There is something happening in my ward that I can’t quite wrap my head around.  In fact, I can’t tell if it is past tense or not.

Like many (most?) wards, we have a crazy lady.  She is homeless (by choice, it seems), mentally ill, alcoholic (in recovery for many years), and excommunicated.  Her history in this ward is several decades long and she has some enemies; there are some people she really doesn’t like and she can be VERY antagonistic towards them.  There are some people who don’t like her, people who feel she has taken advantage of them or their spouses or the Church welfare system, or their Christian principles, or whatever.  Those people largely ignore her, but their feelings are well known and their complaints have sometimes been made official.

For whatever reason, this woman likes me.  She comes to my classes, participates mostly normally, and often compliments me or engages me in conversation on the topic or reccommends books to me in the hall.  She can really disrail lessons when she feels like it and I think my Sunday School class is the only one she is allowed to attend.  Someone even told me they thought my call to teach that class had been inspired specifically to teach this crazy lady.  For whatever reason, Donna* feels like my problem; I am glad she likes me, but wary too, as I know she can be trouble.  Still, I don’t like the occassional unchristianity I see people use with her, even though she most often provokes it.

 I have been informed that, based on the complaints of a few, Donna has been banned from our ward.  Per the bishop (who apparently sought permission from higher ups, but skipped our stake president who, reportedly, is steamed), she is no longer allowed to attend Church or any ward functions.  She has been told that she can attend the other ward that meets in our building (in the winter and summer, she often attended both, as it was a respite from extreme weather outside).  On the one hand, I feel sorry for the other ward, because they have more than their fair share of problem cases (we used to be one ward, so they are a known entity).  But really, fundamentally, I am deeply uncomfortable, perhaps even distressed, that this sometimes unlovely and almost always problematic sister has essentially been informed that she is not welcome in the Church of (Jesus) Christ (of Latter-day Saints)!  How can anyone do that?

 What do you think?  Can anyone do that?

*Not her real name, but let’s stick with it.