Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Hug Campaign And Ministerial Discretionary Accounts

One of the hardest and weirdest things about having a Ministerial Discretionary Account (we once called ours "The Worthy Poor Fund!") is that you get to help people by the grace of other people's generosity, but you are the one who winds up getting wept all over and called an angel. We take up a collection for my discretionary account on Christmas Eve, and it's amazingly rewarding to be able to share with the congregation on that blessed night how their gifts have helped people in the past year. I don't think we have collected less than $2500 any Christmas I have been here.

Over the past ten days I have had occasion to use money from this account in ways that were literally life-saving for two families I had never met before. I am going in a few minutes to bring prescription money to someonewho was once comfortably middle class and is now leading a very precarious existence. Believe me, I am SO HAPPY to be able to do this. I am so grateful that I have the means to do so. This has nothing to do with me; I am just a conduit, and yet I get all the thanks. I only wish everyone who made a Christmas Eve contribution could hear these conversations and make these deliveries. It's the money that matters, yes, but even more so is the reality that someone cares, that there are sisters and brothers who really don't want you to fall through the cracks. It is this realization that really breaks open the hearts of these struggling folks, and the emotional release can come in a torrent. Someone does care.

So you might understand why when Arline sent me this link, I just wept watching it:

Now I have to go wash my face, reapply my eyeliner and get across town with money and gas vouchers.


Blogger Paul Wilczynski said...

It does have to do with you, PB ... you're the one who gave the contribution the thumbs up.


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