LaSalle Street Church of Chicago has given each of its 320 members a check for $500, telling the members to use the money however they feel led.
The church is calling the money Loaves and Fishes checks and has told the church members to use the money in way that glorifies God’s kingdom. Members were instructed to pray about it, and then spend it when they felt the call to do so.
Senior Pastor Laura Truax of LaSalle Church said she was nervous when she informed the congregation what was happening. “Some people started to cry and I started to sweat because it sounded so crazy…In that moment, I was worried that people were going to think, ‘This is stupid and silly. You’re squandering away $160,000.’ I was nervous about that but I felt this was a place of faith,” she said.
The money is meant to use for a good cause, but Truaz said that she would not be disappointed if some members used the money for rent; the economic status of LaSalle’s membership ranges from wealthy to homeless.
The church, which gave away $160,000 total, came into the money from a real estate deal. LaSalle Church, along with two other Chicago-area churches had supported a housing development in the 1970s which was sold in June. LaSalle received $1.6 million from the property and designated 10 percent for the Loaves and Fishes checks. The church will decided how to use remaining money in the future.
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