Yes, that was the theme of the sermon today. From Daniel, Chapter 4. King Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the giant tree and Daniel's interpretation and admonition. Who do you serve?
And here was the real time counterpoint: A couple weeks ago the plea was made that everyone increase their tithing by 2.4 percent (not 2.3, not 2.5, but 2.4). Why? Why because of the continuing shortfall on the operating expenses. Now many staff have been fired. OOOOPS, I'm sorry, politically incorrect word: their careers have been re-purposed!! And the staff has all pitched in and taken on more tasks so the salaries portion of the budget can be downsized. And still and yet, there is a continuing shortfall. Thus a request for more ponying up to cover the monthly nut. All well and good and fine, you say? Well yes. Thus far, I would agree.
And then******This morning******..... A congregational meeting!! After the service. Voting in new elders. Motion carried. Adopting the Treasurer's report. Motion carried. No discussions. Until *dramatic pause* *sound of cymbals starting low and building high* the motion to change the terms of the pastors' calls. In other words: Asking the congregation to approve raises for the pastors.
Here are the givens: (and before you fine pastors who read here get your hackles up, please keep reading.....)
FIR: They have not had any raises for two whole years!!!! And they have taken on so many other jobs now.
AGIN: The church can't pay it's bills now? and you are asking to raise the pastors' salaries, retroactive to January 1st? AND, our pastors, before the raise, are the highest paid pastors in the entire Presbytery.
FIR: We have faith that the church will find a way. And while it's true they are far above in salary in the Presbytery, they are paid less than "comparable churches in the demographic". (funny, no one provided any kind of study on this)
ME: So THIS is why they can't afford a part time person to do their dramatic arts/filmed worship program. Aha!
AGIN: The full time salaries, BEFORE the raise, are six figures. Except for the part time pastor, who's just a quarter shy of six figures.
The spread sheet showing the salaries was not provided in the booklet that was handed out. It was shown on the video screen in numbers so small you had to squint and squirm to see them. The vote was called. There were "NO'S" in the vote. And an angry elder at the podium shot eye darts out as she said "Motion carried!
So I guess that the "sovereign" mentioned in the sermon was this one:
Here's more about sovereigns from the land o' plenty!!