Archive for December, 2011

W the f$%k WJD?

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

This is long and probably deeply boring. But I’d welcome your advice. Even if this situation resolves, I need help thinking it out, because other ones like it will come along.

Ben came to church on Sunday. Nobody had ever seen him before. He looked slightly scruffy but not outside normal range – unshaven, wearing a somewhat shoddy down parka. He hung around for coffee hour and chatted with some folks. When he finally got my attention, after working over pageant plans with the pageant team, he told me that he’s unemployed and really looking for help and for work. He lives nearby & said he’d often passed near our property and thought about all the work he could do here, on our many trees – he worked for a pruning and landscaping company for a long time. I thought, Hmm, this could be useful, and told him I’d talk with our Buildings & Grounds folks about it. I tried to be clear that we have a process for hiring contractors, we don’t just jump into things – and that our funds are tight and we hadn’t been planning to pay to have any of that kind of work done this winter, though we know it’s needed. But I let him think there was a chance something might work out, because I thought there was. I also gave him $20 – explaining as I did so that I can’t and don’t usually give away cash. In the Episcopal Church, clergy generally only have access to their charitable funds via check – which works fine for paying someone’s rent or water bill, but limits other uses. Sometimes that’s frustrating, but overall I think it makes good sense.