Skip to comments.Congregation Collects Marlboro Miles, Decorates Church
Posted on 02/04/2014 2:52:58 PM PST by Gamecock
WABASH, IN. Bake sales. Car washes. Bingo.
Churches for decades have relied on tried and true methods of fundraising when tithes and offerings left vision-thick congregations in a lurch.
But Wabash Christian Center has taken a unique approach to supplying ministerial needs. Eschewing fundraising altogether, the 20-year-old fellowship collects Marlboro Miles to outfit its church.
Smokers for years collected Marlboro Miles from packs of cigarettes and redeemed them through the companys product catalogue, which featured prizes ranging from T-shirts to camping tents.
Marlboro added Spiritline in 2008 and the congregation took full advantage.
Thats how we got our new steeple, said Reverend Tom Shipley. Sucks to have that Marlboro logo on it but, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Shipley encourages his congregants to toss their Miles into the offering plate, often reminding them of the churchs needs. In December, a set of red and white Marlboro choir robes arrived just in time for the Christmas pageant.
Shipley keeps the youth group in the main service, knowing they can contribute to the churchs projects. The teens hope to have a Marlboro skate park installed by June. A half-pipe arrived two weeks ago after Lucas Hawes, an avid smoker, donated five years of Miles.
Like I tell my buddies in youth group dude, smoke em if you got em, the 17-year-old goofy foot said.
The church has remodeled its sanctuary with new pews, a pulpit and stained glassall ordered from Marlboro. The latest addition was a silverplate communion set.
But the avant-garde money stream is not without controversy.
Dr. Melody Rudd, a researcher at Indiana Institute for Orthopraxy, said Miles circumvent traditional faith routes and may ultimately encourage Christians to abandon waiting on the Lord.
Were about half-way down that slippery slope, Rudd said. It started with the indulgences, continued with the bake sales, and here we are. Pretty soon, theyll scrap tithes and offerings forever and just pool their money for Powerball.
Shipley disagreed. The 47-year-old pastor believes his church is taking its cue from scripture.
The Lord promised to give us beauty for ashes, he said.
R.J. Reynolds plans to unveil its church catalogue for Camel Bucks in 2009.
a Christian congregation is a community of Christians “in the world” as a subset of the whole populace, but trying to be NOT “of this world” in their spiritual life and outlook, yet must bring into their congrgational community what resources they have from their broader experience to help provide material resources for the spiritual needs and the community needs of the congregation
we are all sinners, so does it really matter wether it is dollars or “Marlboro miles”, if someone happens to get them, and can let the Church have them instead of using them for themself. what if someone puts their gambling winnings in the offering plate, does that tarnish the purpose of the offering plate?
Do the choir robes have Marlboro logos?
"In December, a set of red and white Marlboro choir robes arrived just in time for the Christmas pageant."
Hilarious. But the link to the story “Midget Outreach Comes Up Short” has me chuckling inappropriately.
We three kings of Orient are;
This little Light of Mine [on godtube]
I do not smoke, and I do not encourage my voice students to smoke either.
However, Cigarettes are a legal product, made from tobacco grown by US Farmers, and manufactured here in America. They are heavily regulated and taxed, and Caesar gets his cut of the profits.
The Children of Israel plundered the Egyptians and used the gold, silver and jewels to construct the Ark of the Covenant. No doubt, much of that silver and gold had pagan symbols and hieroglyphics upon it.
Enjoy you beautiful church, my brothers and sisters! :-)
(donning flame suit)
Steve McCroskey: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking.
Could just be red and white doesn’t mean they have the writing. I’d rather have the logo.
You sometimes see his wife Nancy folding his Manitoba towel when doing the washing.