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Dealing with a Clique-ish Ward


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#1 bro_rone

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 10:52 AM

OK, long story short: Minus my mission and about 1 1/2 years as a newlywed, I've live in the same ward all my life, just like my father and grandfather. About 17-18 months ago, the ward boundaries were changed. As a result, about 80% of my ward came from a different one. They all know each other, and they all live 8 miles away, on the other side of town. My family is totally excluded. It's very painful to find out about a party that everyone but myself and my wife were invited. We invited people over for dinner a couple of times a month for the first six months, but we never got a return invitation. I was dealing with all of this as just a part of being in a new ward, but it hasn't improved. Normally, I wouldn't care, after all, the church is still true - in spite of it's members. The problem has spread to my children, though. They are being ignored and left out, as well. I've spoken to the YM president and a member of the Bishopric about the problem, but I'm not seeing any results. Last night was sort of a last straw moment. My son is two merit badges away from his Eagle Rank, so I went to the swimming merit badge counselor and asked when he could get passed off. Her reply: "Just have him do it at Scout Camp." I told her he would be at EFY during camp, this year. She responded that he would just have to find someone to do it for him. I asked, "Aren't you the merit badge counselor?" I guess it was the wrong thing to say, since she got mad and walked away. This is a simple example. It gets worse, but I'm not trying to vent - I actually want some advice. This is weighing heavy on my mind lately, and I don't see a resolution. I'm friendly, outgoing, and I'm trying to make friends, but they just aren't responding. They've got their established friendships and groups, and they don't seem to want to let us in. Heck, I'm in the High Priest Group Leadership, and I still feel like an outsider. Any suggestions?

#2 prospectmom

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 10:59 AM

Wow I have had this problem in some wards ... so sad and I have no real answers... the will get theirs in the end... How many new members are soon inactive because of their actions??? Do all you can for you and your family... Pray... Pray... Pray take it to the stake president if the Bishop offers no help.. Your new ward needs a wake-up call... so sad but happens alot in this church... I hope you continue to deal with it in a positive way and pray for an answer..... Act as if ..... lead by example and do whatever you have to to get your son his last few badges... You must be so proud...

#3 gabelpa

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 12:15 PM

Well, I would get confrontational, and as it's an Eagle Scout thing,take it up with the Stake Young Men's president. Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle.

#4 Just_A_Guy

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 12:19 PM

I actually wouldn't make that big a deal over the merit badge thing--there should be plenty of swimming merit badge counselors in your council. But the larger issue of how the ward is treating your family generally . . . sheesh. I know boundary-jumping is frowned on in the Church, but I'd be sorely tempted to start shopping for a new ward.

#5 Gwen

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 12:23 PM

your son can go to any scout camp, he does not have to go with his troop.... talk to others around town or to the camp directly and see who will be going when he can go. maybe some friends from the old ward are going a different week. he might enjoy that more than going with this group anyway. as for the other stuff i'm not sure what to tell ya.

i don't have problems, i have issues
problems can be fixed, issues you just deal with



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The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."
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#6 gabelpa

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 12:31 PM

I'll stand by what I said. Personally I get fed up with the petty backbiting infighting that goes on in the ward. As Priesthood holders, even Deacons, it is our responsibility to see that there is none of what I mentioned in the church. The question "why" must be asked.

#7 prospectmom

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 12:33 PM

The eagle scout thing is huge... no matter what it takes make it happen......

#8 bro_rone

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 12:52 PM

Oh, he'll get his Eagle. No question about that. That's just a symptom of a greater problem. Want another example? My wife plays flute, I've played competitive piano for 30 years, since I was eight years old, my son plays guitar and piano, and my eleven year old daughter plays piano, too. The Christmas program they did in Sacrament meeting was done by many members of the ward - and several nonmembers. We didn't even know it was happening until the day before. It's not like they didn't know we could do this, either. We've all played in Sacrament meetings or talent nights. I hate to speak so harshly about these members, but I've had all I can take. They can treat me poorly - my testimony is strong enough for that. But when it enters my childrens' lives...well...that's different.

