Monday, November 17, 2008

Good Stuff in TEC: Illinois

Faith, hope and financial help

Financial planning is a newer area for many churches. Some pastors are uncomfortable discussing money because they don't want to appear self-serving. Others feel money is too personal to discuss in church, leaders say, or haven't received the proper training.

"In an awful lot of churches, it's the silent subject," Towner said.

That's starting to change.

The trend is gaining popularity as churches seek new and creative ways to connect with their congregations and respond to a growing need for practical, day-to-day advice.

"Rather than asking what the church can get from you, they are asking what the church can do for you," Bentley said. "It's a very welcome shift."

Her congregation's current economic anxiety prompted Pastor Deborah Seles to recently hold a free seminar on spirituality and money at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Palatine.

It was the first time her church held such an event, and Seles said she would consider organizing resume-writing and job seminars.

"You want to offer people some practical help, following the example of Jesus," she said.

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