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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beggars

I've finally put my finger on what bothers me about the church we regularly sometimes occasionally attend:


See it? "Make a Pledge" comes before "Welcome". It's like "give us your money and then we'll welcome you". The priorities seem clear.

To be fair, the church and its people have been very warm and welcoming. But the cynical part of me remembers growing up in a small town where everyone at the church was constantly in your business. That part of me is always waiting for the shine to wear off.

In this case, the shine wore off mostly around money issues. We were welcomed first but since then it's been a steady stream of asking for cash. Donations to the capital campaign. Annual pledges. This special event, that special cause, this group, that project.

And of course once you're involved enough to start getting a feel for how the church is spending that money, you start thinking about how you'd do it differently. Or, more accurately, how you think they're doing it wrong.

For example, last week we received something in the mail from the church on 4 out of 6 days. It ranged from newsletters to brochures in envelopes to glossy full-color postcards. When I consider the money they're spending/wasting on printing and postage, it makes me angry and less inspired to donate to them. Also, Joe and I are fairly environmentally friendly folks so the crazy amount of paper (a lot of which isn't recyclable) really makes us nuts.

Anyways, I'm just feeling cranky about it all I think. I do understand that churches need money to run. But while the specifics may vary from church to church, the constant remains that church politics always obscure the positives of the experience for me eventually.

Which is a large reason I'm more inclined to give to other charitable organizations. Like the SPCA and George Costanza Human Fund.

2 comments:

Lyndsay said...

LOL, this post made me laugh ... and you may be the only other person on earth who would get my human fund jokes!

Call Me Cate said...

I'm seriously considering making donations to the Human Fund for anyone left on my Christmas list without a gift at this point. I'll make one in your name as well. ;)