Las Vegas, NV -- Self Control Baptist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada has announced that they will begin using offertory paper plates beginning Sunday, February 15, 2009.
"During these economic times, we need to be a bit more sensitive to appearances," said Pastor Jack Blossman. "It's a matter of perception. Do we want to appear extravagant? No. The offertory paper plate symbolizes this desire."
The church receives tithes and offerings from all walks of life-- the newly rich as well as the newly poor. "For the most part, those who attend 0ur church services are those who have recently acquired their new-found poorness," said church clerk Kate Wiengarter. "We do not want the more humble givers to feel uncomfortable tossing a quarter into a traditional offertory plate with a brass rim, soft green felt in the bowl, and a thin wooden layer underneath."
The traditional offertory plate has a price tag of $50, a non-issue for treasurer Glenn Carter. "It's completely normal to have a sturdy plate for our clients. The old plates were a non-issue. They were a legitimate expense-- a normal and appropriate part of our business," an upset Carter explains.
But the big question raised by some is, for a church whose members will eventually benefit from a big government bailout, pumping trillions of dollars into the economy, "were the $50 plates too lavish?"
"When our deacon board met, we were faced with this very question," said head deacon Marvin Willis. "Our decision in the end was to choose a offertory plate whose value would be less than the minimum offering we were likely to encounter."