The Holy Spirit is unpredictable.
The congregation of one Chicago church arrived for a recent Sunday night service to discover that the pastor’s topic for the meeting was money – but this was not to be a typical message on charitable giving.
That evening, LaSalle Street Church Pastor Laura Truax handed each member of the church a check for $500 dollars, no strings attached.
The church gave away a total of $160,000 out of $1.6 million that it had received from the sale of a “multiethnic, multi-income housing development” it and several other churches had helped support decades ago. The area is now considered prime real estate.
Truax and the church board will decide later what to do with the rest of the funds. Some options under consideration are donating to a hospital in Ebola-stricken West Africa or creating a scholarship fund.
The pastor hopes the $160,000 will go to a good cause – or rather, several of them. She suggested that the recipients pay a tithe on the amount given, but she left that, too, for each member to decide.
Truax said that she became nervous as she started handing out the checks.
“Some people started to cry and I started to sweat because it sounded so crazy … In that moment, I was worried that people were going to think, ‘this is stupid and silly. You’re squandering away $160,000,” she told WGN.
“I was nervous about that,” she added, “but I felt this was a place of faith.”
The only requirement is that church members cash their checks within nine weeks.
Just in time for Christmas.
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