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Author Topic: Announcing amount of money given in Church  (Read 1233 times) Average Rating: 0
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Suryoyutho
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« on: September 29, 2012, 04:16:04 PM »

Something came up recently which got me curious. In my Syriac Orthodox Church I remember the priest announcing (at the end of mass) in Church how much money family x or person y gave to the Church (and these are the larger amounts, not small amounts) and after reading what H.H. Pope Shenouda III wrote in his book "The Spiritual Means" for example I don't know how we could do something like that.

Do people from the other OO Churches recognize this practice? Is there anything that could support it?
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2012, 04:50:17 PM »

I've never seen announcements made in church like that before. 

That being said, there are a few Armenian churches where there are little name plaques in the nave stating who donated various items or icons.  I have a problem with that, but I'll stop short of criticizing the clergy who allow it.  I'm sure fundraising is very hard, especially in this economy. 

Let's just pray that someday such practices are a thing of the past.
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Orthodox11
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2012, 04:55:28 PM »

That being said, there are a few Armenian churches where there are little name plaques in the nave stating who donated various items or icons.

You don't have to look far to find ancient churches where the patrons are elaborately depicted on the murals (normally bowing before Christ or a saint making an offering) along with an inscription, so, right or wrong, it's by no means a new phenomenon.
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dzheremi
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2012, 05:47:45 PM »

That doesn't happen at my church, but I have experienced it elsewhere, much to my displeasure. When I was RC, the local community was split between Anglos and Hispanics, and the two had entirely separate masses since they were both big enough to necessitate their own priests, given linguistic and cultural differences. Since I'm kinda both, I was able to go to either mass (and often went to the Spanish-language mass because it was an hour later in the morning...). I eventually had to stop doing that after the priest at the Spanish mass went on a little diversion (can't really call it a homily) about how "the white people gave $X (big number) this week, but we only gave $X (modest number)...clearly the white people are more serious, more caring, etc." This was, predictably, not at all the message that the Anglos were getting at their services (can you imagine? "You guys are SO MUCH BETTER than the Hispanic people...what better Catholics you are!" Gross), and it bothered me very much to think that a priest would say things like that to his congregation. They didn't single out individuals, but they did at that time publish the totals given at the various masses throughout the week, so...yeah, I don't really understand how anything good can come out of this. It makes good people feel bad about not being able to give more, and shame is not a good motivation for charity.
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Nikolaostheservant
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 06:46:15 PM »

wow, i never have experienced that, thank God!
by doing that you are elevation one person or groups status and trampling down on another, not very nice.
the church/priest is just trying to guilt trip people to donate more--im tired every sunday after the liturgy 70% of the time my priest mentions $$.

What is the part of the bible where the poor woman donated the smallest denomination of coin to the church and Jesus says he donation was more valuable then the richest donations. Because for her to donate that would be a big hardship for her. Whereas the rich donating a big sum really is not much compared to what they have.
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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2012, 08:15:39 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Something came up recently which got me curious. In my Syriac Orthodox Church I remember the priest announcing (at the end of mass) in Church how much money family x or person y gave to the Church (and these are the larger amounts, not small amounts) and after reading what H.H. Pope Shenouda III wrote in his book "The Spiritual Means" for example I don't know how we could do something like that.

Do people from the other OO Churches recognize this practice? Is there anything that could support it?

I've seen vocal fundraisers, I've seen priests raise $6800 in cash singing hymns while folks throw their offerings in the umbrella at his feet for the Church, I've seen pledge-drive type fundraisers where in the Church on a spreadsheet new donations are added and applauded.  Personally, I feel it is distasteful, but I've come to accept it as part of my parish life which other folk seem not to have a problem.  I do my giving in secret, but I've come to have no hard feelings about folks who blow their trumpets, after all, giving to the Church is giving to the Church, and further, I'd be as guilty of pride about my offering if I were to try and elevate above another because mine was in secret and their was a spectacle.

In our Liturgy we sing, "Lord accept the offering of our brothers, and accept the offering of our sisters, and our own, accept our offering."

Whenever I see any kind of ostentatious giving, I try to say that pray to calm my feelings Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 08:17:01 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2012, 09:40:05 PM »

Our parish priests always have stressed that they're not after money.  Money is always available to them by the grace of God.  Rather they want people.  The more to assist in the service of the Church, the much much much far greater than money this is.

As for monetary donations, if it is known who donated, a private letter usually is sent thanking the donater for their contribution, but no public mention of such people.  I personally would think this crosses ethical lines for the church.
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2012, 08:33:23 AM »

Thanks for the replies.

I didn't really think about what HabteSelassie wrote, that those who don't want their names announced aren't announced. But should the Church allow something like that in the first place.

It seems to go completely against this for example...

Quote
It was told about St Milania at the beginning of her spiritual life, before becoming a nun, that she used to offer much to the monasteries and to the monks... It happened once that she put five hundred pieces of gold in a bag and gave it to Abba Bemwah to give to the monks who lived in the inner wilderness. The saint called his disciple, gave him the bag without opening it and asked him to distribute the contents among these monks... Here, Milania said: “But you have not opened it, father, to know how much is in it?” The saint replied: “If you have given this money to God, then God knows how much it is” ... And this was a lesson for Milania.

But besides those announcements (which I don't recall hearing lately) I haven't come across some of the other examples mentioned in the replies.
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2012, 12:24:05 PM »

My priest makes sure that he doesn't know who gives money, or how much, so that there can be no appearance of playing favourites and preferring those who give more. He knows how much the whole church has given for budgeting and decision making, but he has no idea if I've given any money or not. Only the treasurer knows since they have to make the deposits and give receipts for tax, but they aren't allowed to tell anyone.
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