Since the office opened yesterday morning we have had at least four phone calls from women seeking financial assistance. Our usual policy is to have them stop in the office and talk with them and have them fill out a "request for assistance" form. We help with financial needs on a one time basis by referring them to the Cokato Ministerial fund or by providing help from our church's "Pastor's Discretionary Fund."
We do not give cash or checks directly to the person. If, for example, a person needs gas to get to work, we arrange payment to a gas station for a certain amount. The person in need then goes to that gas station to get the $20 or $30 in gas.
We are thankful for those who donate to the Pastor's Discretionary Fund. This allows us to respond in a compassionate way. We are thankful to those who give generously so our office staff is here to respond. When an individual needs more than just a tank of gas, or if the person returns for financial help a second time, I spend more time with the person, trying to understand the situation and encouraging them to build a relationship with the church. Because you give generously, a pastor is here to help.
We do need to be accountable for the funds that are given to the mission and ministry of the local church. If you have other questions about your giving or our stewardship of those funds, please don't hesitate to ask.