Cleaning the chapel

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When my family joined the Church 30 years ago last month, local units were responsible for raising funds to build any new meetinghouses.

Since then, the Church has done away with this practice. They bring enough tithing in each year to fund each building institutionally.

I can see the wisdom in such a practice. After all, it takes some of the pressure off the members to finance the buildings, and allows for controlling discrepencies between building size and status.

I’ve noticed something in the last few years. Members seem less inclined to want to clean the chapel. They seem less concerned with whether their crumpled paper towel hits the garbage can. And so on.

Granted, my exposure is limited to a small percentage of the thousands of meetinghouses the Church owns, so the evidence I have is anecdotal.

That being said, I wonder if it is common enough to be a general trend. If so, is there a correlation between absence of personal fundraising and the seemingly lack of respect for keeping the meetinghouses clean?

63 thoughts on “Cleaning the chapel

  1. Oh, in that case then I believe you and I just have a differing interpretation of the phrase.

    Generally, it seems, members tend to speculate that the church only works in the best of possible ways and makes generally wise decisions.

    I tend to speculate that they operate more akin to a large private corporation, both in the level of secrecy regarding their books and in the way they acquire assets and in the way that they protect their bottom line.

    It is my special right to speculate in the way I see fit, just as it is the right of members to speculate as they see fit; barring any sort of definitive information that would clear up the matter and remove the need for speculation at all.

  2. I am still interested in seeing the stats on this though and proof of their ‘big corporations secretiveness’.

  3. They don’t open their books to the public, Mary. That’s pretty secretive, no?
    There are plenty of stats in the previous links – Ostling does much more than speculate.

  4. Does everyone open their books to the public? You can access the information. What’s so secretive? I mean, come on.

  5. “Does everyone open their books to the public?”

    Yes, actually. Many churches do.
    If they have nothing to hide or be embarrassed about, then there’s no problem.

  6. Likewise, rick, if they have nothing to hide or be embarrassed about, then there’s no problem keeping them private. So, whether they are private or public isn’t the real issue, but whether there is anything to hide or be embarrassed about.

  7. The Church’s businesses follow the same rules of accounting and record keeping as other businesses. They’re no more or less secretive than any other corporations.

    You’ve mentioned that the Church keeps open records in the UK, according to law. So surely you’ve found some amazingly juicy tidbits in the information you’ve researched there, right?

    If, following your standard, everyone who doesn’t keep his books open to the public must therefore be up to mischief, then why aren’t you publishing your own financial records for the world to see?

    I tend to speculate that they operate more akin to a large private corporation, both in the level of secrecy regarding their books and in the way they acquire assets and in the way that they protect their bottom line.

    Are you going to identify what is wrong with operating like a large private corporation? Are large, private corporations, by definition, sinister for some reason?

    And if what you’ve been doing all along is pure speculation then may I recommend you refrain from such audacious claims as you’ve made above without identifying them as such? When you state them as facts, what they really become is lies, not just conjectures.

  8. I didn’t ask ‘do many’ I asked ‘does everyone’.

    I have nothing to hide but I am not about to share my financial stats with you. I don’t need to know all the financial stats of other churches or private companies. Not sure why you feel the need to know them. But if it’s important to you….

  9. It’s interesting that you all seem to see no problem with a church operating like a large business.

    I guess that’s what the fundamental disagreement must be.

    I would have thought that one could expect a church to be run differently than a private corporation.

    Once again, it is your money being used and not mine. I guess I’m just a bit more curious when it comes to how people spend money I donate.

  10. I am aware of how the church spends my money, and know that much of what I contribute (probably all) is being used locally. Since I have the free use of my church building, the temple, really inexpensive purchasing of church materials and clothing (and often NONE) as well as parties or events where the ward budget covers everything and to know that the church will be paying for my son’s cub registration in a few months, my daughter gets to go to biweekly Activity days and participate without any cost to her…I think my tithes and offerings are being used generously for the benefit of my family.

    And I have locally seen how the church takes care of those in need too. I know this is only a drop in the bucket.

    Donating? I don’t see it that way when I personally get more than I actually pay.

  11. It’s interesting that you all seem to see no problem with a church operating like a large business.

    What I actually said is that I’d like for you to explain what you mean by “operating like a large business.” How does a large business operate, what particular characteristics of such operation do you claim the Church shares, and what is wrong with them?

    I would have thought that one could expect a church to be run differently than a private corporation.

    In what ways? And for what reasons?

  12. “inexpensive purchasing of church materials and clothing”

    Well, I think that it is crazy how much the church charges for garments, and temple clothing….way more than I spend on underwear. Not to mention how much a quad or song book costs.

    Also, not every ward pays for the scout/ cub registration.

  13. It doesn’t cost me that much, and since garments are bigger than underwear, well, it’s pretty inexpensive in my opinion. Also, having bought temple clothing, I know first hand how inexpensive that is. Not sure where you bought yours at? As well, for first time purchasing, you get 50% off. Temple clothes can last almost a lifetime.The Distribution centre also doesn’t charge enough to make a profit when selling materials. A DVD that costs $4? Can’t find that anywhere else.

    That’s up to the individual ward or stake, but ours does, and did where I grew up as well. And every ward we have been in.

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