Saturday, April 24, 2010

Anglican Church of Canada Goes Capitalist

From the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" file, the Globe and Mail reports that the left-wing Anglican Church of Canada is going capitalist. [My comments]

The Anglican Church of Canada is inviting corporate sponsorship of its national convention this year, selling space for brand logos on delegate documents, advertising signs in its meeting spaces and a private lunch for executives with the church’s senior archbishop. [I wonder what company president would like to be lectured on eco-sins or the evils of globalization by the church's "senior archbishop?"]

It’s the first time in its 117-year history that the Canadian church made its governing synod available for a mess of pottage - to use the language of the Bible’s Old Testament allusion to Esau selling his birthright for a lentil stew. For that matter, no other Canadian church is known to have sold advertising at its formal gatherings and access to its leaders. The synod will be held June 3-11 at St. Mary’s University in Halifax. . . .

By most indices the Anglican Church is struggling – declining faster than any other Christian denomination in Canada, according to a recent report from its Diocese of British Columbia, closing decades-old parishes for want of money and “moved to the far margins of public life.” [A hint to businesses: Don't take any "turn around advice" from this group. By turn around they mean drive backward blindfolded.]

Sponsors will be grouped into three categories: visionary (for a $30,000 price-tag), supporter ($7,500) and friend ($2,500). [Imagine the line-ups.]

Mr. Carrière said that, ideally, the church is looking for commercial sponsorships from firms with which it does business, such as insurance companies. In general, he said, good-taste criteria would govern what sponsorships are accepted. Casino advertisements, for example, would be ruled out. . . . [They have their principles, you know . . .]

The synod agenda is described as “timely, relevant and important and includes debates, resolutions and presentations on major global issues such as poverty, human sexuality, the rights of indigenous peoples and the care of the environment.” [Transaltion: You won't have to listen to any of that boring stuff about God, Jesus and the Bible.]

One visionary-level sponsorship will be available, giving the purchaser a private lunch with the church’s national primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, and it will include the right to put company logo flags on every delegate dining table, logo displays and commercials on the webcast screen, a one-page company information spread in the synod directory distributed to all 500 delegates, a showcase booth, prominent advertisements at the convention site and a “passport” to the synod (meals included) for two company executives. [Imagine being the poor company executive who draws "synod duty"!]

The three supporter-level sponsors will get a half-page advertisement in the synod directory, signage throughout the convention space, web-cast commercials and a “passport” for one executive. The unspecified number of friend-level sponsors will get their company name printed in Acts of Faith, the church’s gift guide.

The idea was conceived by the church’s national headquarters staff. [Naturally!]

“We hope that inviting the support of corporate sponsors for general synod will have a positive impact on the church’s ability to ensure the sustainability of this gathering for years to come,” Archbishop Hiltz said in a statement. [Something better "ensure the sustainability of this gathering" because empty pews means empty collection plates.] “It also presents a new avenue for Canadian Anglicans, particularly those who own their own businesses, to support this event.”

The founder of this denomination, St. Karl Marx, must be spinning in his grave. Wouldn't it be more consistent just to die rather than be saved by capitalists?

1 comment:

Peter W. Dunn said...

This would be very funny (I did manage a laugh or two)--if it weren't so sad!

The question is how do we raise money once we've lost our faith in God. Ministry is a faith venture and it is God's business, and when it is done in the Lord, then what we are supposed to do is pray and it is God who provides. At least that's what I've always believed.