Saw this article in the LA Times this morning:
“Record gasoline prices have been painful, but now they have begun to test the limits of faith.
In houses of worship nationwide, preachers are railing against the forces of energy evil, and congregations are praying for lower fuel prices.
So far, no results.
The Energy Department’s weekly survey Monday showed U.S. pump prices hitting a fresh record of $4.08 a gallon. Oil neared $140 a barrel, but then retreated.
The problem is affecting even the holy business, driving down attendance at churches, synagogues and mosques. Religious leaders are struggling to help their members cope, spinning new themes about a society that has become almost sinfully reliant on motorized transport. Others are viewing the energy-price squeeze as a test of the way they serve God and their communities.
Pastor Matthew Barnett is spending nearly $11,000 a week to power a fleet of aging trucks and buses that ferry members to his megachurch at the historic Angelus Temple in Echo Park.
The buses also are used to give teens in troubled neighborhoods an all-day respite at the church’s Dream Center and to deliver food and medical care to the poor. Financial advisors and other church leaders have suggested diverting the money spent on the fleet to a television ministry.
Barnett doesn’t think so.
‘I know a lot of churches that are folding up their bus ministries, but when you’re called to do God’s work, you have to weather the hard times,’ Barnett said. ‘The way to impact a community is to keep showing up and being consistent. We have to be a positive force, and there’s no amount that gas prices can go up to that will stop that.'”
Read the full article here.
It’s a long article and its worth reading. Basically the upshot is that churches are going to have the change the way that they do business given the rise in energy prices.
But we’ve been talking about that here for a bit…