‘A slow death’ or new life? Grand Rapids Diocese restructuring plan questioned by some in church


By Heidi Fenton | hfenton@mlive.com

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — In the weeks since the Diocese of Grand Rapids announced a dramatic restructuring plan affecting churches across West Michigan, parishioners have shared mixed reactions of hope, surprise and sadness.

For many, the neighborhood churches are part of the very fabric of their lives. Memories of weddings, baptisms and funerals are tied to them. The familiar walls have been a shelter for Sunday morning greetings between friends and celebrations of newborn children.

It’s hard to imagine those things happening anywhere else than their long-time church home, many say.

They fear what could happen if that aspect of shared familiarity is gone.

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