The money that is received from the Holy Union is pooled together in the Church’s official bank account. No person or leader from the Church receives any Holy Union money, partially or as a whole by hand or by money transfer issued in any person’s name.
The Union fee is sacred in the sense that it is funds not belonging to any one person but to the whole Church community whom God has blessed and authorized. We proclaim that we are a priesthood of all believers, and the Pastor or any officiating minister, in MCC’s understanding, derives their authority only from the Church community who as we said was the one authorized by God through Christ. This is as taught and proclaimed in scripture and expounded upon by Martin Luther in his written work, “the Babylonian Captivity of the Church”
The Union fee is pooled together with other donations and funds freely given by members, friends and supporters of the Church community. This pooled funds are utilized to meet the needs of the Church community not just as dictated by scripture but also by basic human organizing
Both scripture and human organizing tells us of the 3 needs of a Community:
- Internal needs of the Church community as an organization – The acquisition & maintenance of its physical space which in modern times also includes basic utilities like water, electricity, communication, transportation & even the internet. Other needs of the community include food during times of celebrations, meetings and other events. The community also utilizes its funds as support to those in need from its own members as benevolence fund; a means to provide some financial support for those in need of health care assistance, bereavement in time of loss and other emergencies. We can read in the book of Acts in both Chapter 2 and Chapter 4 how the first Christian Communities, inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit, shared everything in common and gave according to the need of each one.
- The living support for Church leaders and other Staff – Both the bible and human organizations tells us of the need to support those who serve and lead the Church community. Jesus speaks in the gospel narratives how “the laborer deserves her/his wage”. The Apostle Paul & other letters frequently speak and narrates how leaders who proclaim the gospel and who lead communities of early Christians should be supported and in some instances, honored but not in excess, extravagance or scandalous luxury. Open Table MCC As a progressive Church who believes and commits to just and equitable labor practices, tries its best to support within sensible means our Pastoral Leader now and in the future; including any future hired staff.
- The scripture also tells us how both the Jewish Communities and the early Christian Communities are called to serve and be generous to others; to the foreigners and aliens, to the orphan and the widow, and to anyone who is in need. Therefore Open Table MCC also utilizes its pooled funds to give and share as much as it is able to others outside of its community. Its outreach also includes to meet other needs like outreach to lumad communities and farmers. Assistance to people living with HIV and AIDS. To provide other ministry programs to the LGBTQI community, students and PLHIVs.
- Like a family who tries to create, manage and sustain a home with its own needs, Open Table MCC tries to create, manage and sustain a community of care and compassion grounded and guided by both scripture and rational organizing.
Doing Ministry Work and continually organizing a Church Community requires resources. Both also requires fiscal management and community education. All of which are grounded and rooted in our mission as the Church, the body of Christ on earth.
As much as we wish that “manna” will fall from heaven, let us not imagine nor expect that any Church community will magically produce resources to meet its needs and ministries but at the same time all Church communities are called to receive funds and utilize them with integrity, honesty and transparency, and towards the mission it has been called to do.
Through the Holy Union, the couples who avail it are in a way participating and contributing to the over-all mission, ministry and work of Open Table Church and to the lives we touch and transform.