Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tribute to Eliud Ortega...

And Jim Muirhead, and Fundraising in a church.

Jim told me this story about his first time visiting Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Toward the end of the service, Eliud Ortega, longtime minister of the church, said (according to Jim): "Okay, the roof has been repaired and we need to pay the bill. I'm going to pass this hat around and hope there is enough money to pay." So the hat went around. When it came back, Rev. Ortega counted the money, and it came up short, so he made another plea, "Please, we need to pay this bill right away, so please dig deep." He passed the hat again, and it came back, he counted the money, and it still came up short.

He looked desperately at the congregation and said, "well, we're still short. I don't know what we are going to do."

After the service ended, Jim went up to Rev. Ortega to introduce himself. He (having not put any money in the hat) said, excuse me, just out of curiosity, how short are you? Ortega said to him: $37.50. Jim pulled out his wallet and made a contribution, the first of many he would make to the church. Choir director, session member, chair of a nomination committee, hymnals, paved parking lot, the list goes on. Thanks for the memories Jim.

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