(NNPA)—Dear Gwendolyn:

I am sure you do not receive many complaints as this: Two months ago we celebrated our pastor’s anniversary. I was in charge of the activities, which included the weekly services and the banquet on the final night. I felt we could save the expense of a caterer and renting of a conference or hotel facility. Therefore, I suggested we have the event at the church. I wanted all the money to go to our pastor. I love my pastor.


Gwendolyn, I brought my cookware to church and cooked most of the food there. The cookware was a value of over $2,000. I also brought my $3,000 china for the main table. It was my suggestion that we serve other members and guests from plastic plates and plastic cups.

Some members did not appreciate the difference and felt to not do the entire event in fine china was not good. To be devious someone stole my cookware and stole the china. Now what do you think about that? You don’t expect a thief to be in church.— Margaret

Dear Margaret:

Thieves are everywhere. I hope you are able to recover your stolen items. Let me tell you this: It was silly in you to make such a difference. You could have chosen beautiful china without risking the loss of fine china and expensive cookware. I do agree with you for not taking the event to a luxury hotel—but to give the money to the pastor. I do feel, however, that your love for your pastor could be a little on the romantic side of the word “love.” The members are correct in feeling belittled. Pastors appreciate all the gratitude shown to them. However, their main concern is the well-being of their members—giving them comfort at a time of need. You went too far in this endeavor and you were trying to do as my mother used to say, “Put the dogs on.” But in your case the dogs turned back into—little puppies.

(Write to Gwendolyn Baines at: P.O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C. 27605-0066 [to receive a reply send a self-addressed stamped envelope] or e-mail her at: gwenbaines@hotmail.com.)

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