In the past, when I have been to the city I have felt sort of a disconnect between the excesses and fast living and my own life. I have wondered who was out of step - me or them. But this weekend was different - and the change was startling. We had annual meeting of our church and finances were the topic of the day. The church has been mostly living on money in investments and of course we all know what has happened there.
There was faithful conversation about how to support ourselves when we are dependent on the giving of people who are being pinched and the interest from investments. How do you respond to people sinking financially while asking for money to continue the church? Of course there were no easy answers. At one point a hospital chaplain had to leave because a (formally) well to do man in town felt he had no more options left and was going to leap off a building.
We try and be green and so there were not fancy printed material as in the past. I found it a little difficult to respond to resolutions with just a projected screen and memory. An adjustment for sure but a far cry better than the cases of paper used in the past.
They did give each congregation a book called, "Three Simple Rules: A practical manual guaranteed to improve your finances" by Theo Boers. I haven't started it yet my Mr. Greenjeans has and says it is good - and simple. It looks as if it is written where most people live - not for those with a lot of money.
I stopped by a clothing sale at my favorite store and found it to be very quiet even with the sale. Of course it also seemed that prices had been jacked up.
In this community of bloggers, financial concerns and future scenarios have been the norm for a while. We are used to the conversation. Watching a bunch of main steam folks come to this place en masse was a little disconcerting. People are waking up to the notion that this might not be a market gyration but part of a longer term problem, and they don't know what to do about it. It is perhaps a little overdue, but I suspect those of us who have been thinking about this for a while may need to have in person conversations to those who have just looked up from the feed trough.