Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Efficient Abundance

While I was a guest preacher at Reveille United Methodist Church this past Sunday, I met Jennifer McCluskey, who keeps the blog http://efficientabundance.wordpress.com/.  It's an interesting pairing of words, and after reading some of the posts on the blog, I think she's on to something here.  Check it out!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Report examines clergy salaries

A new report that examines how salaries varied for United Methodist pastors in the U.S. found that average pastor salaries grew faster than the inflation rate over the decade ending in 2008.

Average salaries increased steadily by approximately 2 percent per year, for a 21 percent over a decade. The average salary of a fulltime pastor not living in a parsonage was $55,000 in 2008, compared to $45,300 in 1998.

The study, which focused particularly on how salaries differ with respect to gender and race, found substantial salary differences between male and female pastors (13 percent), and white and non-white pastors (9-15 percent). Those differences were largely attributed to differences in seniority between male and female pastors, and the assignment of non-white pastors to congregations that pay lower salaries.  “Most of the gender/race gap disappears once congregational, personal, and position attributes are taken into account,” the report states.
For more information, view the report in its entirety.  <<Read more>>

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Cost of Happiness

In the most recent Time (September 20, 2010) I found the following:

$75,000 - Annual household income needed to make Americans happy, according to a new study; earnings above that have no further effect on contentment.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Article about New Monasticism and OSJ

Sarah was interviewed recently by Interpreter Magazine about our experience living in Isaiah House, a “New Monastic Community.”  It’s a great article about our experience there.  Check it out here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Martin Luther on Pastors' Salaries

Even we creatures of the world do not perform our duties as zealously in the light of the Gospel as we did before in the darkness of ignorance, because the surer we are of the liberty purchased for us by Christ, the more we neglect the Word, prayer, well-doing, and suffering. If Satan were not continually molesting us with trials, with the persecution of our enemies, and the ingratitude of our brethren, we would become so careless and indifferent to all good works that in time we would lose our faith in Christ, resign the ministry of the Word, and look for an easier life. Many of our ministers are beginning to do that very thing. They complain about the ministry, they maintain they cannot live on their salaries, they whimper about the miserable treatment they receive at the hand of those whom they delivered from the servitude of the law by the preaching of the Gospel. These ministers desert our poor and maligned Christ, involve themselves in the affairs of the world, seek advantages for themselves and not for Christ. With what results they shall presently find out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lazarus at the Gate

A spiritual approach to money
Christian Science Monitor: One group’s formula for trying times: Live gratefully, spend less, buy justly, give more.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Frugal Living Story

A story came across my email box today that is worth pondering. Its about a man who lived frugally and then passed on $2 million to his mother's church when he died. It raises a lot of interesting questions, not the least of which is how the church will follow or not follow in this man's way of life. But for us, it presents something of a modern-day St. Francis worth reflecting on his simple way of living. Here's the story:

Faithful son leaves $2 million to small rural church

United Methodist News Service: John Ferguson was a simple man. He drove an old pickup truck, lived in a trailer without running water and kept to himself. No wonder Hopewell UMC was shocked when he bequeathed it more than $2 million.