"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Grace Grieving 32: More about church money (3)

     With our church continually scaling back the remodeling of our sanctuary until the finished product looks....plain, we didn't even know our church had enough discretionary income to invest. 
     Remember the earlier remodeling of the restrooms in the education building and the church offices? Classy-looking tile, creamy white with green accents? People seeing them for the first time would say, "Wow. That looks nice!" Jerry and I have been inside the remodeled sanctuary (remodeled except for the area up front--supposedly the original goal of 4.5 million was not met and we had to save the platform area and baptistry for a separate fund-raising) and my first response was, "That looks cheap!
      The new bathrooms (with no additional stalls for the women and no spacious room such as we used to have for mommies to nurse their babies while watching services on closed-circuit TV) are stark white and functional.
     The "carpeting" in the foyer looks to be the thinnest, drabbest two shades of brown indoor-outdoor floor covering I've seen outside a thrift store. It runs down the aisles, doesn't even run between the seats. Someone said the concrete slab has some "give" to it but I'm not convinced. We're in for some cramped leg muscles and sore backs if we do as much standing to sing once we're back in the auditorium as we do now. The seats appear to be chunks of foam rubber under a rough textured material with stitching that doesn't look (to me) like it will last a year of congregational bottoms. 
     Maybe the labor was cheap, too. A bevy of young Mexican men did the work. We gave them copies of the Four Spiritual Laws and tried to talk with them but only the boss spoke English.
     What happened to all the money members have actually given for this remodeling? I guess $2.2 million doesn't buy what it used to.
     You who donated to the Transforming Grace project will have a chance to judge for yourself the quality of "transformation" your money bought when you come to the donor appreciation event on March 31st.

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