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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: GlasgowGirl ()
Date: May 10, 2019 04:09AM

You are right, Jock - we were at Glasgow at the same time and knew each other fairly well. When I started attending, it was in Partick Burgh Hall on Friday nights and somewhere in the centre of Glasgow on Sunday. I also remember Wednesday nights I think and then Saturday evenings at the Smiths in Burnside. Later on - Rotherwood Ave in Knightswood, as you say.I also went to EK for a short while .
You did let me borrow your mini at camp and I was baptised in the outdoor pool at Wiston when I was about 15 or 16. I also remember a very small child falling into the pool one time. His mum was pregnant and she was quite distressed until someone jumped in and pulled him out, apparently none the worse.
Your stories from Wiston made me laugh - thanks for that.
There were indeed some fun times and some great fellowship and worship - but probably always a miasma of unhealthy control hanging in the air that we weren't fully aware of.

Enkrateia - you must also have been in SMC at the same time and much of what you say resonates - particularly about enjoying being the "persecuted faithful" It often seemed that being estranged from family and friends who didn't attend SMC was considered to be a badge of honour and almost something to be aspired to as it showed your faithfulness to the "higher way" preached by SMC.

I do hope some folk have found comfort and hope via this forum, knowing they weren't alone in being hurt or confused and that God still loves and cherishes them.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: October 17, 2019 11:10PM

It is a while since anyone has commented on the financial state of affairs in Struthers Memorial Church, so I thought I would have a quick look at the latest accounts (which can of course be downloaded free of charge from the companies house website).

Some interesting observations including that shop turnover, school fee income and gifts and donations all dropped (by fairly small margins). As expenditure has increased, the overall loss is however significant (over £180,000).

The thing I still find amazing however is how much the school is subsidised by the generous giving of the congregations. A summary of all the income and expenditure is given below.


Income is taken from page 9 of the accounts, and Expenditure from page 15. The profit or loss for each area of activity is not mentioned in the accounts but is calculated in the usual way as Income less Expenditure. (For the eagle-eyed among you, the total of the expenditure column differs from the total recorded on the accounts by £2, presumably due to rounding errors.)



. . . . . . . . . . Income . . . . . Expenditure . . . . . Profit (or loss if negative)
Shops . . . . . . . . 353,220 . . . . . 419,493 . . . . . . . . . -66,273
Conference . . . . . 99,710 . . . . . 108,887 . . . . . . . . . -9,177
School Fees . . . . 577,001 . . . . . 737,552 . . . . . . . -160,551
Church * . . . . . . 349,203 . . . . . 315,877 . . . . . . . . . 33,326
Investments . . . . .16,283 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16,283

TOTAL . . . . . 1,395,417 . . . 1,581,809 . . . . .-186,392


*The entries for “Church” are made up of INCOME from offerings plus tax recovery, set against EXPENDITURE of ‘Churches and Other’ less the conference expenditure as it is already covered above).

This shows a total income from giving (including tax recovery) of £ 349,000.

The loss on the school is £ 160,000, which is 46% of this charitable giving so, for every pound you donate to the church, almost half of it goes straight to cover the loss that is being made by the school. Is that really why the charity exists? Not to help the poor, but to subsidise private education for the select few? How does that fit with the Biblical mandate to look after the poor - and is it really what people think they are supporting when they put money in the plate?

If the school was closed, that would be £ 160,000 per annum that could be used to relieve poverty and help those in real need.

Another interesting observation is that, in spite of the fact that the coffee shops are largely run by volunteers, they made a loss of £ 66,000. This of course means that around 20% of the money you put into the plate goes to subsidise well-off people sitting around drinking coffee and eating cakes.

Not to worry though, according to the accounts:

“In the year under review, director, Chris Jewell, received a salary approved by the Board of Directors of £30,489 for services as the central treasurer and manager of the Greenock bookshop.”

Chris of course has been central treasurer for many years but he never drew a salary just for being treasurer. It would be really unusual for him to do so, as he is on the board and there are few if any charities that pay a board member who is treasurer. It seems fairly clear then that the main justification for this salary is his role as manager of the Greenock bookshop.

So around 10% of the money you put in the plate goes to paying the salary of a manager presiding over bookshops that result in an annual loss of £66,000. But of course you are not allowed to question this, or to ask why he is paid when others volunteer their time. The message is that the leadership are perfect and cannot possibly make a mistake, and they deserve to be paid and others do not because they are not spiritual enough.

