All four Oregon City wards met together today (about 800 people, and that was only about half of the membership) to split into five wards.
We are now in Oregon City 4th Ward, which has some really odd boundaries. The wards are more or less arranged like spokes radiating from the Willamette River. Every ward has some new people, and every ward has lost some people. The wards are:
Oregon City 1st Ward (generally where the old OC2nd ward, or Oregon Trail ward, was)
Bishop Chris Cardwell
Oregon City 2nd Ward (parts of the old Beavercreek ward)
Oregon City 3rd Ward (lots of the old Newell Creek ward)
Bishop Dan Bean
Oregon City 4th Ward (that's us! We are the skinniest of the 5 wards)
Bishop Philip May
Oregon City 5th Ward (lots of the old Willamette Falls ward)
Bishop Robert Kerr (new bishop)
We will change buildings - meet in the Henrici Building at 1:00, starting next Sunday.
Some of the people in our ward besides the Mays include: Franzens, all 3 Carlson families (Ernie, Tom, Evan), Cleggs, Nilsons, Ards, Lingmans, Kacy Buel, Fish family.
People we have lost from our ward include: Jensons, Jayesh, Clements, Prices, Duffs, Beans--Jim & Helen and Dan & Luann, Fischers. Dorothy and I will continue our friendship, of course, but I won't get to see the others very often, most likely. Our lives get busy and our paths tend not to cross. I will especially miss Helen Bean. She has been such a role model to me for 30 years; she has set the example for me in so many ways of how to be a Mormon woman and effective mother of a large family.
As they were explaining the map with the boundaries today, I was reflecting on how place-based we Mormons are. As the pointer went from one ward boundary to another, I was mentally thinking of all the different families that would be in each ward. Our monthly home teaching and visiting teaching assignments help to ensure that we really know where each family lives. We are not a church of people who come from random places to meet on Sundays, and then go home again. We live close to one another and we know each other during the week as well as at church.
It was also inspiring to me to see how the hundreds of people in the meeting accepted the new ward boundaries. For all of us, it means giving up regular spiritual association with people who have become very dear to us, but we have faith in Jesus Christ and His prophet here on the earth, who direct the affairs of the church. There was a sweet spirit in the meeting as we sustained our new bishops and contemplated our new ward identities.
Thirty-eight years ago there was one ward in Oregon City; today there are five. I have lived in the same house for 30 years, and during that time I have belonged to 5 different wards. I felt like I was living a bit of history as I sat in the chapel today.