St. David's is headed for a slow train wreck. The pledge drive for
2016 is stalled at 87 units for 164K. 50 units who pledged for
2015 have not shown up. A few have departed to other churches,
and a few have departed to a better life. The rest are unknown and
presumably will be followed up, at least by telephone.
That leaves the 2016 pledges 60K + short of the 225K considered
necessary to operate the organization and compensate a full-time
rector. The church could tap the unrestricted investments to meet
the shortfall, thus spending dead peoples' money to stay alive.
In accounting parlance, that means the church is no longer a "going
concern." The leadership of the church has been upfront about the
situation, apparently to scare the present membership into coughing
up more dough. That is a fatal mistake, making them feel guilty
about the present level of their support.
The church has been without a rector for a year and a half. The
interim rector is a pleasant, cheerful, ineffective leader. Her
sermons are brief and forgettable. She has changed the service
to omit confession, creed, and eucharistic prayers prescribed in
The Book of Common Prayer. It is a combination of New Age
and Unitarianism. She says the newer members like it.
Meanwhile, the search committee soldiers on, contacting
candidates for full-time rector. Apparently, they do not share
the dire financial situation with prospects. They had someone
in agreement last summer, who bailed out at the last minute,
for reasons unknown or unstated.
From the safety of the end pew, we watch this train wreck as
it materializes. To add insult to injury, we were not issued
pledge envelopes for 2016. Maybe our pledge got lost or
they are trying to tell us something. I believe, as always,
that the hand of God is at work, even though we do not yet
know the outcome.
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