Churches counting on additional holiday offerings

Mindy Tucker
Mindy Tucker

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - For many, Easter is the most important religious holiday of the year and with our economy in its current state, churches are counting on offerings now more than ever.

The stock market, foreclosures, bailouts and banks buckling. There's a lot economic worries right now. That's why the holiday weekend is huge for churches counting on additional charity from worshipers.

A plentiful Good Friday crowd at Kaimuki's St. Patrick's Catholic Church. Easter is expected to increase attendance at services by more than 20%. That's nearly 2,000 people passing the offering plate.

"It's the main source of income, the charity of the people," said Assistant Pastor Father Tom Choo.

Dealing with declining donations, mainland churches are closing with not enough money to pay for repairs, insurance and utilities.

St. Patrick's Church says offerings are ok right now, but they fluctuate depending on each member's finances.

"The older people are really the mainstay of the church, the younger people have to work and support their families, it can be difficult," said Choo.

Unity Church near Waikiki says its offerings are unchanged.

"It's the the truth with the capital "T" of what's existing in our lives," said Education Director Mindy Tucker.

The belief that it's better to give than to receive and for this Good Friday congregation, seeking a higher power is its way of turning the tough economy around.

Along with the basic bills, church offerings also go towards community outreach programs that are often the first expenses pulled to save money. St. Patrick's church has a food outreach program that's sustained solely through member donations.