They’re usually given by older couples, by people in upper middle class careers, or by people whose careers provide room for a higher paying contract, more money for more hours, etc., not by young families on fixed incomes who run a deficit every month.
It seems like, when I set about actually tithing, the car breaks down, or there’s some other emergency that comes up.
After rent, utilities, monthly medications and supplies, and whatever breaks down, etc., we basically have to divide my disability check for the month’s food, gasoline and entertainment: $40 per day for six people in a 15 year old handicapped accessible van that gets 12-15 mpg, all with dietary needs.
We have finally found the faith community we’ve been seeking our entire marriage: traditional in liturgy, orthodox in theology, but welcoming and active. I’ve been drawn to it for many years, actually. It’s one of the reasons I even moved to the Augusta area, but various issues prevented us becoming active members till this past year.
We want St. Ignatios of Antioch Melkite Catholic Church to be our parish for life, but the small parish is struggling. It’s a small church with about twelve pews and a small attached hall. There are some who attend because it’s their neighborhood Catholic church. There are some families, like ours, and many older parishioners. It has the internal tension and politics of any parish, but for the most part, people work past that stuff.
Nevertheless, because of the size and location, only so many people can attend Divine Liturgy at the present location. Our pastor has been talking about trying to find a bigger church, to hopefully attract more people and give space for those who want to come but can’t find parking, but the parish is running a deficit as it is.
On an average Sunday, we get as many as 80 people, if you count folding chairs. Reduced to heads of households or single adults, though, that’s probably more like 20 people, at most, who can give.
So, even if it means reducing my personal food budget to $2 a day instead of $3, I’m going to figure out how my family can do better with our contributions. And we’re trying to figure out ways we can help raise money for the parish.
If you regularly or occasionally attend St. Ignatios, please consider offering a bit more of your proverbial “time, talent or treasure.” If you don’t live in the area but are concerned about preserving traditional liturgies in general or Eastern Catholicism in particular, please donate.
If you live in the Augusta area, and you’re looking for a church community, or are curious, whether you’re Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant or non-Christian, please come visit us on Sunday morning: Orthros (Morning Prayer) is 9-10 AM. Divine Liturgy is 10 AM till usually about 11:30, after which is a potluck brunch and fellowship.
You can donate via the Eparchy (Diocese) of Newton’s website, or mail a check to the parish.
1003 Merry St., Augusta, GA, 30904