It looks like we severely undershot the initial sting. If you don't remember, we sent a weekly family update email wherein we planted the sentence "We're not attending church right now, so we decided to take advantage of the continuing nice weather the next day and walk around the neighborhood a bit." It was right in the middle of a long paragraph, where it must have either gone unnoticed or unconsidered. There was literally no reaction whatsoever. My sister posted on my FB wall that she loves me, and when we saw that we were almost certain that it was a reaction, but then I looked at her FB wall and saw that she had done this to all the siblings with FB accounts.
My dad's birthday came up recently, so we gave him a call as is tradition. Needless to say, we were a bit apprehensive about it. We decided that if he directly asked questions about it that we would say we weren't going to church but that we'd rather discuss that over email. Well the call went pretty normally, and (luckily?) he didn't ask that question. It seemed to me like he hadn't noticed the hidden message in our previous email. In fact, at one point in the conversation he exhorted us to pay tithing and started going off on his tithing testimony in his usual way. It is very typical of him to do that -- definitely not out of the norm. At the first available pause I changed the topic of conversation. I didn't detect any unusual worries or curiosity about us.
I think that if anyone noticed the sentence in our last email they probably thought nothing of it. They probably just assumed we had some good reasons for not yet attending church because of the move we just made or whatever. It was too subtle and too temporary-sounding. It may have raised a few eyebrows, but it definitely didn't spark any open curiosity. We probably should have made it the start of a paragraph and left out the "right now".
It's somewhat difficult to figure out what to do next. We thought about making yet another sting but this time make it not as subtle or hidden. The problem with that is it potentially becomes a little tedious for them if they noticed the first time. I know if I were them I would have noticed the first one and would be annoyed at seeing yet another little hint. "Do they have something to tell us or what?" I'd think. Dropping all these stupid little hints everywhere would just confuse everybody.
We're potentially just one conversation away from coming out. All it takes is for someone to ask about how we like the ward or something, and I don't want to lie about it or play games to avoid answering directly. I think it may be time to draft a full on disaffection notice letter and send it to everyone. When the news comes out it is going to spread quickly through the family and it's going to be a Big Deal, so we can let it out on our terms or on theirs. I want to make the letter short and sweet. I don't want to go into our journey story or anything like that, because I don't want to make a big deal out of it. Just simply "we don't believe but we love you still" and tell them we're open to talking about it via email if they really want.
It'll be nice to have it all out on the table. This really shouldn't be a big deal, but it is.