I AM AN ELDER IN MATLOCK CONGREGATION. My dad has moved into the congregation and we are serving as elders together. We are at my house. We are going through the baptism questions together with someone. My dad is taking the lead. There are lots of parents with their children watching on. The children are running around making a noise and the baptismal candidate is finding it distracting. What’s more, my dad isn’t making it easy. He’s not sticking to the baptism questions. He keeps going off on tangents and asking all kinds of deep, unrelated questions. The baptismal candidate is getting more and more confused and discouraged. I try to interject and help but my dad ignores me and ploughs on.
News of my dad’s poor teaching habits gets back to the other elders. Two elders come to visit me. They are critical of my dad and question his qualifications as an elder. I agree with them. They want me to witness against him in a hearing to reassess whether he should be removed as an elder. I agree to help them.
Now I am in Retford congregation. We are having a treasure hunt. We are in car teams driving around town looking for clues. The England football team is playing. There are England flags flying outside people’s houses. A group of brothers walk down the middle of a street wearing no shirts and shouting “England!” This will get back to the elders, I’m sure!
It’s lunchtime. The brothers and sisters are having a barbeque in a grass field behind a housing estate. I eat my food and then drive off with my team to continue the treasure hunt. After finding all our clues we return to the field. The congregation has left all kinds of items behind—chairs, BBQ equipment, and piles of rubbish. There are small milk cartons strewn across the field. I start rushing around the field and loading the chairs and BBQ equipment int into my van. I decided to leave the rubbish, hoping that others will clear it up. A neighbour from the estate approaches me. He is angryy about the rubbish that has been left behind. I assure him it will be dealt with.
I return to the field later to see if the brothers and sisters have cleared up the rubbish. They haven’t. Instead, I find the field has been covered with a large white tarpaulin by the Council in preparation for a music festival. The rubbish is still there, but it’s underneath the tarpaulin. I’m disappointed by the congregation for not clearing it up.
Later that day, I find myself in a long narrow corridor. There are lots of people walking past me. Matlock elders approach me and ask me what happened at a recent party I went to. I explain that certain brothers had been goofing around and one had indicated that he “liked men”. It was the same group of brothers that had been shouting “England!” in public. I offer to witness against them in a judicial hearing. My sister is there. She offers to witness against them too.