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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Confessions of a middle-class materialist

'Their pleas for money and holier-than-thou attitudes insulted and enraged me'

Oh, no, not that time again," I sighed. For years it was the same story: Sometime during the fall I'd sit down in church, open the bulletin and see the line, "Stewardship Templ e Talk." Again.

For several Sundays afterward members of the stewardship committee would outline the church budget proposal and intone scriptural references about tithing and giving.

I saw the speakers in two ways: Either their Brooks Brothers suits and high-gloss wing tips boasted their status as people who could afford to tithe, or their frayed shirt collars testified to their self-sacrificing natures.

I could relate to neither. Their pleas for money — and wha t I perceived as holier-than-thou attitudes — insulted and enraged me. By the time every-member-visit Sunday rolled around, I wanted no part of any discussion about raising our church pledge.


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