An open letter to a Church Treasurer

cash

Dear Mr. Treasurer,

We are not members of your parish but we have been attending the service there, on and off for the last eight months or so. Although we had an idea about the financial condition of the Parish, we didn’t realise it was so bad till we heard your ten point agenda. At the same time, cannot help putting across some of our observations.

If the 3BHK flat purchased for parsonage is a liability, the best and the wise thing to do is to sell it off. I am sure you can make a reasonable profit. Clear off the debts and return the contribution back to members rather than pestering them for their contribution, which I am sure will be written off as ‘arrears’ (kudishika) and later, will be used to harass them. A small parish like yours does not need a posh flat for parsonage. A rented house would do. Sorry to say, it speaks of your extravagance (lavishness) at others cost (public money). I feel the old saying ‘One should learn to live within their means’ is still relevant.

Looks like you are ready to beg, borrow or steal to meet the monthly quota. Nobody will be affected if you don’t continue as the Trustee but the fact is people get turned off when the only thing that they hear in the church is all about collection, contribution and donation. I personally know several of your parish members who are not attending your church because of this fact, or they have moved to other nearby parishes as the monthly subscription is high in your church.

The whole idea of a high level delegation to visit GCC to collect donation is a ridiculous situation these days. Our Gulf based members hate the mention of such collection drives and mocks those who reach there. No one with some self esteem would do it unless they have some personal interest.

By asking for contributions from visitors like us, you are making sure that very few outsiders attend the service there henceforth. We would have been happy to give a contribution on our own but for a more genuine cause. A better idea would be to keep a Rs.100 per person guest entry fee as they have in clubs.

Offertory is a matter of personal choice. One person’s Rs.10 may be equal to another person’s Rs.1,000. You cannot judge the value of the offertory or demand more.

Planning to spend about Rs. one lakh for new microphones and speakers is another example of wasting public money on useless things. The present sound system is perfectly ok but just needs fine tuning of its settings. If somebody is ready to sponsor, then let that money be used for a better and more useful purpose. By the way, cannot help saying that the present choir is miserable, just a bunch of giggling girls who want to show off. If there is no choir, the congregation would sing better.

Summing up, we are extremely disappointed that end of the day, its only money that talks. May God bless you in your endeavours.

Regards,
Anil

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4 thoughts on “An open letter to a Church Treasurer

  1. Well said. Exactly the reason why I prefer not to go to the church, even though I am a member of this particular parish.

  2. Dear Mr. Anil,

    We came across this post of yours titled ‘An open letter to a church treasurer’. We agree to some of the points that you had stated. However, there are certain others that we beg to differ with.

    First of all, we feel that when you come across such issues pertaining to the church or in fact any random institution, we would appreciate you talking to the person(s) concerned rather than documenting an article and posting it on social media which in turn, might hurt the feelings or even affect the morale of the members .What matters most is that the person(s) concerned need to know about the issue and take necessary steps to rectify the mistake. Do have the courage to talk the matter out to the person rather than contriving to reach him indirectly which is equivalent to talking it all behind his back. If you were sincerely concerned about the improvement of the choir, you ought to have brought the matter to the attention of either the office bearers or choir members of the church. Lest, you should have a huge fan following based on your article and that too among a non-targeted audience, but that is not what is intended, or is it?

    Secondly, regarding the sound system of our church, you had stated that it being “perfectly ok but just needs fine tuning of its settings”. Let me get this straight across to you. Have you any idea as to how many times the sound system has failed in church services and other gatherings such as prayer meetings or as to how many times it has been tuned up? We presently have a sound system consisting of an AHUJA MXA 3500 amplifier, rattling AHUJA speakers and many mikes. Please note that it is just a pa amplifier that is meant for amplifying the microphones, nothing more. It doesn’t mix the signal, nor does it amplify any aux signals such as that of the keyboard be connected to it. 10 years back when the church was a chapel the same setup was used and when the new church was built the same system had to be carried forward with an addition of two speakers. This setup is now commonly used in ‘utsavaparambukal’ as a support system when the power fails. Any well established church, in fact even small new-gen prayer groups now use a mixer unit, to mix the signal. It is a basic necessity, rather than a luxury. Nothing can be done to solve the rattling of speakers other than replace them. I had read another article of yours necessitating the need for bringing in technology in Sunday Schools. I can’t help but ask; why show the indifference here?

    Thirdly, we acknowledge that the choir was not up to the standards expected until about two months ago. Nevertheless, we had looked into this issue and strived to make it better. It has considerably improved or so we feel. The choir comprises a bunch of talented singers who have their weaknesses. Vilifying them would do no good. Pointing out their mistakes (in person) would help. By the way, you are always welcome to try out your singing prowess before the congregation!

    No offence whatsoever.
    Thanking you,
    The Choir.

  3. 1. It is not the lack of courage but the lack of membership that stopped me from sharing my thoughts in person with the Trusty or other Office bearers.

    2. If you think spending on sound system is important when your parish has debts running into lakhs, then you need to get your priorities right.

    3. If you still think it is unavoidable, then you should start earning and spend from your own pocket rather than depend on donations / public money.

    4. I feel choirs of most Orthodox churches in the city are pathetic, be it Spencer or Nalanchira. Nanthancode used to be good earlier but not now. Talking about your choir, I should admit that the guy on the keyboard plays well but unfortunately he doesn’t get the support from the so called ‘talented’ singers.

    Btw, just for your information, I have been involved with professional sound systems for almost 30 years now.

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