PipeChat Digest #4228 - Saturday, January 17, 2004
Re: Money for weddings
  by "Travis L. Evans" <tlevans@sbcglobal.net>
Re: Money for weddings
  by <DERREINETOR@aol.com>
Re: bench fees
  by <RVScara@aol.com>
wedding fees
  by "Richard Hazelip" <rhazelip1@yahoo.com>
RE: Congregational Singing at Funerals
  by "Michael David" <michaelandmaggy@earthlink.net>
WEdding Fees
  by "First Christian Church of Casey, IL" <kzrev@rr1.net>
Bench Fees
  by "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com>
  by "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com>
a project in chicago-organ on ebay
  by <Gfc234@aol.com>
RE: Money for weddings
  by "Jeff White" <reedstop@charter.net>
RE: Money for weddings
  by "Jeff White" <reedstop@charter.net>
RE: Prostitutes???
  by "Jeff White" <reedstop@CHARTER.NET>
RE: Money for weddings
  by "Jeff White" <reedstop@charter.net>

(back) Subject: Re: Money for weddings From: "Travis L. Evans" <tlevans@sbcglobal.net> Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 21:05:18 -0600   Re: Money for weddingsI'm wasn't going to get into this but oh well.   Most part time positions, which most of us are in, do not include = weddings and funerals as part of the job description. I know its not = been the case for me. I think even if its a full time position, that is = not a regular occurance as rehearsals and weekend worship services. = Weddings require additional time on top of my weekly duties, I certianly = feel I should be compensated for that time, especially when having to = meet with the couple multiple times when they can't make up their mind. = Its overtime in a way. =20   We have a guideline for music, and if the request anything outside of = that it has to have my approval. If I say no, the answer is no, no = matter what. I have the full support of the pastoral staff on that. = The couple can tell me what they want me to play as long as it comes off = our list. =20   I think very few church musicans are paid a salary that they can afford = to give up that much time without compensation. I know some church's = require it in their fees to use the building and services then pay the = staff from that fee. =20   Travis ----- Original Message -----=20 From: Alan Freed=20 To: PipeChat=20 Sent: Friday, January 16, 2004 7:56 PM Subject: Re: Money for weddings     On 1/16/04 7:37 PM, "DERREINETOR@aol.com" <DERREINETOR@aol.com> wrote:     I agree with you, but many churches do indeed require the family to = pay the organist. (Gee, how I miss working for the Lutherans = sometimes--they DO pay their musicians!)=20     Well, they should not; and that's what I'm very much AGAINST! The = congregation should pay its own employees! Does any organist want to be = a free lance? What could be clearer than that? Give the organist some = professional REALITY, for Pete's sake. =20   Look at it this way: You're going to be paid by the bride's father. = You want to take orders from him (and his wife) and their daughter? = Aren't you a better man than that? As wretched as your pastor may be = (and many ARE), he's surely no competition for a bride's mother!! (That = should end THAT subject!) =20   All they (of any denomination, including most definitely my own) need = is a bit of pastoral theology. I think Acts 8 talks about it. If not, = I'll try harder. (Eyes tired tonight.)   NO family should ever pay ANY organist. For ANYthing! (Gratuity, = SURE!) He/She should be paid, and paid WELL, but by the = (presumably-countable-onable) congregation, not the indefinable "users" = of his/her talents on various occasions. =20   Alan      
(back) Subject: Re: Money for weddings From: <DERREINETOR@aol.com> Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 23:18:08 EST   Alan, Again, we are in compete agreement. Bill H.    
(back) Subject: Re: bench fees From: <RVScara@aol.com> Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 23:28:05 EST   Ah, Mike throws some fuel on this flammer.....   To put my situation into perspective, I am not on salary and have no contract. I donate my services which in the past 25 years would total = (AGO standards) a half million dollars. I average 4 services a weekend, often all 5, also Holy Days and special services, and I used to direct the adult choir = until it wore me out. (A friend now does it and I accompany.) I negotiated the = purchase of our organ at cost (saving $40,000) in 1986 and a recent digital = rebuild at quite a savings. Do I think it is "my organ?" Not really, but I think I =   have more than paid for it. I don't like to hear that I am "doing = someone out of a paying job" by playing for nothing. If anyone, it would be myself = and I choose not to take the money. I can afford not to as I was always = employed on a full time basis with benefits and am now retired. Will they pay someone =   when I drop dead or quit (again). Sure, or do without. I'm not about to = give up just so they can pay someone!   Our church charges a Wedding Fee. It is around $200.00, or was a year or = so ago. (Remember, our people do not tithe; they contribute as they see fit, = some very little, but the average is probably $10 a family a week.Big = spenders.) The Wedding Fee covers "extra" costs of heat or A/C. Heat is usually = turned down to 65 except for weekend services in the winter and A/C not turned on = at all except for weekend services in summer'; the part-time = Custodian/Sacristan has to come in and set up the sanctuary, open up early for the florist and =   later clean up the mess from rice or bird seed, etc. BUT, that Fee does = not include the Organist or Priest/Deacon. I must make fee arrangements with = the Funeral Directors and wedding parties. ( I have occasionally been stiffed = by both. Get my money in advance now from wedding parties and before the funeral = from one particular director.) I get $75 for a funeral and $100 for a wedding. = If I sing, it is included. This is the only $$$ I get for playing all year = round at my church. We average 15-20 weddings a year and 45-50 funerals.   Bench Fees have been discussed at length over outside organists, but the latest angle in this area is the String Ensemble. Two wedding parties for = this Spring have stated they do not want an organist, they want a string = ensemble which members also sing. A string trio runs $450+ for a wedding. I charge = $100 to play and a vocalist (if I don't do it) runs about $75.00. What now?    