That may be how people want to spend their money, I have no problem with that, but I do think transparency is important and people should know this is their their money goes. If the Struthers’ leaders somehow think it is God’s will to use the donations of ordinary people to run a school that loses £ 160,000 and pay a manager £30,000 to run coffee shops that lose £ 66,000, then the least they can do is make sure everyone knows that is where the money is going. It is sad but perhaps unsurprising that people have to come to a site like this to read this information in a way that is accessible.

Does anyone know the purpose behind the school and the bookshops, and whether there is any evaluation against the purpose? There are all these wonderful (unfulfilled) prophesies about how the church will spread their unique form of Christianity based on the infallibility of the leadership, but I have never heard of a prophesy about the school or bookshops – does anyone know why these parts of the business are there and if there are any aims (prophetic or otherwise) that would allow us to judge their success?

One final comment, and that is calling this organisation a church is rapidly becoming inaccurate. Only about 20% of the expenditure is on “Churches and other” and the vast majority of this 20% is looking after buildings. To reflect the vast majority of the expenditure (80%), it would more accurately be called Struthers Memorial School and Shops (subsidised by giving from church meetings). Perhaps I will refer to it as SMSS in future :-)

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: November 14, 2019 06:12PM

Read an interesting article about kindness today. It was anonymous, so I cannot attribute it, but thought it was worth quoting.


Quote

It's been great to see all the posts today for #WorldKindnessDay. It got me thinking about what it means to be kind. I think there are a few myths out there about this concept, and I wanted to address them.


Myth #1: Kindness is weak.


Kindness is NOT weak. In fact, it takes courage to show kindness. It takes strength. It takes setting aside what's easy for what's valuable. Being kind requires strength of character.


Myth #2: Kindness is the same as being nice.


Kindness is NOT just being nice. Being nice is one aspect of kindness, but that's not the end of it. Kindness is about making decisions that result in healthy relationships. It's about giving your time, your attention, your caring heart, your extra efforts, your helping hand, your selfless actions to lift up others.



Myth #3: Kindness is a feeling.


Kindness is NOT just a feeling, it's a choice. It's a behavior. You're not going to like everyone you meet. You're probably not always going to feel like being kind to them. But you can choose to treat everyone you meet with all the care and concern of people you do like.


The more you practice being kind, the easier it is to demonstrate this behavior consistently. It becomes a habit. It becomes who you are, and you don't even hesitate to act in kind ways.


The article concludes with two quotes:

"You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."


"You can never do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late." -Ralph Waldo Emerson


Given that Love is… kind (1 Corinthians 13 v 4), I would expect kindness to be one of the attributes visible in any church. When I read through the reports given in these pages, I do not however find much kindness being demonstrated by those in Struthers. What I see is about fifty people who are pretty unhappy that they have not been treated kindly - with no resultant action or apology from the leadership, just an arrogant proclamation that they are somehow so much better than others that they don't need to be kind.

Seriously, read over point 2 again - "Kindness is about making decisions that result in healthy relationships. It's about giving your time, your attention, your caring heart, your extra efforts, your helping hand, your selfless actions to lift up others."

If that is what "the world" aspires to, should the church not be even better - demonstrating this as a core part of their beliefs and practices?

Oh, and a final two-way test.

1) are the actions of the leaders kind - do you see this in practice in these pages and in how they treat you?

2) do the leaders make it clear that they expect you to be kind to them?

If the answer to (1) is yes, and the answer to (2) is no, you have a church that is living out the gospel.


On the other hand, if the answer to (1) is no and the answer to (2) is yes, you have a set of self-serving leaders that are very far from Christ.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: November 14, 2019 06:44PM

I seem to be on a roll today!

I have just watched the best video I have ever seen about spiritual abuse, see [www.youtube.com]

It seems to me this is a really, really interesting insight into how to recognise spititual abuse and the impact it can have. I would encourage all readers of this forum to view this, especially the leaders of SMC.

It is a gentle, caring (kind!) insight into this sensitive topic, which is why I genuinely think the SMC leaders would benefit from watching it. If they do, I do not think they will come away feeling angry or defensive, but they may just come away understanding why this is a real danger and something that have to think about.

Others may (or may not!) recognise aspects they have sen either in SMC or other settings. Either way, it does no harm to spend 15 minutes listening to this person, who was herself subjected to spiritual abuse, and who comes across as genuinely caring.

I would love to hear comments form anyone else who takes the time to watch the video.

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