Is it just a rural thing or does every congregation have someone who makes sure that every penny, ounce of flesh and/or food item is accounted for?
I call her Betty. I have spoken of her before in a post entitled benefit of the doubt. With her and her husband and their daughter (who serves as our treasurer) there is no benefit of the doubt, there is no giving unless it is 'earned'. For instance now that we have an intern and she preaches once a month they asked our Chair of Stewardship & Finance if I should be docked pay on the Sundays I don't preach.
They are not evil they are just... capitalist republicans in the truest sense of the phrase. I'm not trying to pick a political fight, they just are. They disagree that Head Start is here because it uses up our resources when people should be creating their own resources and yet they have stock in oil companies and have no problem with that.
Usually I just take it for what it's worth... meaning, not personally. I had to work on that. Believe me.
One of the things that we have noted is that they use food as payment for what they consider to be good deeds. For instance, Betty makes homemade maple syrup. It is so incredibly good it will spoil you from having any other syrup again ever. When we first arrived here, we received a baby jar of it. I had not received any of it since, even though I had RAVED about it. I won it at silent auctions a couple of times and watched as she doled it out to others who had done good in her sight but nothing for me.
But this year I received a huge jar of it. Why? Because they are big TOW1 fans and Betty was at me week after week about forgiving her. To which I would either ignore or respond with, 'give me time.' Once the forgiveness happened, I received the syrup (and no, that's not why I did it).
Last night at our annual fundraiser Betty and her family showed up with TOW1 and her family. I was taken aback at first. These sightings in the midst of the church setting especially make me feel like I am on the hot seat. But eventually I purposefully went over, made some small talk and then left.
Betty came up to me, thanked me for being the "facilitator that I am" (whatever the hell that means) and told me that for today's Lenten church event she was making the soup - potato, an absolute favorite of mine. Would I like her to bring some over to me since I was hosting the youth right after church for a different event.
I am not good at playing social games, especially when I am the pawn and so I responded to her, "I can always tell when you are happy with me because you send yummy food my way."
No reaction from her.
Thankfully, I still got the soup.