(back) Subject: wedding fees From: "Richard Hazelip" <rhazelip1@yahoo.com> Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 20:39:52 -0800 (PST)   For what its worth from my perspective: A diocesan event was held at St. Hyacinth in the recent past for Formation = Toward Christian Ministry or something like that. The diocesan = coordinator contacted me and fully expected me to volunteer my time for an = event in which our church is only peripherally involved. We offer the = facility but the diocese handles the program and the speakers and most of = the participants are not members of St. Hyacinth. My pastor backed me = when I insisted upon a fee of $125 for doing something that was quite = outside my job description. The coordinator found another musician to = handle the music and I was not dragooned into work that was not related to = the circumstances of my employment. I relate this event to illustrate where I stand on the issue of being paid = for weddings and funerals. I am emplyed three-quarters full time. My = salary does not take into consideration the extra fees generated by = weddings and funerals. I am paid as a Director of Music, not a Minister = of Music who earns his entire living in service to the church. Funerals = are paid at the discretion of the family, and most of the funeral homes we = work with know me and have the check ready before the funeral. Only once = have I been asked to donate my services due to extreme financial hardship = and I was most happy to accommodate the family. Otherwise - - Most brides and their families EXPECT to shell out significant sums of = money to produce a memorable wedding. I see no problem with getting my = reasonable share of these occasional moments of largesse. All that being said - - - - I have never refused that rare wedding or = funeral at which it was made known to me by reliable sources that there = were financial hardships. At that point I chose to extend my music to = them as a ministry and as a gift. Fortunately, both the priests at my = parish practice and preach the concept that musicians have worked long and = hard and have spent a lot of money polishing their craft - - - - they are = not to be abused financially. Richard Hazelip    
(back) Subject: RE: Congregational Singing at Funerals From: "Michael David" <michaelandmaggy@earthlink.net> Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 22:49:49 -0600   I must be missing something. Who are R and Bill H?   michael   -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org]On Behalf Of DERREINETOR@aol.com Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 1:56 PM To: pipechat@pipechat.org Subject: Re: Congregational Singing at Funerals     R, Very sensible policies! Bill H.    
(back) Subject: WEdding Fees From: "First Christian Church of Casey, IL" <kzrev@rr1.net> Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 23:36:31 -0600   Alan said: "Why would anyone want to get married in somebody ELSE=B9s chu= rch. Go for you own, or forget it!"   Well, Alan, I can think of a number of reasons. In our community, a numb= er of churches have rather small sanctuaries, and our church ends up "hostin= g," if you will, weddings that are too large for the home church. We do the s= ame for funerals that are too large for churches or the local mortuary. Shou= ld we not be gracious with these folks?   And what about unchurched folk who want to get married? I would rather h= elp them than put stumbling blocks in front of them by saying, "Sorry, you're not one of us. You're not welcome here. Go find your own place to get married." Doesn't sound like Christian compassion to me.   And in some states, few people are authorized to celebrate marriage. One= of my prior ministries was in a state where ONLY ministers and judges could celebrate marriage. The county where my church was located had a populat= ion of 60,000 and a total of three judges--two of whom refused to do weddings= .. Agreed, that's not "the church's problem," but we could be--and were--par= t of the solution.   I never turn down a wedding unless my calendar is simply too full; if a couple want to get married, they will, whether I help them or hinder them= .. I do exercise a good bit of control over a service in the church (but eve= n then, my feeling is it's their wedding, and I will accommodate as much as= is possible). And I'll do weddings other places--religious or civil. After all, weddings are essentially the one place in the USA where clergy perso= ns still act as agents of the government (as well as the church).   As for paying the musicians, my church--like thousands of others--has several "internal" member musicians, but we do not pay any of them. Naturally, anybody who uses their services expects to pay them--and does. The church does not negotiate the fee; I tell couples they can find whom they want, including those who are members, and give suggested ranges of payment. But if a couple wants Great Aunt Bertha to play for their weddi= ng (even if she's awful!), it's their wedding and their great aunt! I won't stand in their way. Nor will I stand in the way of the couple wanting Gr= eat Uncle Henry, their preacher-relative from performing the ceremony. I've = got plenty of other things to do with my time anyway. Weddings take horrendo= us amounts of time, and if I figure my average honorarium, I make about $3/hour!   Your mileage may vary! ;>) Dennis Steckley & A Six-Pack of Cats    
