Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I wrote the post below after I got a phone call from a pastor who introduced himself, said his board asked him to make contact with a person down here then said, "I have one question for you. Is it good stewardship for us to give you money?"

Hurt my feelings. I know how it feels to be a poor Southern slob who has to justify why my people need help.

Thanks, I wasn't completely sure how it felt to be humbled by someone offering a stingy gift.

12 comments:

Bad Alice said...

What nerve! I love how some Christians hide an ungenerous heart behind the word "stewardship." Ugh.

nightwoodkitty said...

That must have felt awful. What a question! As a nonprofit director, I have had people say, "I don't want to pour money down a rathole."

I think that hard working groups in need can get tarred with the same brush as corrupt government stuff and that hurts.

Anonymous said...

One's response can only be:
" From our conversation, it appears you and your congregation may need this money more than our people".

Unfortunately, the Northern pastor's Southern prejudice and tactless question has soured the gift, especially for him. Most people feel good about their gifting. He doesn't ( probably interferes with a youth ski trip funding). This gift will be bad for him because he resents it. This gift will be bad for your people because you will know the bad feelings behind the gift.

Tell him to keep it.

Expeditus

reverendmother said...

A perfect three-point shot by Expeditus.

What did he expect you to say? "Yeah don't send me money because I'll just blow it on cigs and booze."

Your previous post was heartbreaking. We've got a group heading down there in the next couple of months, but I wish it were more groups, sooner, and for longer. Sigh...

Aola said...

I vote that you take his stingy money and throw a big party for your people... that would show him!!

cheesehead said...

Gee, I wish somethimes that as clergy we could just say "Shove it."

mibi52 said...

What a ****! I'd have said, "What do you mean by that?" Just to put him on the spot and make him articulate EXACTLY what kind of a weasel he is.

I'm with Aola...

Songbird said...

This made me so angry when I first read it that I could not leave a comment, had to go away and think about it. That guy has none of the pastoral equivalent of bedside manner, does he?
Expeditus, I want your number so I can call you when I have to give someone a firm answer that leaves no doubts.
St. Casserole, I just can't understand such behavior. I just can't. Tonight we were reading 1 Thessalonians 2 at Bible Study, where Paul says:
"But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us."
This guy does need the money more than you do.

the reverend mommy said...

Yeah, what they said.
This angered me so much I couldn't respond either.
I would suggest you tell him to keep it and spend it on sensitivity traning.... heh heh heh

Mary Beth said...

What an absolute toad!

And how DID you answer that question? Or were you able to speak at all?

Purechristianithink said...

Well--let's hope he meant "Is it more effective overall to give money to you directly or should we be giving to Presbyterian Disaster
Assistance or some such?" and just phrased the question badly. . .

St. Casserole said...

Pure, I think he meant:'we are a small church, we don't give much to anybody. I was told to call you and I can't offer much and don't know if you need the money."

However, the pastor and I are now new best friends. He took me seriously when I asked him to pray about how to help our pastors down here. Two emails full of good ideas and action to back up the ideas, we are best of pals.

I'm glad I didn't hang-up on him or blast him. Shame works, apparently, although I don't like to use it with humans or animals.