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Duncan

My rant about Fast offerings

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So, a month ago and on until two sundays I was saying to the EQ (in my capacity as EQP) if you see anybody in need, please let us know and we'll try to do something. This past Saturday morning i got an email from the Elders saying there is this family in the ward that is in need. So, I was at the Bishop's storehouse later on in the morning and saw them and they said nothing to me so I figured they got what they needed. Later on that day I decided to drop by and see them, everything seemed fine. Saw them at Church and they didn't say anything so I just kind of forgot about . Well, late sunday afternoon they emailed saying they need presents for the kids. At first I was like now you say something?! but then I kind of thought well, presents are personal things so maybe the ward could get a GC to Wal Mart or something and they can get whatever they need. So, I emailed the Bishop and basically he said no, the Fast offerings doesn't go for buying presents and they should have signed up for this local charity weeks ago. Like WHAT????? well, that does nothing to help now, I can't go back in time and sign for stuff!!! One of the counselours in our EQ is a Dr. but he's in Alberta and I know he'd help for absolute sure but you can't give from aways away, so the other counselour (also from Alberta) and me have been scrambling around trying to put something together. They didn't want food but just mitts, boots and just odds and ends. We didn't get all of it but a little something anyways.  Both of us paid out pocket. It PROFOUNDLY bothers me about this no go on the fast offerings, like are you kidding me? we aren't buying nerf guns or barbie's or something but like a family needs something to have something of a nice Christmas and we can't help? What is the fast offerings for then if not to help people? it seems so bureaucratic and dumb!!!! I'd never enjoy Christmas if there was someone in need and I could do something about it but didn't, like how do people who see need but do nothing sleep at night? I couldn't do that

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2 minutes ago, rpn said:

In many wards, members who are in a position to help with such things, notify the bishop, or just contribute an amount called "other" on the slip, or sometimes just give the bishop cash in an envelope.   That is how these things get fixed in most places.   So next year, ask your quorum members to let you or the bishop know if they are in a position to help out someone in need if you ask them to, in advance.

Ask the bishop again about reimbursing for the warm clothes for children --- that is often provided.   (Heck, my bishop once asked for the used car we were selling as a donation for a family in need.   So there is a bigger world out there.)

this is what we need! I am going to use this!!!!

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By mid November you should know which families need help with presents - that's the time you ask the EQ/RS to assist, out of their own pockets.

I agree with the Bishop about not using Fast Offerings. I've always bought presents for kids of less fortunate families -- sometimes I'd deliver them, sometimes the EQ or RS would have someone deliver them. We always set aside money to do this.

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8 minutes ago, mnn727 said:

By mid November you should know which families need help with presents - that's the time you ask the EQ/RS to assist, out of their own pockets.

I agree with the Bishop about not using Fast Offerings. I've always bought presents for kids of less fortunate families -- sometimes I'd deliver them, sometimes the EQ or RS would have someone deliver them. We always set aside money to do this.

we've been asking people if you need help now is the time and so we can figure out something but the people that can but won't help, why????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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If I were in a position to do this, I would start in September asking ward members to give work to kids who will not otherwise be able to afford gifts for their family members.   Or agree to take those children to the store to spend the money they'd earned, to help them wrap them, etc.   Giving them work and the ability to gift things to others is a far greater gift than a new toy.   I learned this the Christmas after we adopted.   Our new children told us they were use to copious amounts of gifts the 8 years they were in foster care (none of which they perceived as completely theirs and none of which they still had), and were surprised that 3 or 4 gifts were what non foster kids got in most households of more than a couple of children.   A week or so after Christmas, I read to them about a local house fire in which kids about their ages had lost everything.  I asked them if they wanted to give or make something.  Less than 30 minutes later, the four of them produced everything they had received for that purpose.   I was stunned, and my children told me that this was the first time in their lives (the oldest was 14) that they had ever had something that they knew was actually theirs to keep forever and that they would be around forever to do so, and therefore could also give away.  And they had never before been able to give a present to anyone else nor been asked to or helped to give a gift.   I  could hardly bear their sacrifice, but it was a most powerful empowering thing for them.    That is how I learned that helping them work to obtain the resources and give of themselves in the selection for people they love or people in need  matters a whole lot to those who have always been poor (without things).   That helping them buy presents for others would bring them more long lasting joy than producing a toy for them.   I do my "helping the poor" very differently now than I did before this experience.

My sister lived in a stake which got a grant from the Church humanitarian program to fund a "store" where poor single parents in the community "shopped" for presents for their children, and got pampered with makeovers, at the same time their children in a different location made handmade gifts for family members.   (Parent's gift was of course the peace of having something for their children and wrapping it, and the time for themselves.)  I think they were funded for three consecutive years.

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Many wards (including mine) have a program that members donate or assist families to make sure the kids get some gifts. It would not come out of Fast Offerings. Fast Offering rules are designed to pay rent or utilities and other fixed expenses. Reimbursing members for buying gifts would generally not be acceptable.

As a pet peeve I hate it when people who need help wait for the last minute. I too often end up at the church late on a Sunday or weekday evening because someone needed help,with rent due tomorrow. How could you not know that was coming?

I hear rumblings that the Church is going to transition fast offerings to mostly be done by Salt Lake. They request help with rent. The Bishop signs off. The clerk enters the data and sends it to Salt Lake. Salt Lake prints and mails the check or whatever they use. Done. If you come at the last minute you are out of luck.

