For 24 years, Barbara Myers worked with Barry R. Herr at a small denominational office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where everybody knew everybody. Co-workers were aware of when someone’s family had a baby, a wedding or a death.
Phil Harmon was a successful business executive with deep roots in the Quaker community of the Northwest. By the 1990s the Oregon man had several homes in Oregon and Washington State. In his early career, he sold insurance.
Bishops in the United Methodist Church have voted themselves a pay cut after “recognizing the financial challenges facing the church.”
The UMC’s 50 active U.S. bishops voted to give up their planned pay raises for next year and instead reduce their salaries to the 2008 level, dropping their annual pay from $125,650 to $121,000, according to United Methodist News Service.
A New York judge has denied a request by a group of parishioners at the landmark Riverside Church to postpone the installation of the church’s new senior pastor because of anger over his compensation package, reported to be worth more than $600,000.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America both have slashed their 2009 budgets, cutting programs and laying off scores of personnel as denominations continue to suffer from the recession.
As many congregations grapple with declining contributions, some faith communities are following the lead of cash-strapped corporations by laying off employees. But when you’re putting someone’s spiritual leader out on the street, the task is more difficult.