Our church bulletin is not the most engaging read, but one section always provokes thought.
We now report only a "total collection" amount. As the blog has pointed out before, we used to print what was our regular collection, and separate totals for special collections. Now the total collection reported gives the deceptive impression that all the money collected goes toward meeting our budget. This perception is further reinforced by the sentence directly under the reported totals: "We thank you for your continued support of our Parish."
Any of us who attend regularly know that there are many times that our total collection reported includes the amounts collected for St. Vincent DePaul, building fund, and any other special collection. You might be able to stretch the argument that these special collections are for works of our parish and still count as supporting our parish.
But last week's went beyond even that stretch. As our pastor expressed on the weekend of Sept. 4th, there would be a second collection on September 11th for aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina, but if you wished to donate on Sept. 4th, towards that effort, the donation would be honored. I have no question it was honored; my question is why were those funds lumped into the reported collection for support of our parish.
And my bigger question, when will the parish receive the annual financial report on the state of our finances that has customarily been given in the middle of the summer? As they say in the movies - "Show me the money!” or at least show me how it is being collected and spent.
A concerned parishioner
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