New Church Gig

Today I accepted a calling (that’s Mormon Jargon for “unpaid job at church”) as the Assistant Ward Clerk in charge of finances, also known as the “Financial Secretary.”

When I put on my suit this morning, knowing the gig was coming up, I looked in the mirror and realized that without the beard, and with the classic male-pattern baldness showing nicely now that my hair is more than a quarter-inch long, I totally look the part of a timid little church accountant.

Oh well.

Most of the job is data entry, and I realized as I did it today that recording the contributions made by faithful saints is a pretty heady responsibility. The system is set up such that there’s no way I could abscond with the money — that’s not the point. The point is, I can see who is donating how much, and that irreversibly alters my opinions of these people. I see an aspect of their lives that few others do, and almost without fail they are elevated in my sight. I can see the honest and generous tithe of the wealthy man, and I can see the Widow’s Mite. I saw, for the first time in I don’t know how long, my OWN contributions. Sandra takes care of that for our family, and it was a nice reminder that she DOES take care of it. I mean, I never doubted, but SEEING the check, handling it, and inputting the pertinent details somehow made it more real.

Naturally, the first big thing that will get done is an audit. Any time they rotate new people into the Finance Secretary post, it triggers an audit. Oh, goody.


9 thoughts on “New Church Gig”

  1. *Chuckles*

    I love the line “Unpaid job at church” since my friend is doing that as well. He’s a decon and in charge of Awanas (I think I spelled that right) so he’s always going on about it. So feel free to vent to us, I’m used to it. 😉

  2. Lots of luck with the audit. Lat time I had a “job” something like that, the previous holder had been a bit sloppy and we couldn’t ask him for clarifications or explanations because he’d *died*. Made getting the books in order *such* fun.

  3. Keys….

    And the other nice thing about the calling (at least in my neck of the woods is *keys*. You get the key to the Clerk’s office and that is where they keep all the backup keys. Scoutmaster leaves his keys at home, you can save the day!

  4. The joys of clerkdom

    Well Howard, I know where you’re coming from. I’ve had all three of the various clerk positions at one time or another. These days I’m membership clerk (it seems like once you’ve been a clerk, they can’t let you go).

    Anyway, I totally agree with you about how being the finance clerk changes your view of people. It really gets to you when you have to do tithing settlement. Only you and the Bishop know the full financial status of everyone in your ward. It can be heavy stuff.

    On the other hand, it is a job that isn’t too hard to keep up with, as long as you don’t put stuff off. BTW an audit in this case is more a matter of training you and making sure you aren’t missing how to do the important stuff.

  5. From A Dear Schlock Lover…

    I’ve got a random question:

    Not being a Mormon, I’ve heard that there’s a “set tithe”, and I’d like to know if that’s true. I mean, there are those of us (like me) who are on a very low income, and 10% of my income is probably enough to kick me well beneath the poverty line. What does the church do in these situations?

    I don’t mean to be rude, or insulting (If I come off as either, I’m truly sorry), I’m simply inquisitive.

    1. Re: From A Dear Schlock Lover…

      Well, tithe means “tenth,” and the parable of the Widow’s Mite is not lost on us. The church does expect a full ten-percent tithe, but the Church ALSO runs its own welfare program.

      If you’re a full tithe-payer, impoverished, and if you are willing to work, the Church will help in a number of ways. Employment specialists, grocery programs, and help paying your bills are all things that are available.

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