I realize the last two years have been very difficult financially for many Americans. At the same time, I'm working with a medium-sized Episcopal church that began giving away the offering every Sunday, and also saw a 10-12 percent increase in the annual pledge drive for each of the past two years.
The minister and lay leaders believed that cutting back when others were in great need was counter to the congregation they wish to become.
A recent survey noted that almost 60 percent of Americans will spend as much, or more, for holiday gifts this year than last. This is not a time for church leaders to act as protectors of people's pocketbooks. This is the time for churches of all faiths to increase their good works
in the larger community.