Whenever someone is in need in the community, they often reach out to churches: a social safety net for those who have nowhere else to turn. This is no less true in Cary and the Triangle, especially in the face of the dire economic challenges we have faced in the last year.
Clergy discretionary funds help the church be the church to people in crisis. Over the last year alone, St. Paul’s has disbursed over $17,555 in discretionary funds to pay for overdue utility and rental bills, emergency housing, and other family crises.
Keep in mind that these expenses are outside of our operating budget. These funds come from donations that go above and beyond our already-established outreach distributions, including our support for organizations that provide a continuum of much-needed services—Habitat for Humanity, Family Promise, and Dorcas Ministries are just a few examples.
I would like to thank you for supporting people who have nowhere else to turn. Your financial donations in the middle of a pandemic have ensured that senior citizens remain housed, children are fed, and hardworking people retain their transportation to get to work. None of this would be possible without your support.
Bob Lupton, a writer and minister in Atlanta, once wrote about what it is like to help people in need. In his book, Theirs in the Kingdom, he spends a few paragraphs describing who we like to imagine as deserving of our help: the hardworking family struggling to make ends meet; the young person with two jobs working on their G.E.D. at night. The problem with measuring worthiness is that no one ever quite fits the mold: “truly worthy poor people? Are any of us truly worthy?”
We cannot help everybody, but we help whom we can, when we can—not just those who fit the mold and look the part of what we would define as ‘deserving’. The works of mercy are just that: mercy. Unearned gifts for those in need, not because they deserve help, but because we are called to serve.
If you would like to make a donation to the clergy’s discretionary funds, you can do so on our website. Thank you again for all you do so that St. Paul’s remains a place where all are welcome.
—Fr. JavierTags: From the Clergy, Hope for the Journey