Tonight we had friends over for dinner and one of the things we ended up discussing was the possibility of expanding or renovating the church we’re attending. It’s not overflowing yet, but it’s growing. And it also needs to become more wheelchair friendly, at least. It was built in an era where people didn’t think enough about such things. They’ve made some makeshift changes at least.
But if anything’s done, it’ll probably be small stuff. Church renovation takes a large budget. So they’re going to focus on accessibility for now.
This got me thinking about the church I attended in college. In my last two years there, they added a large wing with a new sanctuary. It made sense, since they were actually overflowing. And they had plenty of land.
But I was friends with one of the chairs of the building budget committee and he shared the darker side with me. While the church had raised enough money for the original plans, it cost (of course) more than they expected in the end. So they were had to find the extra funds.
The good news is that, last I heard, the congregation had come up with more money and the builders were willing (if they had to) to accept the rest in another year. Better than not getting their money.
My friend was very concerned about this whole situation. He said “What kind of reflection is it on our faith if we don’t pay everything we owe?”
Moreover, another much larger church nearby was having the same problem on a grander scale. He consoled himself that at least we had 80% of what we owed right up front whereas they were at more like 60%. But since it reflected on our shared faith, it saddened him. He just didn’t have responsibility for their actions.
What if people lost their jobs because their companies took a hit? What if people couldn’t be paid and didn’t have enough for their mortgages? (especially since some of these were father-son businesses and didn’t have large reserves.)
Do you sometimes worry that your financial actions reflect poorly on your religion, gender, family, values, etc?
Some similar articles I saw just today were:
Mombian asks what you represent and mentions the pressure that LGBTQ families feel to turn out “normal” or even exceptional kids. They may worry people will attribute any flaws in their children’s behavior to their sexuality. Whereas hetero families don’t feel they carry the weight of heterosexuality on their shoulders if their kid isn’t smart or well-adjusted (though they carry other burdens, as do any parents).
Patrick of Cash Money Life spoke of the choice between easy and right. There, the decision may rest entirely on you and not what you represent. But your own conscience is a powerful force. At least it’s a force for good.