Dear Amy: It has come to my attention that our church treasurer shares information with her husband regarding the amount of money that members contribute to the church. He then on occasion has relayed some of this information to other people at the local coffee shop.
We have met and addressed this problem with both of them and they agree it was a lapse in judgment. I, however, am still very uncomfortable with the situation.
I have stopped writing checks and am now giving cash to my church.
Is there a way to contribute, keep a record for income tax filing and still keep this information private from the treasurer?
Dear Wondering: You can check with your accountant or www.irs.gov (search for “charitable donations'') for guidelines about receiving credit for donating to your church. According to my reading, if you are itemizing and taking any more than the standard deduction, you will need written confirmation of your donation – this means, of course, that someone will have to count your cash, attribute it to you, and give you credit for it.
The casual discussion of donations to your church is unethical, and it sounds as if your church community has dealt with the matter.
Now that this issue has been addressed formally, you have the opportunity to confront it as a spiritual issue.
Can you forgive, forget and give your church treasurer a second chance? I hope you will.
If you have further questions, speak with your pastor.