Church service

Attend service, make observations, make $ donation (reimbursed), $22 fee, less than 15 question survey.
Anyone done this?

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There was a discussion about something like this maybe 1 or 2 years ago. I have never done it.

More than likely the church wants to know how new people are being treated. Many times visitors may come and never come back and they don't know why or what caused them to not want to return.
Many churches have designated teams of folk who are supposed to welcome and "engage" newcomers. These shops are all about that aspect of your visit.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I completed one at a Catholic church where it was suspected the missionary was pocketing the money. I was to hand him marked bills after the service; it paid $40+ mileage.
I was raised Roman Catholic, went to Catholic school my whole life in NY I have never experienced anyone engaging with me at church other than people I know.

The Catholic priest at my parents church embezzled enough church funds to buy a condo in Florida. He was defrocked and prosecuted.

While married in Texas, we went to a Baptist church where they asked during the service for anyone new to raise their hand or come to the front. Then, they were swarmed by designated teams of folk who are supposed to welcome and "engage" newcomers.

My stepdaughter was upset because when the youth group went to the kids houses, unannounced, that had filled out the cards saying they were first timers, on Wednesday nights, they were rejected by the parents.

I have also noticed non-denominational (read non-Catholic, but I'm not here to discuss religion, just relay my experiences) churches in Texas doing similar things to my experiences at the Baptist church.

BTW, I have been told that the Baptist preacher's salary is tied to the size of his congregation. I don't know if this is true or not.

I can see various reasons to do these shops.
The thing people need to remember is that we are all imperfect beings. So a church is a collection of imperfect people too. I think some people expect perfection and that's not realistic.

Now that does not mean sexual abuse or fraud should be allowed. Those people need to face punishment for the crimes.

I'm referring more to people in general are more warm to those they are familiar with than those that are new and are unknown. Some people are more outgoing and open while others are introverts. Hopefully a church has a team of people who are genuinely welcoming to people (even with their flaws). Otherwise that church will not grow if people are ignored and do not feel welcome. Churches in general seem to be more judgmental.

The book of James chapter 2 talks about even the early church showing favoritism to certain attendees..
I've done this once. Have applied for it again a couple of times but was never selected. Which is a shame, because I have to go to Mass anyway :-)

Since the job has shown up more than once, my take on it is that the missionary organization may do a random sampling to ensure they get all the money they deserve. Many parishes have lay people counting the collections, and it would be just as easy for donations to disappear that way.

@shopperbob wrote:

I completed one at a Catholic church where it was suspected the missionary was pocketing the money. I was to hand him marked bills after the service; it paid $40+ mileage.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
Big Daddy,

I'm not trying to be judgmental, I'm just trying to explain my actual experiences.

I am thinking about doing the shop this weekend that big_sky_thunder is asking about.

It is at a Catholic church. Since I haven't accepted the shop, I don't know if it asks me to offer a "donation of marked bills" as shopperbob has indicated. Although, it does seem very plausible after my parent's experience.

shopperbob did not say who provided the marked bills or if they were accepted or if he was reimbursed for the "donation" if it was accepted.

However, I take offense to your reference of "sexual abuse" there was no inference in this thread until you brought it up. You try to project yourself as religious, but at the same time, you are judgmental.
@wrosie....nothing was directed at you. I was saying that WE ALL are imperfect. It is easy to expect things to be perfect, but that is not going to happen when people are involved. I'm saying that the church in general has failed to be more loving and accepting as it should be. I'm guilty of this myself.

I'm saying the things that cannot be accepted would be sexual abuse or stealing funds.
@hbbigdaddy wrote:

@wrosie....nothing was directed at you. I was saying that WE ALL are imperfect. It is easy to expect things to be perfect, but that is not going to happen when people are involved. I'm saying that the church in general has failed to be more loving and accepting as it should be. I'm guilty of this myself.

I'm saying the things that cannot be accepted would be sexual abuse or stealing funds.

I didn't think it was personal, I just thought your posts had no relevance to the question asked. It appeared to me you were, and are, trying to bring a religious argument into this thread where it did not apply.
Rosie,

The bills were sent to me from the MSC and were accepted by a missionary at the exit. door.

The following is additional info on the shop I did not consider relevant to the original query.
Due to a scheduling change, the suspected missionary was not at the Mass. As I had no manner by which to know who was whom, I proceeded to hand the bills to the chap. The following day, the scheduler informed me I would not be paid. I appealed and was granted my fee, with the explanation that decision was reached by a VP.
I've done this shop. You are not asked to use marked bills. You are asked to observe the presentation given during the homily, which is from a visiting priest from a Catholic Ministry. You then place money in an envelope, fill it out with certain contact info, and hand that to the visiting priest on the way out. You will be asked a few detailed question about the presentation given during the homily, so pay attention to it! Its pretty straightforward.
When I did the shop the priest's first language was not English, and it was hard to catch some of the details he talked about.
@Cassiespark wrote:

You will be asked a few detailed question about the presentation given during the homily, so pay attention to it! Its pretty straightforward.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
It's pretty normal in a Catholic church to not talk to anyone before Mass. Many people are praying the rosary.
Since we travel a lot for softball & baseball we attend Mass at MANY different churches. Never have I been asked if I was new/ or been approached by a welcoming committee. I'm sitting in a hotel room (thanks ACL for picking up the tab), eating my take out (thanks RBG) and looking for Mass times in the area that work with our tournament schedule.
I volunteer at a food bank in my community. It went from my church (Episcopal) to a Catholic church. In order to volunteer through the Catholic church, I had to be fingerprinted, go through a background check and do backflips through hoops. To be a volunteer!

