Just a little background to start with. My Dad met Edward Cooney in Ireland in the late 1930s and professed as a Cooneyite. He did go in the work with him for a short while but felt that the Cooneyite work was not for him so he returned home to Canada. He was referred to the Cooneyite friends in Toronto for fellowship. It was there that he found out about the Cooney/2×2 split… and got to know some 2x2s from split Cooney/2×2 families.
When my Dad moved back out west, there were no Cooneyites to meet with so the 2×2 head worker (Willie Smiley) recruited him as a 2×2 in the mid-1940s. He was married to my Mom about this time and was immediately appointed as an elder (no professing was required for either my Dad or Mom). Soon after my Grandmother, some younger uncles and aunts professed (all on my Dads side). None of my Moms family ever professed.
Now my story, I was born in 1957, youngest of 6 children, went to meetings faithfully with my family. I professed at age 18. That was fairly old for professing in our area but I thought I would be uncomfortable taking part in meeting so I just put it off! At 18, I felt I had to make a choice… fit in with my professing friends, or make new worldly friends…I chose professing!
I was married to my wife Patsy in 1980, Camille was born in 1984, Anika in 1986, Leon in 1989, Adele in 1992, and Evan in 1997. Throughout all these years, we faithfully went to all meetings and conventions as was expected of us, happily going for the most part.
In 1999, we heard of the Alberta excommunications from Mark and Norma Ross, who lived in the Edmonton area where the first excommunications took place. At first, we thought that this was just a few bad workers in Alberta and that this would never happen in Saskatchewan where our “Dale Shultz” was in charge!! Were we wrong!!!!
By 2001, he had kicked Marg Magowan out of the work for sympathising with the excommunicated. As soon as we heard of her expulsion, we called Dale for a visit about the situation. The evasive attitude and the (try and confuse you with nonrelevant scripture) was enough for us!! We never went to another gospel meeting or convention again. We continued going to fellowship meetings because we still thought that we needed fellowship and liked the friends in our area.
We did have a Wednesday meeting at our place once a month but soon (with the exception of my Mom and Dad) all the friends assigned to our meeting, refused to come because we no longer attended gospel meetings. Only one family had the guts to phone and tell us why.
We stopped going to meetings altogether in 2002 because of the spirit shown to us by the other (worker-influenced) friends. We did continue to have our Wednesday evening bible studies with my Mom and Dad until he passed away. My Mom has always been supportive and understanding of our decision though she continues to go to meeting most of the time.
That brings us to where we are today, we now have 3 wonderful grandchildren! 3-year-old Liam, 1-year-old Presley, 3-month-old Arizona! Two son-in-laws, Clarke Barzeele and Aaron Becker.
We do not attend a church regularly, but we do go to the Lutheran church that my daughter, Anika, attends, for special occasions such as baptisms for the children.
I have no regrets for the involvement I have had in the 2×2 way, I would never have met my wife had it not been for the 2x2s and we have many friends, both exes and professing, that we would have never known, except for our 2×2 association!!
By Ken Massey
April 11, 2011