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Chicago Parishioners Each Given $500 To 'Do Good'

Laura Truax is the pastor at Chicago's LaSalle Street Church. (Courtesy of Laura Truax)
Laura Truax is the pastor at Chicago's LaSalle Street Church. (Courtesy of Laura Truax)

Congregants at Chicago’s LaSalle Street Church were surprised on a recent Sunday by an announcement by their pastor. Each of them would be receiving $500 and the only criteria for spending it was to use it to “do good.”

Congregants at first sat in silence, unable to believe what they had just heard. And then, many burst into tears. The money was part of a surprise $1.6 million windfall that came to the small non-denominational church when property it had invested in 40 years ago was sold.

Pastor Laura Truax decided that 10 percent, or $160,000, should go back to the congregation in a sort of reverse-tithe. The congregation will spend the next nine months brainstorming ways to use the rest of the money. Pastor Truax joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss her unusual move and how congregants have opted to spend their share.

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