Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hypothetically speaking

Yesterday's contributions
came to $4000!

I don't really know why, but the "Webathon Novena" fundraiser going on this week (and into next) doesn't get into many specifics about the needs of our publishing ministry. Perhaps it was a deliberate (and maybe even idealistic) choice to focus on the overall goal of communicating the Gospel: inviting people to share our mission on a broad scale, while offering them a chance to focus that cooperation on one or another "departments." (Today, for example, the music/audio division is "hosting" the Webathon; donors might want to especially underline that aspect if their life was touched by music.)

Do not close this door! The community
cars will be trapped inside!
In reality, our needs are many and specific, but some are a bit overwhelming. Anyone who has ever counted the days until the next paycheck knows what this is like. What would it do to a fundraising effort to say ("hypothetically") that for years now, the sisters  lose thousands of dollars a month because of an obsolete computer system--and the only way to stop the hemorrhaging is to put in a new, up-to-date (and way more efficient) program that costs less than we are losing but requires an up-front payment (hypothetically, $30,000) that is completely out of reach? Or that two overhead doors (one can accommodate trucks) have been broken for months, and will stay that way until a couple of thousand dollars can be found to repair or replace them? What about a photograph of the moldy walls in one of the sound studio isolation booths? Just keep the door closed! Nobody has even tried to calculate the cost of replacing the drywall--much less of addressing the problem that caused the mold in the first place.

I would think that such concrete examples ("hypothetical" as they may be!) are important for a fundraiser. As it is, we don't have a lot of experience in fundraising, given our "bootstrap" tradition, so maybe our Webathon is reflecting that. In that same Pauline tradition, though, we have a prayer in which we tell the Lord that, while we'll do what we can, we expect all the effectiveness to come from him. "For our part, we promise and commit ourselves to seeking…only and always your glory and peace to all people. On your part, we trust that you will give us a good spirit, grace, knowledge and the 'means for doing good'" (the "media" and the ways to use them). That is my prayer today, too.

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