Rick Warren is the conservative evangelical minister who somehow has become a trusted friend to both Republicans and Democrats. Obama came to his Saddleback Church during the campaign, and then Warren spoke at his inauguration.
But the bad economy is taking its toll on his empire, and yesterday he sent out an emergency fundraising appeal to the church’s members.
Here’s part of what he posted it on the Saddleback Church blog:
Dear Saddleback Family,
THIS IS AN URGENT LETTER unlike any I’ve written in 30 years. Please read all of it and get back to me in the next 48 hours.
I have thrilling news to share with you below but first some seriously bad news:
With 10% of our church family out of work due to the recession, our expenses in caring for our community in 2009 rose dramatically while our income stagnated. Still, with wise management, we’ve stayed close to our budget all year. Then… this last weekend the bottom dropped out.
On the last weekend of 2009, our total offerings were less than half of what we normally receive – leaving us $900,000 in the red for the year, unless you help make up the difference today and tomorrow.
It sounds like the church will be fine either way. We suspect they’ll come up with the money and it’s probably not the end of the world if they end 2009 in the red, like so many other organisations did.
What is interesting is that the bottom fell out “this last weekend,” which is somewhat ominous sounding. Presumably it means some kind of unprecedented tension between buying Christmas gifts and donating to the church.
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