“Thank you for giving our church a chance,” said the woman assisting parking at the community yard sale as I loaded my purchases in the car. The woman parked next to me looked up as she loaded mountains of baby clothes, a stroller, and children’s toys into the back of her SUV. There were smiles, thank yous, and personal polite assistance from the sellers. As a reporter I seldom feel such warm welcomes where I visit – especially after having written of their court cases, accusations, and personal troubles.
The parking lot of Word of Faith Fellowship church was filled with clothing, furniture, and appliances donated from multiple families from the church. Contrary to the many rumors I had heard about seized belongings, there was a spirit of service to the community here. Young and old, rich and poor, many gathered to find good quality merchandise at less than market prices.
There were also evening dresses, stylish suits, and good furniture on consignment in the sanctuary. Everything was sized and marked. Even bargain shoppers were nice to each other.
On a WCAB interview (Sorry for the poor video), member Butch Maltby gave his perspective on the church sale. Maltby is a global marketing and fund development consultant. (He is also father to four, grandfather to seven, and an award winning debater.)
“Thank you for giving our church a chance,” haunted me all afternoon. My experience in interviewing people has taught me there are various perspectives on events. One requires many perspectives before finding a truth. I have also learned “People lie” a la Dr. House. Not content to accept others’ perspectives, I visited to gain my own opinion. I bought some bargains and had the best hot dog I’ve had in a long time.
There were a lot of people served today with clothing and shoes. Many gained a hug or a word of encouragement. There was not a discouraging word or a question asked of “What church do you attend?”
There were no gleaned insights into the past of the church or rumors of the present. Sometimes we just have to consider things as they are in the NOW.
I earned no money writing this article, but I did regain some self-respect. I will continue to cover news – both good and bad.