Friday, September 28, 2007

So Much for Compassionate Conservatism

President Bush is threatening to veto a bill that expands the State Children's Health Insurance Program, a threat that is receiving a cold shoulder from many Republicans. Even arch-conservative Orrin Hatch has pledged to vote to override a veto by President Bush.

I believe this is the same president that made much of "Compassionate Conservatism." I believe this is the same president who, despite claiming conservative credentials, has thrown truckloads of money at many other causes, some of which are far less worthy than improving the health care of poor children. I believe this is a battle the president will lose.

Republicans, who are busy distancing themselves from the president these days, are not going to vote against a bill that will paint them as being insensitive to poor children. But it will be more than just a fear of voter rejection that will motivate them to vote for this bill; they will vote for it because they believe it is the right thing to do.

And it is, I believe, the right thing to do. Any society, and particularly the leader of any society, who would turn a cold shoulder to the needs of the poor reveals a callousness that deserves to be condemned. Children are those who are hurt most by poverty. A child growing up in poverty has so much stacked against them, including the opportunity to enjoy a healthy life. If we cannot provide decent medical care for poor children we are failing at one of the most fundamental callings we share as human beings, which is to care for the poor among us.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How To Make Your Pastor's Life Easier - How to Provide Information

In my last post I dealt with the pastor's salary and some of the misconceptions of the pastor's salary package. The topic of this post is how to get information to the pastor in a way that will be most helpful to him.

When you have an announcement, call the church office and ask that it be added to the newsletter or the worship program – do not hand the pastor a hand-written announcement or ask him to make an announcement moments before worship begins. Every pastor has experienced the frustration of trying to make final preparations for worship and being handed notes from every direction or trying to listen to several people hurriedly sharing their announcement. If the information is important, treat it as such by not waiting until the last minute to share it.

The same is true after worship. As I am greeting people after our worship services people will often share information I need to remember. This is certainly understandable, because people will tell me what they want me to know when they see me. But after worship, when I'm trying to talk to many people in a short period of time, with several people telling me something I need to remember, is really not a good time. This IS the time to hand the pastor a note so that he will remember. I don't have the time to write down the information as I am trying to greet people but I am happy to receive a note that I can put in my pocket.

Pastors are overwhelmed with information on a daily basis and sometimes things we need to know gets lost or forgotten. You can help your pastor by taking care to get information to him in the most helpful way possible.