Pressed into service

2 Corinthians 8:7-15

In the mid-1980s I attended a church that still honored “Money Sunday,” a practice begun in the 1950s. Once a year members of the congregation gathered to make financial pledges to support missions efforts. As the pledges were collected, the minister would read the amounts aloud from the pulpit: “Here’s one for $50. . . . Here’s another for $100 and one for $1,000!” Occasionally a pledge came in for, say, $10,000, eliciting all sorts of approving oohs and aahs from the congregation, and for the rare pledge of $50,000 the organist would leap from his pew and play a rousing fanfare of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” If the financial goal had not been reached by the end of the service, the minister would send the offering plate back around, shaming the members into emptying their pockets of everything except the subway token they needed to get home.


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