This interesting pastoral conversation occurred earlier. I leave it as an example of how to deal with these tricky pastoral matters.
Rowlf: Pastor Drayton, I have a real problem. Can you help me?
DP: Of course, Rowlf. What is your issue?
Rowlf: As you know, I've been struggling to find work since I was declared fit. The depression wasn't deemed a severe enough condition to stop me working. And I've lost some benefits, and I can't actually afford to buy enough food for the family. And I'm tempted to nick some of the food out of the waste bins behind the supermarket after they close - they won't give it to me cheap in case it encourages other people to hang out for a bargain. Should I steal it, or should I let my family live on beans and "value" bread.
DP: Rowlf, Rowlf, in circumstances like this, I always ask myself - what would Jesus do?
Rowlf: Get some loaves and fish and turn them into enough for 10,000 or more people. Are you sure I can manage that?
DP: No, for your faith is not even as the mustard seed. What else would Jesus do?
Rowlf: Live for forty days and nights without eating or drinking? I'm not saying that wouldn't cut the bills down, but our Amie has diabetes and I'm not sure....
DP: But what else would Jesus do, Rowlf? Four little letters - starts with "P" and ends in "Y"?
Rowlf: I see. There is that, of course. But can I turn it round to you, Revd Parslow? Let's suppose he was teaching in the Temple courts, and a poor man came up to him - and said "I've no money and I don't know how to feed my family" - what would Jesus do?
DP: Surely, Rowlf, the answer is to be found in the Good Book. For in a similar circumstance, did Jesus not say "Go, and sin no more"?
We will miss Rowlf from our little congregation, since he said that word to me. But, at least, we will miss little in the way of his tithing.