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5 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Many wards (including mine) have a program that members donate or assist families to make sure the kids get some gifts. It would not come out of Fast Offerings. Fast Offering rules are designed to pay rent or utilities and other fixed expenses. Reimbursing members for buying gifts would generally not be acceptable.

As a pet peeve I hate it when people who need help wait for the last minute. I too often end up at the church late on a Sunday or weekday evening because someone needed help,with rent due tomorrow. How could you not know that was coming?

I hear rumblings that the Church is going to transition fast offerings to mostly be done by Salt Lake. They request help with rent. The Bishop signs off. The clerk enters the data and sends it to Salt Lake. Salt Lake prints and mails the check or whatever they use. Done. If you come at the last minute you are out of luck.

I wonder how they would handle last minute emergencies?

do you see quality of charity being mostly talk talk talk but when it comes down to it , members find excuses not to do things? "I'm trying to be like Jesus but the handbook won't let me !"

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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

I wonder how they would handle last minute emergencies?

do you see quality of charity being mostly talk talk talk but when it comes down to it , members find excuses not to do things? "I'm trying to be like Jesus but the handbook won't let me !"

There would probably be an emergency procedure.

I see the quality of charity as being the pure love of Christ in all its facets, both the sweet ecstasy and the harder but perfect discipline that encompasses his love.

Edited by The Nehor
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10 hours ago, Duncan said:

do you see quality of charity being mostly talk talk talk but when it comes down to it , members find excuses not to do things? "I'm trying to be like Jesus but the handbook won't let me !"

I think there is a need to respect the handbook (though the handbook doesn't have a lot of prohibitions, so you might ask them to show you where in the handbook it says that)..    Maybe what your bishop is saying is that he told the family to sign up for the community christmas program and if they failed or refused,  that was a choice  (though I would try to persuade him that warm clothes are required for children whether or not parents are stupid).     You probably should bring up for ward council training for you all: there is a book called Pure Religion that your council should probably read and discuss about the church welfare program.      (And if I were you, I would outright ask my bishop, what the heck am I supposed to do when I pray about this stuff, get confirmation and then you tell me no anyway to meeting someone's needs.) 

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1 hour ago, rpn said:

I think there is a need to respect the handbook (though the handbook doesn't have a lot of prohibitions, so you might ask them to show you where in the handbook it says that)..    Maybe what your bishop is saying is that he told the family to sign up for the community christmas program and if they failed or refused,  that was a choice  (though I would try to persuade him that warm clothes are required for children whether or not parents are stupid).     You probably should bring up for ward council training for you all: there is a book called Pure Religion that your council should probably read and discuss about the church welfare program.      (And if I were you, I would outright ask my bishop, what the heck am I supposed to do when I pray about this stuff, get confirmation and then you tell me no anyway to meeting someone's needs.) 

I read Pure Religion on a whim and was weeping by the end of it, I wholeheartedly endorse your suggestions!

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On December 24, 2018 at 5:58 PM, Duncan said:

So, a month ago and on until two sundays I was saying to the EQ (in my capacity as EQP) if you see anybody in need, please let us know and we'll try to do something. This past Saturday morning i got an email from the Elders saying there is this family in the ward that is in need. So, I was at the Bishop's storehouse later on in the morning and saw them and they said nothing to me so I figured they got what they needed. Later on that day I decided to drop by and see them, everything seemed fine. Saw them at Church and they didn't say anything so I just kind of forgot about . Well, late sunday afternoon they emailed saying they need presents for the kids. At first I was like now you say something?! but then I kind of thought well, presents are personal things so maybe the ward could get a GC to Wal Mart or something and they can get whatever they need. So, I emailed the Bishop and basically he said no, the Fast offerings doesn't go for buying presents and they should have signed up for this local charity weeks ago. Like WHAT????? well, that does nothing to help now, I can't go back in time and sign for stuff!!! One of the counselours in our EQ is a Dr. but he's in Alberta and I know he'd help for absolute sure but you can't give from aways away, so the other counselour (also from Alberta) and me have been scrambling around trying to put something together. They didn't want food but just mitts, boots and just odds and ends. We didn't get all of it but a little something anyways.  Both of us paid out pocket. It PROFOUNDLY bothers me about this no go on the fast offerings, like are you kidding me? we aren't buying nerf guns or barbie's or something but like a family needs something to have something of a nice Christmas and we can't help? What is the fast offerings for then if not to help people? it seems so bureaucratic and dumb!!!! I'd never enjoy Christmas if there was someone in need and I could do something about it but didn't, like how do people who see need but do nothing sleep at night? I couldn't do that

Sadly Bishop's hands are tied, they may only have the Relief Society President take food orders, and issue checks out of Fast Offerings, for bills such as rent, car payments, electric bills, etc. (never for taxes, or Credit Card debts) It is indeed frustrating, I (thankfully) was able to help my oldest daughter, to buy for their children. They could have signed up for the "giving tree", but doing so is (for many) is very embarrassing, which is understandable. Also, our new Ward, and our new Bishop is wealthy, (a Millionaire) and is  my daughter's brother-in-law, and she told did not even tell him, they needed very little, which was not the case, but he did give her husband a job. My son-in-law worked in the booming movie business in Georgia, but the foreman who kept him busy, started his own company, so now he barely ever gets works. So, the job the Bishop gave him was a true blessing. 

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