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by Abigail Van Buren

Bully in Church Choir Prevents Former Member From Rejoining

DEAR ABBY: I will soon be retiring from a lay position in my church. As a former member of the choir, I'm being urged to return to it, which appeals to me. My problem is a member who has caused trouble in the past for me with lies and criticism.

She is a very negative bully. In the past, she poisoned my ability to worship, and I want as little to do with her as possible. I'm afraid if I rejoin the choir, the situation will continue. I don't want to upset the other choir members who are good, supportive friends, but I no longer want to have to put up with her. She's very hard to ignore. Any suggestions? -- SINGING A NEW TUNE IN CANADA

DEAR SINGING: If you haven't already done so, discuss this with the priest/pastor of your church. Explain how the woman's bullying and rumor spreading have affected you and ask for guidance. If she's the one sour note in the choir, it is possible she has done the same thing to others.

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