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Major Ministry on Modest Means

The trouble with our church or any church is not lack of members or money; it is lack of ingenuity, creativity, and courage.
—James Stobaugh

Our collection one week recently was $691.30. We needed $1,300 to meet budget.

Standing at the front door of our brownstone church, saying farewell to our eighty congregants, I saw Robert, a street person in our neighborhood. He asked a member for a quarter. We barely have a quarter to give you, I thought.

It wasn't always this way. In my closet sits a photograph of our turn-of-the-century congregation. Healthy-looking men and parasol-laden women encircle a whole block. Written in optimistic white ink is "The Church in Friendship." Pittsburgh was thriving, and so was the church. It boasted a huge Sunday school, active youth group, and overflowing morning worship. The softball team won the all-church league! The church's potential seemed unlimited.

But the steel industry faltered: our armies won two wars but our businesses lost the import war. Superhighways ...

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