#9 prospectmom

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 12:58 PM

Pappa Bear coming out..... I wish I could help.....

#10 applepansy

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 01:01 PM

When our ward was split there was one family who absolutely refused to be in the other ward. Their home is in the other wards boundaries but they are members of our ward. It hasn't been a big issue. It was for the bishops and the Stake President talked to them. However, it came down to one final point: what is best for this family. You need to do what is best for your family. If the children are being affected its time to talk to the bishops and stake president. applepansy

#11 Guest_missingsomething_*

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 01:09 PM

I would say you have followed the line of authority but if they dont acknowledge a problem - it wont get fixed. And a lot of people adopt the idea that if you are feeling left out that is YOUR short coming. I totally do not agree with this. You have reached out and it has not been returned. Because it sounds like you are in an area with a larger population of LDS - I would say ask the stake pres. to allow you to rejoin your old ward. Go with examples written down so it doesnt get too emotionally charged. We have a family who drive 40 min to go to our ward because they didnt "fit in" with their ward. And yes, its hard to find a good, welcoming to EVERYONE kinda ward. It very well maybe that they are just ignorant to how they appear to you and your family -it may not be intentional - yet it is clearly hurtful and not being addressed. GOod luck - and keep us updated.

#12 countrygirl66

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 01:25 PM

Just my 2 cents, I have had to live in wards where I wasn't wanted there. When I was a kid living with my foster parents (now my parents) the ward was in a small town and noone wanted their kids mixing with and evil foster kid that might contaminate them. To make a long story short, I was threatened, punched, had my hair pulled out, and told in general that noone wanted me there. What I learned was to observe. When I began to look around and observe others in the ward I found a few that were left out as I was. That were treated as I was. It gave me the opportunity to reach out to them and make friendships with people that I may have not noticed otherwise. It has been a true blessing in my life. I have been able to see the unseen in wards and become friends with them. I know right now may be painful, but maybe heavenly father has a purpose for your family in this ward. Maybe you will be the ones to find those living on the fringes of the ward and help them to feel included and a part of things. Take care and good luck.

#13 Moksha

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 01:54 PM

Maybe you will be the ones to find those living on the fringes of the ward and help them to feel included and a part of things.


Oooo oooo pick me, pick me. I don't fully understand why this exists but is does. It is so nice when the outsiders are able to band together for mutual support.
Jesus said, "The first in importance is, love the Lord God.'
And here is the second: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.'
There is no other commandment that ranks with these."


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#14 Hemidakota

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 01:59 PM

OK, long story short:
Minus my mission and about 1 1/2 years as a newlywed, I've live in the same ward all my life, just like my father and grandfather.
About 17-18 months ago, the ward boundaries were changed. As a result, about 80% of my ward came from a different one. They all know each other, and they all live 8 miles away, on the other side of town.
My family is totally excluded. It's very painful to find out about a party that everyone but myself and my wife were invited. We invited people over for dinner a couple of times a month for the first six months, but we never got a return invitation. I was dealing with all of this as just a part of being in a new ward, but it hasn't improved. Normally, I wouldn't care, after all, the church is still true - in spite of it's members.
The problem has spread to my children, though. They are being ignored and left out, as well. I've spoken to the YM president and a member of the Bishopric about the problem, but I'm not seeing any results.
Last night was sort of a last straw moment. My son is two merit badges away from his Eagle Rank, so I went to the swimming merit badge counselor and asked when he could get passed off. Her reply: "Just have him do it at Scout Camp." I told her he would be at EFY during camp, this year. She responded that he would just have to find someone to do it for him. I asked, "Aren't you the merit badge counselor?" I guess it was the wrong thing to say, since she got mad and walked away.
This is a simple example. It gets worse, but I'm not trying to vent - I actually want some advice. This is weighing heavy on my mind lately, and I don't see a resolution. I'm friendly, outgoing, and I'm trying to make friends, but they just aren't responding. They've got their established friendships and groups, and they don't seem to want to let us in. Heck, I'm in the High Priest Group Leadership, and I still feel like an outsider.
Any suggestions?


