The Archbishop’s Annual Appeal (CR, Feb. 5) got me to thinking that the church should consider creating new models of giving to match the times in which we live.
At the Feb. 8 Mass, our pastor said about 400 families out of 2,400 registered participated in last year’s appeal. What if every family gave $500? What if, like health or swim club memberships, there was a flat fee that applied at the time a family became official members of a parish? What if the value and all that the parish/archdiocese does was “sold” or presented at the time a family joined a parish, thus showing where the $500 goes throughout the year? This fee wouldn’t be considered as a weekly offering, but rather for capital campaigns, annual giving, support for retired religious, etc.
The result would be an entire parish supporting its programs, rather than a small percentage. Obviously, there are nuances that would have to be worked out, but many businesses embrace this type of model and tie it to the value of belonging. Paying “up front” for something that can be utilized throughout the year also stimulates involvement. Who doesn’t feel as though he should be going to the gym to exercise once an up-front fee is paid?