Departing from the cranky news, I thot I'd share a story wherein I'm not the cranky one.
My best friends used to own a small store during the 90's and into this century. I helped out and supported them and watched them through good and lean times, I got a discount on nifty items, and contributed my New Years' Days to inventory and carpet cleaning. Eventually, they sold the store. I have a huge soft spot in my heart for this store, and feel a lingering connection to it.
The new owner rearranged, and like when a therapist gets a new office, or the minister redecorates after a decade, the changes just felt wrong for the longest time. But after a few years I'd gotten used to the changes, and the store continued to have a special place in my heart.
I was there yesterday, asked the owner how he was, and he told me that he is selling and has a couple of prospective buyers. Awww.... damn. It seemed wrong again, just after I had gotten used to him and his way of doing things, just after I had gotten used to paying retail price for everything.
I said, the way I would were we say, actual friends, "So are you getting out with some money, or just your shirt?"
He didn't miss a beat and with no affect whatsoever said, "I am happy to talk in detail about that with any prospective buyers."
Bam, Zing, Set that boundary I'd crossed. It was excellent, and I laughed with appreciation.
I wonder if it is similar to how people come in and out of congregations, and have an emotional relationship to the congregation as a place, or as an idea, and come back after time away and are surprised that they can't just jump in where they left off.