the one thing i didn't see in your thread was whether or not this concerned you or are you happy that they are leaving?
for it could be one of two reasons, it could be division and diversifiction; which from the sounds of things, i.e. the party it isn't
or it could be the fact that the Lord has commissioned them to start or renew another church, to bring more and more people to the wonderful simplicity that is Christ and His love
think of a oak tree. we all know that an acorn slowly and surely grows into a great oak. this acorn is blessed by having the Son shine his light of love upon it, and by having the Father water it with His living waters, whilst growing steadfast and sure in the solid ground set fast by the Holy Spirit.
but how much joy and how much love can one oak tree bring, how much shelter can be gained under just the one tree.
so this tree under the guidance of the Son sends forth more tiny acorns, cast into the world yet under the love and protection of the Son. and so over time with the same graces and blessings as before this tiny acorn becomes another majestic oak standing forth for our Lord.
and so it is with our church, we cannot sit back and rest we must move forward, ever witnessing, ever ministering and ever planting the Lords love in all we see and in all we do
Leslie: Since the folks at your church threw a party for these people, it sounds as if the folks that are moving were really part of the church. Did you feel close to the people who are moving? Having close friends move away is hard.
One thing that is worth mentioning, though, is that most people have home computers and internet access. You can keep in contact via e-mail.
Having friends move away is tough, but, unless you live in the Australian Outback or the Sahara Desert, there's probably quite a few people around you that you haven't met yet.
Meet some of them. Start the process of making new friends. Its not that hard.
Nobody likes change. As my pastor says, "The only people that like change is wet babies."