That is a very cool, and very touching story.
For what it's worth, I believe my question has been answered. My faith is not in peril; I wanted, essentially, to be certain that the spirit of cash for salvation was not a pervading/universally accepted sentiment within the church, and I am confident it is not. Of course, none of us, and none of those who, for the most part, do a wonderful job taking care of the church, are perfect, and people will be people. I also understand that there is a cultural context for everything, and that these things, for better or worse, do not seem as strange in Slavic countries, thereby making them harder to break, or more common.
I also think it's an important thing to be aware of, and to be careful about. After all, the mission of the church-at-large is to evangelize, and while these things may not disturb Russians, Serbs or Romanians who have generations of precedent behind them, they may seem very alien and crass to people from other backgrounds who are investigating Holy Orthodoxy. Obviously, the church should never betray Her principles for the sake of attracting converts, but this is not such a case.
I apologize if my involving my own financial status proved to be confusing, or seemed a prideful way to express my feelings; I was merely attempting to be honest and transparent, and to contextualize where I was coming from, and to show that this was not about protecting my own money. I also believe that my position has allowed me to be privy to some of the darker sides of this slippery slope, i.e., favoritism towards the wealthy, and as someone who has been on the receiving end of it, I don't like it, certainly not in a religious context.
Thank you to all for all the thoughtful responses.
Augustin, or any other posters who took exception to any of my assertions, forgive me for any way in which I may have offended you.
And know that I am not now, nor have I ever been a Calvinist!