The newspaper Time recently reflected the serious financial difficulties encountered
by the Protestant Church of Geneva: “Beset by a constant drop in donations, the institution
nun is looking for emergency solutions to get back on its feet”.
Read: The Protestant Church of Geneva faces serious financial difficulties
The avenues mentioned in this article can be summarized as spending less, increasing the contribution of parishes through greater solidarity and improving performance.
immovable. Finally, an appeal is made to the awareness of the Protestants of Geneva so that they financially support their Church.
While supporting these avenues, I wonder if the question of the decline in donations does not have
older roots requiring deeper reflection of its causes. In my opinion, the
The root of the problem is the loss of the economic sense of the Christian faith: we must rediscover that faith is also expressed in an economic dimension, as a happy offering, a fruitful gift, an investment necessary for the life of the Church. This was originally the meaning of the tithe, then misused in the practice of the monasteries in the Middle Ages to the detriment of the peasants.
Originally, Pastor Jean-François Collange reminds us, “we find an expression of believing, in a socio-economic practice, exposing in an almost original and universal way the essence of believing, namely credit […] Placing the reality of credit at the start and at the heart of belief underlines its concrete and vital character” (taken from To believe. Unbelief, faith and religion in the 21st century. P. 13-14, Jean-François Collange. Olivetan 2022). It is only in the modern period that the material was emancipated from the spiritual and that financial management was done independently of religious inspiration, notably Judeo-Christian. John Calvin considered material questions (price of bread, loan at interest) still as spiritual questions (cf. Calvin’s Economic and Social Thought by André Biéler).
It is therefore important for the Protestant Church to work on this question of the economic dimension
of the Christian faith aware of its Reformed heritage. In this line, it could show its members and Protestants in general that it is worth investing money in the activities of the Church. For the Protestant Church also serves to give meaning and happiness to personal and community life; it contributes to living together and to the interreligious platform in Geneva; it promotes the place of women in the ministry; it promotes the integration of people of all genders (see the LGBTI branch); it offers places often overlooked for healing, meditation and meeting through its celebrations every Sunday in an increasingly harsh and violent society. It accompanies, listens to and supports the sick, prisoners and refugees. It promotes and calls for solidarity and mutual aid.
The urgency, in my opinion, lies first in the rediscovery of the economic meaning of
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The economic dimension of believing
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