- Wednesday, January 31, 2018
- By Joyce Mancinelli
Anglicans are pretty cagey about Stewardship. Oh, we have workshops on 'time, treasure, talents', but we really tiptoe around the 'treasure' part. Maybe it's a hangover from the days when religion, politics and money were not suitable topics of conversation. Times change, don't they? In some ways. But we're still reticent about asking the congregation to contribute more...
So let me tell you a couple of stories. My husband was playing around on the internet a few days ago and came across the website for his childhood church. Now, back in the day, THEY weren't at all reticent about money. Every year the parishioners would be approached and it was suggested--strongly--that they contribute to the purchase of a new car for the parish priest. Fast forward a few decades. On their website, along with everything else, they list the amount of the offering taken at each service. "Do you know," my husband said in wondering tones, "that they took in seven thousand dollars last week?" Yes, that's thousand. Not hundred. Thousand.
Maybe they should be giving a workshop...
Many years ago, I lived in West Africa. Come Easter, my room mates went off to the morning service. I thought they'd be back for lunch, but time rolled on and on and on....Finally they arrived home, pretty well exhausted. "They took the collection," one gasped, sinking into an armchair, "and it was sort of counted and the priest said it wasn't enough of an offering." "So," chimed in the other, "we sang another hymn and they sent the baskets around again." "Must have been a long hymn," I said. They gave me a withering look. "We sang SIX extra hymns. And I don't have any money left."
Not much reticence there.
My first Christmas in Canada, I went to the midnight service. At the back of the church were two mounties in full red serge. I was impressed. Then the priest annonced that they were there to guard the offerings, so would we all please make sure it was worth their while... I guess we must have done so as we didn't have any extra hymns...
And that, my friends, is all I'm going to say on THAT topic.