had two young kids which meant we become a little more insular than focused on the ward. Adding all of this up has created a ward, where we only knew the long-timers – essentially those in the leadership positions and some other long-timers.

Back to the story – As the time came that we were to move, we let the Bishopric know 2 months in advance that we were moving (in fact, they knew we had been wanting to move for 2 years or so as we were tired of living in our neighborhood). One tradition in the ward was to have people speak before they moved – in fact, there were two couples who spoke a week or two before we moved – one had been in the ward for a year and the other for two years. While we were not expecting a party for our move, we were not asked to speak in Church, despite being in the ward for 14 years. We were both released from Primary so the last week at Church we had no callings. It was the first time I had been to Gospel Doctrine and High Priests Group in 4 years or more (had been in the High Council before that). Given this, I knew very few of the people in Gospel Doctrine, although I knew the guys in the High Priests Group. On this, my final day, only one person mentioned it was our last Sunday. This was one of our good friends in the HP group. None of the Bishopric said anything until I reminded them and they said “oh good luck”. I should note that these were guys about my age whom I had known for years and thought they were my friends. So my wife and I left that Sunday feeling very sad and very lonely.

We have tried to diagnose it and have decided that maybe we had outlived our time in the ward – perhaps old people feel this way when all of their friends have passed on. In addition, we should have been more proactive in getting to know the students. Perhaps the Bishopric thought we were eager to leave and had no interest in goodbyes – who knows. So we have learned some lessons and are looking forward to our new ward.