You have the right to vent. Sadly, there are wards like this. But remember, who church is this? The Saviors or theirs? Keep going and be an example to them. It doesn't matter what they think or do for now. Take this matter to the Bishop and the Savior.

#15 applepansy

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 03:01 PM

Just my 2 cents, I have had to live in wards where I wasn't wanted there. When I was a kid living with my foster parents (now my parents) the ward was in a small town and noone wanted their kids mixing with and evil foster kid that might contaminate them. To make a long story short, I was threatened, punched, had my hair pulled out, and told in general that noone wanted me there. What I learned was to observe. When I began to look around and observe others in the ward I found a few that were left out as I was. That were treated as I was. It gave me the opportunity to reach out to them and make friendships with people that I may have not noticed otherwise. It has been a true blessing in my life. I have been able to see the unseen in wards and become friends with them. I know right now may be painful, but maybe heavenly father has a purpose for your family in this ward. Maybe you will be the ones to find those living on the fringes of the ward and help them to feel included and a part of things. Take care and good luck.


You make a good point.

applepansy

#16 Guest_Alana_*

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 03:04 PM

What a bummer! I've totally been there, as a teenager. We moved about every 6 months. What I found is that in the wards where I didn't really 'click with the clique' was that it was a bummer but it didn't need to affect my church attendance, Sundays or during other activities. In the wards where I was welcomed with open arms, it made the transition so much easier, but I still could cope in the wards where I felt excluded. Just hang in there. With kids, a lot of times the friendships are very spontaneous and hard to predict anyways, it just takes that one special person in the whole lot of unfriendly people to make the difference. Perhaps your family will be that friendly helper for someone else. In the mean time, don't let your attendance be affected because of this. Maybe you're not invited to a party thrown by members, but make sure to attend ward parties held at church. Relief society activities, young women activities, scouts, achievement days, etc. Also, are you a visiting teacher or have visiting/home teachers? Putting extra effort or at least sincere thought into your teaching may help you reach out to others and them to reach out to you. Just hang in there. You can do this and let this, even though hard, be a POSITIVE teaching tool to your kids.

#17 bro_rone

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 03:52 PM

In the mean time, don't let your attendance be affected because of this... Also, are you a visiting teacher or have visiting/home teachers?


There's no way we'll go less active because they're twerps. I'm not there for them, anyway. It would just be nice to actually feel a part of the "ward family."

I know I have a home teacher (I'm 2nd assistant to the High Priest Group Leader, in charge of home teaching) but he has never come to our home. Not ever. Even when we invited him and his family. Unfortunately, we're considered one of the "strong, active families" so we aren't a high priority on the HT list. We've got 650 members on the ward roster - 250 active.

I'm going to keep trying to make friends, but good grief - how hard do I have to try? It's a weird thing. I've got friends all over the stake, but not in my own ward. Maybe if I said something on my facebook...

#18 Hemidakota

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:58 PM

You keep trying until either the Holy Ghost or the Savior tells you to stop. I had issues with a Stake President in Hawaii where I was serving. Serving on the stake level was depressing until he was finally release. I just kept plugging along and biding my time and patiently waited for the Godhead or the church to make that change. :)

#19 Jasmin

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 05:00 PM

I had this same problem when I was a child in the Jehovahs Wittnesses church. That was one of my main issues with that organization. Maybe you should just change wards. I know in the JW church it was considered bad but its better than your children feeling bad. Good luck.

#20 talisyn

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 05:10 PM

Oooo oooo pick me, pick me. I don't fully understand why this exists but is does. It is so nice when the outsiders are able to band together for mutual support.


Can I join too? I'm a single not stay-at-home mom and I don't get to play with my LDS sisters very often.

bro_rone, chin up and think of this as a great test. In fact for family home evening your family can look up all sorts of scriptures about where the Lord's people didn't fit in either.
But if the bullying (and any girl knows exclusion is a very hurtful bullying method) continues even after talking to your stake president I fully support jumping ward boundaries and going back to your home ward.

BTW, I imagine there is more than your family from the 'old ward' in your new ward. Are they facing the same challenges? Maybe you can bring collaborating witnesses next time you talk to your bishop and stake president.




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