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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Adding to the Donation Plate - Do Churches Have To Always Act So High School!

Giving a few dollars of your hard earned income on Sundays is all well and good, but when it goes beyond the norm during tough economic times and is motivated by questionable charitable projects is where the line in the sand must be drawn (for those who either forgot or were too young at the time, think back to the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker excesses and greed of the 1980's).

Recent case in point:  St. John Fisher Church in the Palos Verdes, CA area, where my parents have been weekly parishioners for more than 30 years.  They are in a serious financial dilemma, to the tune of $2 Million in donation pledges being defaulted on.  With a brand new 17,000 sanctuary as they call it being planned and finalized (AFTER the October 2008 financial crash hit) along with new residences for their priests and parish staff, things are looking a bit grim. 

And these expansions aren't really even necessary.  Their current church was completely renovated only 15 years ago, and it rarely gets full for Sunday masses.  Now if these donations were headed to Haitian Earth Quake Relief or other natural disasters, or even to the LA Mission or Boys and Girls Club locally, I could understand their anxiety and get behind their motivations.  It's just So High School to hear of them nearly begging for money every sunday from their parish to build new buildings for their own comfort.

I hope their prayers are answered, once they start re-focusing their efforts and start directing their attention to those who really need the contributions.


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