The Vicar of Hogsmeade offers:
You might find that they have insights into why this person has left, what might help people to come to terms with this, and what has worked well in the past. They might also have history to tell you about others who have got upset in the past, or other things which upset this same person.
Sometimes as ministers we get very worked up about having upset someone, just to have others in the fellowship say ‘oh don’t mind her, she gets like that’. I’m a great believer in sharing the responsibility for caring for all.
Lots of wonderful advice here! And as you can see, there is a common thread - the advice to speak with the matriarch and with other congregants before doing anything else.
So what about the rest of you? Do you have anything else to add to the matriarchs' thoughts? Have any of you had experience with this particular issue in your own congregation? Do share in the comments. And, as always, if you have a question for the matriarchs, send it our way at firstname.lastname@example.org