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As you consider pledging this fall, here are a few questions you might ask:

  1. Why, when a previous parish administrator left, was more than $1,000 in loose cash found in her office, as well as numerous stale checks?
  2. Why were these issues not detected in advance of her departure?
  3. What safeguards have been implemented so that this cannot happen again? “I trust Beth,” is NOT a safeguard, by the way.
  4. Why does the parish not have a finance manual as required by canon law, even after 28 years of Bob Malm?
  5. What do the answers to these questions tell me about the parish? About Bob Malm’s job performance? About the vestry? About respect for people and resources?
Last but not least, if you cannot get straight answers to these questions, or feel safe asking them, my advice is to cut your losses. Don’t pledge until you get answers to these questions.