Sunday, June 7, 2009

my church at the crossroads

My church is on the verge of making a huge, life altering decision. They are considering selling the property in order to help ease things in this time of economic strife. However, its not an outright sale, a partnership with a company that specializes in adult retirement living is being offered. The church will own a small (9% chunk of the property once all is said and done).

Smooth talking sales people rub me the wrong way right off the bat. No matter what negative issue we brought up we were given some pat answer and told that “we will work out the details in the next phase, if you decide to go ahead with this partnership”.

I’m a person who borders on communist / social tendencies and capitalism is one of the furthest things from my mind. Church should be in the business of helping the community and its souls – not in partnership with a for-profit business that is into making money off the upper middle class retirees. The lowest price suite in these units is $2800 and that includes 2 meals a day and light housekeeping (they’ll wash your bedding once a week). That’s it.

  1. This economic downturn is temporary. Why don’t people recognize that fact. Can’t make radical decisions now that we wouldn’t have made under normal circumstances. We’ll have to live with this decision for the rest of our lives.
  2. The church will not only have no equity if they go for this deal, they will have to rent space from the partnership. Of course, the Smooth talking sales people say that they would like to rent parking spaces from the church which would offset the cost of the rental. Also, the church may end up owing money if there are cost overruns in the building project.
  3. There will be a twenty (20) month period where the congregation would have to find a place to meet elsewhere while construction is ongoing. This point alone will either break the congregation or make them stronger. They mentioned there was an old run-down grocery store we could rent for a modest price. Pardon me, but WTF?!

I haven’t even mentioned the technical details of their proposed architecture plan (like the church butting up to the sidewalk, or the fact that our hall and all our fellowships will be held in the basement, or that there will be no place for outdoor BBQs!).

Bottom line, I just don’t have a good feeling about the people and the future mess it will leave the church in. I really hope common sense prevails and the vote next Sunday brings an end to this nonsense (other creative ideas, notwithstanding).

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