Paula SchneiderI have been a Unity Truth student, in earnest, since 1985.  Before that, in the mid-70’s, I was introduced to the Unity teachings but was too busy with getting my formal education, raising a child, and working to pursue them deeply.
 So, for 28 years, I have studied New Thought principles with some degree of dedication.  And, around the year 1995, as I began recognizing the value of these beautiful, high level ideas, I began giving 10% of my income to Unity.  Nobody held a gun to my head—it was just something I felt I needed to do.  At that same time, I was on the Board at Unity of Tallahassee.  In that position, I had multiple opportunities to count the Sunday offering.  It was at that time that I learned something very sad about the people who attended our services.  They, with a few exceptions, were cheap!
 It was not unusual to find dollar bills crinkled up into a ball so small you could probably swallow it like your morning vitamin!  Oh boy, I felt so discouraged.   And that discouragement has been with me through the years.  It has caused me to ponder how to put a price tag on the beautiful, life-changing, life-affirming teachings that we get every week of every year at Unity of the Sierra.
 In the few instances that I have assisted a Board member to count over the past few years, I continue to see small bills wadded up and placed in the offering basket.  What can one buy with a $5 bill?  A hamburger and a milkshake that is ingested, digested, and excreted from the body in less than 24 hours?
 Unity centers are a business.  Admittedly, the business of “church” might be different than running Google, but it is still a business.  In order to continue operating, certain expenses are necessary.  Salaries are usually the highest costs, unless there is a mortgage (we don’t have one of those, thank goodness) or perhaps exorbitantly high rent (not our case, either).  As you prepare your offerings each week, please consider the “cost of doing business” in 2013 and beyond.  Think about that hamburger passing through your digestive system, and meditate on the value of the wonderful teachings you get every week that stay with you all your life.  Aren’t they worth more than $5?  I think they are!