As noted previously, Fr. Tom Cassidy is posting from Mylore, India, where he is moderator of the Indian District Chapter. He writes:
This was the third day of the Indian District Chapter. The morning was spent dealing with financial matters. Everyone is interested in where the dollars, or in this case, Indian rupees go!
We held the discussion sitting in a circle. I told them we were doing this to recognize that when it comes to money we are all saints and sinners and part of this process is to look inside and ask oneself where have you failed in giving good stewardship for the funds you have received or the income you may have earned ,or gifts.
Finally, before the reports began I told them what an old Baptist fund raising director once told me: “Remember, salvation is free, but religion costs money!”
There were challenging discussions but at the end of the day both of the financial reports given and the 12 recommendations of the finance commission were agreed upon.
The afternoon was not too difficult as there were not many proposals to consider and the other commission reports do not bring about the same passion that finance reports can.
The age of chapter delegates is significant. At our first session I asked: “Out of the 30 of you chapter members, how many were at the last chapter held six years ago?” When seven hands went up it showed just how much the district has grown and changed in that span. Part of the change was the loss of the foreign missionaries three years ago. Now the chapter membership is Indian and they all tend to be young.
The evaluation at the end of the chapter will be interesting. I do think that our small group work helped a lot and that’s what I’m most interested in learning when the evaluation takes place. Each time we went into groups we divided them by counting off 1 to 5.
This afternoon we were able to quit a bit early and that gave the delegates the chance to blow off a little steam on the basketball court. Most of the chapter members are between 28 and 35 with maybe six or seven of them above that. I think the oldest delegate just turned 50. By the way, we celebrate the birthday of Fr. Christy Peter today.