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|Going to Church has become a Risky Business|
Jul. 20th, 2010 at 1:06 am
A few weeks ago, my son was being particularly fussy in Sacrament Meeting and my daughter offered to take him to get a drink. I agreed and, quite frankly, enjoyed the few minutes of Sacrament Meeting I could focus on while they were gone. This rendezvous at the water fountain has become a habit and it seems harmless enough: the kids, who get NOTHING from Sacrament Meeting, get to stretch their legs and get a drink, and I get to listen for a moment. We always sit in the front row on the short pew by the front doors and the water fountain is about 7 feet away.
Last week there was a brief announcement at the beginning of Relief Society that there would be a new routine for retrieving kids after Sunday meetings: all the Primary children should be picked up from the Primary room at the conclusion of the meetings. Although no reason was given for the change, I could think of some good ones and it seemed like it could be a really good idea. We’ve done it for two weeks now, and everything worked for me.
Today, as I sat in a ward-members’ backyard with a bunch of other moms as our kids swam, I got some new information: a registered sex-offender (possession of kiddie porn) had been attending Church with us, and that is what precipitated the change in Primary routine.
What bothers you the most about this?
I actually did have a chapel that had a water fountain in it once, and now that I realize I have allowed my little ones to wander the halls in search of refreshment with someone who is sexually interested in them, that has much greater appeal. I am trying to make a little light out of a situation that can be very troubling. I applaud the sex offender for searching out God, but I admit that it worries me. What worries me more is the clumsy way in which my ward has handled it: I feel that we ought to have been informed about the reason for the greater concern for children by themselves in the halls.
Has your ward had to handle a situation like this? What practices have helped the ward accept the situation?