This morning, The Wall Street Journal goes to church -- Bent Tree Bible Fellowship Church, specifically, on International Parkway in Carrollton, where membership is high (4,000-plus pray at the arena-rock-sized megachurch) and shekels are low. Which has necessitated a few cuts superficial (lawn care, daily cleaning crew) and profoundly deep (wage freezes, layoffs -- the latter considered an "unusual step" at houses of worship). It's a common theme amongst all denominations' houses of worship, as evidenced by the titles of seminars held by Indiana University's The Lake Institute on Faith & Giving: "Congregations And The Economic Crisis" and "Religious Giving in Uncertain Times Conference."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
And it's not just because folks have less to give -- they've also been asking for more during their time of need: "We are now seeing couples with $300,000 or $400,000 homes that need help with a big loan payment," says a member of the Bent Tree board. (But this is by far the most jarring revelation contained in the piece: "A coffee bar called the Crossing sold pastries and espresso.") On a very related note, this morning I also found this blog out of Fort Worth: Signs of Religion. Worth a look.