sadly typical

My wife works off and on at a shop for knitaholics called Unraveled. She was there yesterday when one of the coworkers, knowing of my occupation and its current tenuousness, shared this story.

A local church recently almost voted to fire its pastor. Almost, because the pastor showed up at the fateful bored meeting with his resignation neatly typed, signed, and ready for acceptance. Before they could vote, he quit.

The reason? He wasn't caught in some sort of moral nastiness. He didn't take any of the church's money, at least no more than he was being paid. No, what this pastor did was take a second job. I don't know his reasons for doing it, but I suspect it had something to do with the salary he was being paid, which was surely not large, probably it was barely sufficient, if that.

The board didn't want him working another job, so they decided they would get together and fire this guy. He quit instead.

So now they're looking for a full time pastor. They're offering a whopping 20K for the position. Full time. 20K. Even if there's housing and benefits (and the denomination we're talking about here probably doesn't provide a manse or housing allowance), that amounts to a package of less than 40K. And we already know what they think about moonlighting.

I'm sorry, but that's not right.

Listen folks, if you're in a church that can't afford to pay your pastor a decent wage--that's whether you happen to like him or not--then at least don't fire him for looking to supplement his income with a second, honest job. Better yet, pay the poor man a living wage!

The woman who told this story is thinking about leaving that church. If you ask me, which nobody really did but I don't care, she ought simply never to set foot in the place again; she should shake some dust off of those flip flops too, on her way to a better church.

I thought about driving down there and spray painting CHEAPSKATES on the church door, but I don't have any spray paint and besides, that would be mean. Not as mean as what they did to their pastor, but still mean.

Jannotti tag: theology
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(yes, the typo in paragraph 2 was intentional)

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