No. This is not a post about how faithful attendance at worship will change your life and cause you to renounce things that you never thought you’d be able to live without–although I’ve known that to happen.
This is a post about money.
A few days ago, in a daily e-mail I get from Ekklesia.org, I learned about Faith in Action Sunday on April 27. A project of World Vision, Outreach, Inc., and Zondervan–
Faith in Action is designed to be a step toward alleviating the complacency that is afflicting churches across the country, and an effective call to action to follow Christ’s example of compassion.
The project culminates on April 27, when the participating churches–instead of holding worship services–will close their doors and send their members out to work in their communities in service to the poor.
The report on Faith in Action Sunday from Ekklesia says:
Current data provided by the US Census Bureau reveals the national poverty level has increased from 11.7 percent in 2001 to 13.3 percent in 2005, or 38 million Americans.
Additionally, demand for food stamps between 2007-08, a key economic indicator provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, is up significantly in 43 states, increasing the need for significant help among more than 28 million Americans.
“These results, when combined with current census and economic data, expose a discrepancy between Christians who believe they are doing enough and the reality that Christians are just scratching the surface in our communities,” said Steve Haas, vice president for church relations at World Vision.
But the study also reports that 60 percent of respondents “would support their church if it occasionally cancelled traditional services in order to donate that time to help the poor in their community”.
Christians are now being invited to close their churches and mobilize in projects within their communities.
This caused me to wonder how much it costs to hold Meeting for Worship in the big meetinghouses here in the city, so I went to a Friend knowledgeable about the finances of New York Quarter.
He told me that it costs about $1,000 apiece for Fifteenth Street and Brooklyn to open the meetinghouses, heat them, light them, and clean them for each Meeting for Worship.
I am troubled.