I have been a regular at my church for about 20 years, and I've been asked to serve as a trustee. This is the 5th time I've been a church officer, both at my current church and others.
We have an installation ceremony during a worship service, and the day before is an all-day officers' retreat. It's just one of several events before we start our terms; we have another 4-hour training session and some classes, too.
Turns out that weekend is when my brother, sister in law and their children are coming to my city. They aren't staying with me, but I see them twice a year, and so I'd prefer to spend time with them.
If I tell the church that I have a pre-existing obligation, then I know I'll be told by some people, "you clearly have higher priorities". If I tell my relatives that I have a church commitment, they'll say, "you clearly have higher priorities than us."
My relatives are atheists and say that "church is a cult". Mine isn't; it's a mainstream church in the center of town; a church that has been there for over 100 years and is pretty liberal.
So, is it reasonable to:
(1) Attend the officers' retreat for a few hours on Saturday, likely when my relatives are back at their hotel, but attend only when they wouldn't have something planned together with me?
(2) Attend the worship service (which I wouldn't miss) and invite my relatives, but not expect them to come?
Or would you just skip the officers' retreat?