I've come across something that I need some help on from my "blogosphere counselors". In no way will I try to bias your view by what I believe. However, because I'm a bit confused, my feelings might be evident in the following.
The community here has participated in Relay For Life for several years. For those who don't know, RFL is an opportunity to raise money for the American Cancer Society, while recognizing survivors and remembering those who have passed. Without boring you with too many details, teams will raise money and gather at the city park to walk for their pledges. It's an all-night event where organizers hope to have 250-500 people in attendance.
A local church in town had plans to minister at this event. Their plans didn't include having a team walk (although they have participated in the past and plan to do so again in the future). This year, the church had planned to be on site throughout the night and give water, juice, and fruit to those participating in other ways.
The organizers have been made aware of the church's intentions and will not allow the church to complete their plans. The church has been told they're welcome as long as they sell water, juice, and fruit. Leadership at the church has the concern if they sell and then give the money to RFL those who purchase the drinks and fruit will perceive the church selling (instead of ministering by giving). In other words, this is a question of perception. How might the community respond to a church who sacrifices their time to give versus a church that sells products?
In an effort to appease the local organizers, the church has offered to write a check for several hundred dollars and then give. They don't want to be perceived as the rebellious church in town. Once again, they have been told this would not be possible. The organizers have turned down the money because of their policy of giving things away.
Any thoughts here?
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