It’s affecting houses of worship [he says with tongue firmly planted in cheek].
Of course, the little church on the corner is dealing with energy prices. And smaller ministries are suffering because of being pinched at the grocery store. Mosques and synagogues are having issues with multiple services or prayer meetings as well.
However, megachurches (and well regarded ones) are speaking out as well.
The problem [these ridiculous gas prices that no one in Congress is doing anything about – editor’s note] is affecting even the holy business, driving down attendance at churches, synagogues and mosques. Religious leaders are struggling to help their members cope, spinning new themes about a society that has become almost sinfully reliant on motorized transport. Others are viewing the energy-price squeeze as a test of the way they serve God and their communities.
Pastor Matthew Barnett is spending nearly $11,000 a week to power a fleet of aging trucks and buses that ferry members to his megachurch at the historic Angelus Temple in Echo Park.
OK, that number alone should shut up every ecumenically-savvy believer who says that preachers should take a vow of poverty. That 11 large is feeding people, clothing people and supporting the lost. What are you doing? Answer me that, and then get back to me. On with the story.
So, Pastor Barnett could do many other things with that money and you know, in business terms, turn a profit. Think he cares? Think again.
“I know a lot of churches that are folding up their bus ministries, but when you’re called to do God’s work, you have to weather the hard times,” Barnett said. “The way to impact a community is to keep showing up and being consistent. We have to be a positive force, and there’s no amount that gas prices can go up to that will stop that.”
That – in a word – is real! This is what God called us all to do. Do your part, and pray for those that are doing what you can’t. While we are all prostrate begging for Congress to get their thumb out of… er, unite and help this nation with energy, let’s all remember the local and national churches that need relief as well.