Do you have questions about LaSalle’s discernment process, including the $160,000 given to congregants? Find answers here.

Who received this gift and why?
The worshipping community of LaSalle Street Church is a living body – some are on their way out while others are on their way in.  The staff worked hard to get to lists of members and regular attenders who are currently actively in attendance in worship and/or actively involved in service (with some worship attendance). We will make mistakes! Please see Pastor Randall Blakey or Deb Maloney if you believe we have made an error.
The youth group and the Sunday school program also received a check to invest as a group. They will discern how they Lord wants them to use this.
Why did the church decide to do this?
1. Review the high points of the Atrium Village sale (started 40+ years ago, covenant restrictions were coming off the property, all churches decided to sell, $1.65 is LSC’s share).
2. The decision to tithe is a Biblical response to God’s gifts. Always. From Proverbs 3:9 to honor the Lord with our wealth, to Malachi 3 where God will open the storehouses, to Mark 12 where Jesus watches a widow give money to the Lord. The staff and board believed we were being called to tithe on this gift as well.
But how is giving it to ourselves a tithe?
This windfall from Atrium Village is a gift. We are going to discern together over the next 9 months how the Spirit wants us to use this gift. At the same time we wanted the community of LaSalle to feel what it means to be personally entrusted with God’s gifts. You are giving the tithe – every one of us is. We are all investing the tithe in the way the Spirit is leading us.
Can I combine my tithe with others?
Yes! We are going to make that easy for you:
1. We’ve painted a wall in the lower level with Dry Erase coat, so folks can start brainstorming on the wall. Check out how the Spirit is moving others and join them, or post how the Lord is leading you and ask others to get involved.
2. There is a new page we will link to our website which will only be about this discernment process. Let’s share our stories as a way of inspiring and blessing others. God is going to do amazing things!
Can I simply return this gift?
Yes. Of course you can. We hope you won’t, but if you really don’t want to be involved in this then no problem! We will invest it in ministry as the Lord leads us.
Is there a time limit on investing the tithe?
Not exactly, but there is a time limit on cashing the check. We opened an account for the sole purpose of dispersing these checks. We will close out this account on December 1, 2014. We will notify people in advance so they can complete their discernment process on this and direct the resources where the Spirit has led them.
Can the Elder Board disperse this much money without a congregational vote?
Certainly that was the question the board had to decide. The board spent several weeks combing through the bylaws – both the spirit and the letter! . They consulted two attorneys are realized there were at least two ways of understanding some of the language. After a lengthy time of prayer, discussion and emails, the board decided that the spiritual lesson for the congregation outweighed the risk appearing to ‘over reach’.
While the decision was not unanimous, there was strong consensus on the procedure and complete agreement on entrusting the church members to invest the tithe in the way the Spirit leads.

One thought on “Q&A

  1. Our children are now 24 and 26 years old. They were in Sunday School and youth group with a young man from Austin who has been mentored for over a decade by a family who brought him to our church. He attended a Catholic high school in the western suburbs and is now attending a Catholic university out-of-state. I’ve kept up with his progress through friends,talked to him occasionally at church and we are hopeful about his future. College can be a difficult transition but he seems to have navigated it well and we expect he will graduate in 2015.

    I gave him the money the church gave me for his college expenses. A number of us have given some monetary support in the past and while I don’t know, I think one or more families have done a lot for him personally. Giving this to him makes me happy. I like seeing him succeed because our church has been as important part of his life as the church has been for my own children.

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