Tracy Talks XIII


Last Thursday evening, I went to a forum hosted by the Middletown Ministerial Alliance at
Central Connections. Police Chief Muterspaw, Police Sergeant Nelson and Fire Chief Lolli
shared with those gathered current statistics regarding the heroin epidemic in Middletown, then
answered questions posed by the audience.
One of the questions asked was by a woman who does some gardening at one of the
downtown churches. She is often approached for financial assistance while she is maintaining
the church grounds. She asked what she should do when she is approached for assistance
because she wants to make sure she isn’t giving people money to buy drugs.
The police sergeant suggested that churches not give cash to those requesting assistance. It
is fair to assume that someone who asks for and takes cash will most likely not use it for what
they asked. Unfortunately, not everyone who comes to the church for assistance has the need
they tell us. That is not to say that some people don’t have legitimate need. But, not all of
those seeking assistance from churches are honest about their need.
If someone approaches you for assistance while at church, I request that you do not give them
cash and direct them to me. I’m at the church on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and
Sundays. If I’m not at the church, you can call my cell phone.
Through the Outreach Committee, I have resources available to provide assistance. I first
screen all requests to make sure there are no holes in their story, so I can refuse those who
are trying to take advantage of the grace and compassion of a generous church. For instance,
one man came to the church twice on Thursday with 2 different stories and 2 different
By fielding all requests, I can protect you from being taken advantage of. Some dishonest
people know that church people are very kind and generous and will unfortunately lie to you to
get what they want. It is important that in a town where drugs are a major problem we not give
cash away to someone who could go buy drugs with it. However, I’m sure that any mercy you
show someone in need is not lost on them.

Thank you for your grace and love for our neighbors,

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)