Weekly Devotional by Terry Young - March 27, 2019

Well, April 15 is just around the corner.  
So a few weeks ago, in an uncharacteristic display of efficiency, I began sorting through files and stacks of paper to find the documents we needed to file our taxes.  
As I was looking at the record of contributions from church for 2018, I read a sentence I hadn’t noticed before. 
“In accordance with the Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1993 it should be noted that except for intangible religious benefits, Saint Andrew Christian Church did not provide any goods or services to the above named contributor(s) in exchange for itemized contributions.” 
The phrase – intangible religious benefits – caught my attention.  
So I went to www.irs.gov to find more information about this phrase.

I’ll do anything to postpone the work at hand.  
I found this definition in IRS Publication 1771 – and it’s classic government speak: 
Intangible religious benefits are “benefits provided by a tax-exempt organization operated exclusively for religious purposes, and are not usually sold in commercial transactions outside a donative (gift) context.”
So I began to think about our life at Saint Andrew – to identify some of those benefits considered “intangible” – which literally means incapable of being perceived by the sense of touch. 

And that’s harder than you might think. 

 I mean -- what’s intangible about: 
The weekly bulletin handed to you by a greeter with a smile and a word of welcome? 
What’s intangible about: 
The “Happy Kits” we’ll make this Sunday for Children’s Mercy Hospital.  
What’s intangible about: 
The amazing vegetables we buy from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm family?  

What’s intangible about: 
The difference we’ve made in the lives of the worshippers at El Higueral, our twinned congregation in El Salvador? 
What’s intangible about: 
The birdseed in the feeders maintained by Saint Andrew Group for Ecology (SAGE)? 

And what’s intangible about: 
The communion table where each week we join with believers all over the world? 
This could be a very long list – but you get the idea. 

The benefits of my involvement with Saint Andrew really are tangible – sometimes to me, sometimes to others. And there is concrete evidence that we are truly creating a world of hope.   
To be clear, I’m not suggesting that we petition the government to disallow the deduction for contributions to Saint Andrew.   
Let’s just not tell the IRS how tangible our religious benefits really are.
Creator – may we feel your loving presence and, in turn, make that love real to all around us.

Saint Andrew Pastoral Partners
The Saint Andrew Pastoral Partners offer support when you have joys and/or concerns to share, need prayers, or someone to talk to.  We also are available for hospital visits, reaching out to those that are in need or members we haven’t see in awhile, working with your Covenant Group and new members.

Some of our responsibilities include serving communion and sharing the Prayer of Thanksgiving.  We also help out with special services such as the Ash Wednesday, Easter Sunrise Service,  Remembrance Service and Christmas Eve Services.  

Each week we will list three of our Pastoral Partners. Please don’t hesitate to contact them!
Ray Brown  RCB_LAB@hotmail.com
Linda Brown  RCB_LAB@hotmail.com
Rebecca Obold-Geary  oboldgea@gmail.com
13890 W. 127th Street Olathe, KS 66062
Telephone: 913.764.5888  |  Fax: 913.764.4692  |  Email: office@sacchome.org