So you’re thinking of taking a church break or just slow down a bit. Or leave altogether. But HOW?! Which kind of semi/non-attending Mormon do you want to be?
Christmas and Easter Mormon
This one is classic. Catholics have been doing this one for centuries. Show up at Christmas and Easter and celebrate the major Christian holidays. You might go to a baby blessing or two from time to time as well. Great for marking and keeping traditions, but you don’t want a calling or other obligations.
This one is easy. Just come on Sunday! Don’t bother with the midweek youth activities, but maybe you’ll go to the occasional ward talent show (or not). Great for people who have busy weeknights: late work hours, children in evening activities, professional meet ups, or just like to go to bed early. You might have a Sunday-only calling, but that’s manageable for you.
Wait, were you in the ward? What happened to you? Did you change your number and your email? Also maybe your address? No callings, no obligations, no nothing except maybe random texts from the missionaries asking if you’d like them to come by and share a message.
For when you want a break, or just a “breather”. Jana Reiss wrote about her own year off of Mormonism. Maybe it’s 3 months for the summer. 6 months to finish up your thesis or go travel the world. But you aren’t ready to stop leaving altogether. Maybe a break is all you need.
It might have been a while since we’ve seen you at Church, but not long of a while. The ward might think you just leave right away after church and that’s why they haven’t seen you. And you might be there this Sunday. I saw you sign up to bring that family food during that long hospital stay. You’re there. You might be active for all we know- I don’t remember.
You show up for your calling, but that’s it. This is a lot like Sunday-only, but you happen to be the organist, so once sacrament is over, you’re done. Or you have a Relief Society calling so you only need to be there every other week. Or maybe you have a weekday calling and so you help out with the youth activities, but you’re not there on Sundays.
The Passive Actor, Open Embracer
You aren’t going to throw yourself out there and go, but if your ministering sisters check-in or the missionaries drop by, you welcome them in with open arms. You’ll come out to the Primary Program Sunday because you got that cute invitation in the mail.
The Name on the Email List
People might not be able to pick you out in the crowd, but they know your name and your email signature. You’re that person on the list sharing that you’re giving away a dining room table and would someone in the ward like it? Anyone have a recommendation for a dentist?
Are you looking to take a break, or have you in the past? Which inactive Mormon have you been? Do you know of another category I didn’t include?