Sunday, October 20, 2013

Uniting Church debt saga - a divide between Sydney and Melbourne

from w
The Victorian Uniting Church debt saga goes on.  It’s a Melbourne/Sydney divide also.
It’s  important to ask a question at the macro level.  The money is owed to Uniting Financial Services (NSW and ACT Uniting Church) perhaps at what interest. Is it different to borrowing from a bank? There are ethics involved. Selling up church property to repay a very rich institution does not sound like the sort of attitude Jesus would have.

From the website I have read:

‘Uniting Financial Services is not a corporatised financial services company or a bank. It's a religious charitable organization…For more than 80 years we've been providing income to The Uniting Church in Australia's Synod of NSW and the ACT, directly contributing to the Uniting Church's mission and service to communities in need, as well as supporting church life and congregations. Our professional and prudent approach to investing has helped us build our funds under management from just over $400 million ten years ago, to more than $1 billion today.’
From Uniting Financial Services:
. It was clear the Team has developed many longstanding relationships with our members over extended periods, focusing on honesty, empathy, respect, transparency and efficiency.
  So….. why cannot a new loan be negotiated – interest free – or even the loan halved – as in one of the parables of Jesus.
The Prodigal  Son
Characters:  Dad Wuzzy, two brothers: Izzey,  Fuzzy,  Cousin  Johnno McScrooge  in Canberra who is fabulously rich.
Izzey:  Dad I want  to be a rock star, start a band. Can you lend me a few thousand?
Dad Wuzzy:;  Alright son, take care, do a risk assessment, buy the instruments, get a roadie.
Izzey: Sure Dad I’ll take care.  (But he didn’t and soon ran out of money so....)
Can you lend me some money Fuzzy. You’re my brother. We’re family.  I had a bit of a shortfall. Someone let me down. I arranged for a gig and it fell through. A few thousand please.
Fuzzy:  Alright, but take good care.  Be wise not foolish about it.
Izzey: Sure Fuzzy.  (But he wasn’t wise  and one day the drums fell of the truck, the saxophone got rusty in the rain, the timpani got a puncture  so he phoned his cousin in Canberra. )  Cousin Johnno. You’re my cousin. We’re family.  Can you lend me a few thousand, I’m in debt now and might go to gaol.
Cousin Johnno :  Not too sure about that Izzey.  You’re getting deeper and deeper.  Okay, but  when you become a rock star, pay us all back.  In fact I”ll charge you 4% interest and you must pay me back in 6 months time.
Izzey:  Of course, of course.  (But he didn’t become a rock star, the radio stations, the TV, the entertainment  industry said he was a failure, and he’d better sell up.  But selling up only brought back one tenth of what he’d spent.  He phoned Cousin  Johnno and )
Izzie;  Cousin Johnno. Look, I”m er. in trouble.
Cousin Johnno:  Sell up some of your property, get some money and pay me back and on time.
Izzey: But I haven’t got property, only my extended family in the suburbs and in the country.
Cousin Johnno;  Go to all your relatives  - they’re family - and tenants  in the whole of Victoria. Pick out some of them and somehow sell their properties.
Izzey:  They won’t like it.  They’ll say bad things about me, that I’m stupid, irresponsible, prodigal. Hey that word reminds me of  story somewhere in the back of my mind.
Cousin Johnno; That’s not my problem. Just do it.
Or an alternative ending: 

Cousin Johnno:  I guess I’ll have to forgive you – seven times seventy they say. But it’s a learning lesson.  Now next time you will think twice before trying to be a rock star eh!


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