@hbbigdaddy wrote:

I'm saying the things that cannot be accepted would be sexual abuse or stealing funds.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
This is like the one I completed last weekend.

2 picures; sign with address and filled in donation envelope. The MSC provides the name and other information you are to fill in on the donation envelope. You also get reimbursed for the $5 cash donation.

Nothing around being a newcomer or being welcomed. But most defitnetly about giving.


@Cassiespark wrote:

I've done this shop. You are not asked to use marked bills. You are asked to observe the presentation given during the homily, which is from a visiting priest from a Catholic Ministry. You then place money in an envelope, fill it out with certain contact info, and hand that to the visiting priest on the way out. You will be asked a few detailed question about the presentation given during the homily, so pay attention to it! Its pretty straightforward.
@Cassiespark Thank you for explaining it. It seemed odd that the MSC would send the shopper marked bills since this takes time. When there is a missionary making an appeal, they do two collections (one for your regular contribution which would usually have your name on the envelope and a second collection and you can put the money in an envelope found in the pew or at a table by the entrance/exit or just donate cash without an envelope).

The donation collection takes place after the Profession of Faith which is roughly the halfway point. I've seen people drop money or an envelope into the large collection basket when Mass has concluded before it was taken to the back, but I've never seen someone hand the donation to a priest directly.

I have no idea what the protocol is. I was under the impression that whatever is collected in cash and checks for the missionary is tabulated and the local Church writes them a check or wires the fund back to the missionary instead of having someone walking around with thousands of bills in a suitcase.
You guys have me curious. The last church shop I did was a nightmare with all the narrative, endless additional questions, etc., I basically had to transcribe all conversation, describe every minute detail of what I saw AND write about my "Feelings." I think it was for Faith Perceptions or Henderson. Either way, they're gone I think. So this project piques my interest. I'm pretty sure I'm registered with every MSC out there and it seems like, once again, you guys get all the good stuff that just isn’t shopped near me!

sestrahelena


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/2023 02:03AM by sestrahelena.
@heywave wrote:

@Cassiespark Thank you for explaining it. It seemed odd that the MSC would send the shopper marked bills since this takes time. When there is a missionary making an appeal, they do two collections (one for your regular contribution which would usually have your name on the envelope and a second collection and you can put the money in an envelope found in the pew or at a table by the entrance/exit or just donate cash without an envelope).

The donation collection takes place after the Profession of Faith which is roughly the halfway point. I've seen people drop money or an envelope into the large collection basket when Mass has concluded before it was taken to the back, but I've never seen someone hand the donation to a priest directly.

I have no idea what the protocol is. I was under the impression that whatever is collected in cash and checks for the missionary is tabulated and the local Church writes them a check or wires the fund back to the missionary instead of having someone walking around with thousands of bills in a suitcase.

Before Covid our home parish would pass the basket then it would be put into one larger basket with a lid & zip tied shut. This was done just before communion & the basket would be brought to the alter with the holy water & wine. That stopped during Covid & hasn't been brought back.
The only time I've handed a priest $$$ was in a thank you card when each one of my children was baptized.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/2023 03:03AM by luckygirl0100.
I believe funerals and marriages are also occasions in the Catholic church were money is exchanged between parishioners and priests.
@wrosie Yes, there is money exchanged between parishioners and priests for the events that you and @luckygirl0100 mentioned, but I was speaking about this shopping task that requires you to attend Saturday Vigil or Sunday Mass times. I can't imagine that there would be a MSC that schedules a shopper task so that you would attend someone's baptism, marriage, or funeral. In the baptism, marriage, and funeral situations, they are not passing around a collection basket.
@heywave wrote:

@wrosie Yes, there is money exchanged between parishioners and priests for the events that you and @luckygirl0100 mentioned, but I was speaking about this shopping task that requires you to attend Saturday Vigil or Sunday Mass times. I can't imagine that there would be a MSC that schedules a shopper task so that you would attend someone's baptism, marriage, or funeral. In the baptism, marriage, and funeral situations, they are not passing around a collection basket.

Understood. I wasn't commenting on your post, just lucky girls, that's why I didn't quote your post.
Thank you all for your responses to my church post. I am going to pass on it since I must accept the shop to see the guidelines and no way do I want to be mobbed by "well wishers" or have to directly hand a priest a donation.
I'm only making this post to add the third word, "politics." Sex and religion were already taken. smiling smiley

Bingo!

All covered now...LOL
I thought the church services MSC went out-of-business. Have they been resurrected?

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
When I did the shop it was not for the church services MSC.
@stilllearning wrote:

I thought the church services MSC went out-of-business. Have they been resurrected?

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I did several of these during the pandemic - 'attended church' in my pajamas online and got paid $40 each. What's not to like?

Shopping domestic and international locations since 2003.
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