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Saturday, March 6, 2010

I keep asking myself...

What would Jesus do? I know he would say "forgive him and move on." I try. Really, I try. After all, he is a man of the cloth, a pastor, a man of God. He is the Pastor of my mother's church, formerly my church. At this point in my life, I can't even enter that church. What would cause me to be so bitter and unforgiving? I've had many issues with this man, but this is what broke the camel's back.
My father died in March of 2005. Dad gave his all to this church. He was in charge of the sound for the radio broadcast on Sunday morning, he was there to record the sound for all church events, weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc. The fee for his services was always given back to the church, he never kept a dime. He was a deacon for many years, headed up the puppetry program for Sunday School and special events, wrote the scripts, spent hours on sound. He never missed church except when ill, and tithed every dime brought into the house. He was a true man of God.
When there are funerals, the Mission Guild and the ladies of the church would put on a pot luck meal for the families after burial services, as I'm sure most churches do. It's a mission, and a biblical call to take care of widows and their families. When this pastor took over the helm, he saw funeral luncheons as a way to line his pocket. I was at the council meeting, ( I was council secretary) when he brought up charging the widow-widowers $3 a head for the luncheon. I strongly objected, and was told this wouldn't be for faithful members of the congregation, but for those outside the church using this service. Still not totally on board, the resolution passed.
When my father died, I was shocked to find out that my Mother would have to pay $300 for the funeral luncheon. Against my better judgement, the family agreed. Mom didn't have that kind of money, and the tab was picked up by the grandsons. After the luncheon, NO leftovers were given to the family. Some was given to each helper to take home. Instead, this pastor SOLD the leftovers of the food we payed for, to the Wednesday night supper. Wonderful Wednesdays as they are called, have dinner that costs $3. So, he made double the money on my father's funeral. Does this money go back to the church!? Absolutely not! It goes into his pocket. He buys the meat, the ladies of the congregation bring food and dessert. His argument? It costs more than $3 to go out to dinner.
So here is my complaint. We aren't talking about a casual night out to dinner. We're not talking entertainment. We are talking about a mission to take care of widows after the death of a spouse. I thought this was just that, a mission. Not a chance to take advantage of a family in a time of tragedy to line pockets.
Can someone out here explain to me where this is right? What is the procedure at your church? Can this be justified or am I unnecessarily upset? Please talk to me. This is swallowing me up and has been for 5 years. It's effecting my prayer life, my health, and with the anniversary of Dad's death on the 12th, it's all come to surface. My mother is sorry I feel this way. I'm sorry she doesn't.