Leadership & Business - Benevolence Policy
Benevolence and Church Policy: A Letter from your Board of Directors
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
The Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer is first, last and always an inclusive and inviting place where we gather to worship God and proclaim our faith in Christ in reverence and safety. Christ taught us to reach out to the poor, downtrodden, hungry and shunned, to love and care for each other through good times and bad and that often a little bit can go a long way if you have faith.
During times of crisis, people needing assistance often approach churches and church members. This assistance typically falls into the categories of providing food, shelter, clothing or medicine. Sometimes an individual asks for cash. The church may be a means of helping people avoid eviction or having their utilities disconnected. Always, the church is a safe refuge in a sea of trouble.
An old adage says, “Give one a fish and they eat for a day. Teach one to fish and they eat
for a lifetime”. In this spirit, our assistance is to help people to be as self sufficient as possible and avoid enabling situations like drug and alcohol abuse. Accordingly, it is the policy of MCCOR that we will not give any individual cash assistance or assistance that can be turned into cash such as bus tickets. The types of assistance that we will provide as we are financially able will include the following:
- Maintaining a list of social service agencies and organizations that provide services such as meals, food banks, emergency housing, utility support, medicines, etc. This list will be maintained in the church office for anyone to access. We will assist the requestor in establishing contact with the appropriate agency if they need help in doing so.
- Direct assistance will be given on a case-by-case basis determined by the pastor or board of directors to prevent eviction or loss of utilities. Direct assistance will be considered upon the requestor presenting the unpaid bill or eviction notice. Approved assistance will be provided as a check from the church to the landlord or utility company, not to an individual requestor. Direct assistance will only be provided during the normal workweek and never on a Sunday during the worship service.
- Finally, the MCCOR will provide direct assistance to a single individual or family only one time every 12 months. This allows us to serve more people with the very limited benevolence resources that we have available. All assistance requested or provided will be strict confidential.
If an individual approaches you regarding assistance, the BOD asks you to refer the person to a board member, the pastor, or the church office clerk during the workweek. We ask that you do not give people money directly since it cannot be verified what the funds will be used for. This may seem harsh; however our members and guests must feel safe and not be intimidated. We also must ensure that assistance provided is appropriate and used for its intended purpose.
Let us be clear that everyone is welcome at MCCOR and will be welcomed to attend our services and any activities we have ongoing. The MCCOR is and will be a place where help in crisis is provided; however we must establish some basic guidelines for our protection and for the good of those seeking legitimate help. Please help us in our benevolence program by following these instructions. Thank you and God bless you.
Your Board of Directors
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