(back) Subject: Bench Fees From: "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com> Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 22:04:44 -0800   At a prior church job, where I played a LOT of weddings, sometimes as many as half-dozen a week, they handled the organist fee in a very simple manner.   When a to-be-wed couple was counseled, they were given one flat fee for use of the church, and that included everything -- pastor, wedding coordinator, organist, soloist, custodial services, etc. -- anything that involved use of the sanctuary in other words except flowers of course.   If the bridal party chose not to use the church's organist, the money from the "lump sum" set aside went to me anyway: The church agreed that I was hired specifically for that purpose and that any organist fees generated from the many weddings were considered part of my income. They viewed it as my being hired to be on "stand-by" --- I would get paid whether or not I actually had to show up. And I think that's a very reasonable and rational way to handle it.   If the people used another organist, which they were free to do, the understanding was made clear that they would have to hire and pay them independently from what they paid the church. And it was also made clear that I had to speak with their organist and make sure they knew how to play, at least enough that they wouldn't get in there and wreck the organ.   Most of the time, when a wedding party did not want an organist they either did not have music at all, or used instrumentalists or *shudder* canned music. There was hardly ever an occasion where someone wanted to bring in their own organist.   ~ C    
(back) Subject: Prostitutes??? From: "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com> Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 22:15:40 -0800   Per the rather sanguine suggestion that organists who (reasonably) expect to get paid for their services are PROSTITUTES ... Well, I'll withhold the barbed repart=E9e poised on my tongue...   As for the suggestion "Why would people want to get married in a different church? Let them get married in their own!"   There are a thousand reasons why.   1. Their own church is too large / too small.   2. Their own church is inconvenient for most people who will be attending.   3. They do not have "their own church" but want to get married in one for reasons of their own. ("Judged not, that ye be not judged...")   4. Their own church is ugly, or doesn't have an organ, or whatever. The church I mentioned in my last post was a beautiful, historic, picturesque old brick church on a hill in rural Maryland -- many people specifically wanted to use that church because of its picture-perfect setting.   5. Their own church does not look favorably upon their union for whatever reason [mixed faiths, previous marriage/divorce, etc.], so they have to find another more-tolerant church that WILL marry them.   6. Their father / mother is a pastor and they want to get married by Mom or Dad even though they do go to their own church.   7. The fee at their church for weddings is too high, and the church up the street offers a better deal.   etc etc etc etc etc etc etc   ~ C    
(back) Subject: a project in chicago-organ on ebay From: <Gfc234@aol.com> Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2004 02:47:52 EST   http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3D2372386137&category=3D= 16219   Gregory Ceurvorst M.M. Organ Performance Student Northwestern University Director of Music and Organist St. Peter's U.C.C. Frankfort, IL 847.332.2788 home 708.243.2549 mobile gfc234@aol.com    
(back) Subject: RE: Money for weddings From: "Jeff White" <reedstop@charter.net> Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2004 02:22:26 -0600   Re: Money for weddingsNO family should ever pay ANY organist. For ANYthi= ng! (Gratuity, SURE!) He/She should be paid, and paid WELL, but by the (presumably-countable-onable) congregation, not the indefinable =93users=94= of his/her talents on various occasions.   Alan, whatcha smokin'? In St. Louis, it is NOT up to the church. And = no bride's father or mother is going to tell me HOW to do my job. The brida= l couple selects the music *I* present to them, with various choices. If t= hey have already an idea of what they want, it just means a shorter meeting. = I would be very surprised if the majority of churches have anything differe= nt. (And leave the Lutherans out of it...we're no different than anyone else.= )   Jeff    
(back) Subject: RE: Money for weddings From: "Jeff White" <reedstop@charter.net> Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2004 02:20:09 -0600   Money for weddingsAt (if not before) visit #1, bride and groom get all th= e expectations and details in writing, in a nice little booklet, covering everything from money to music. There they discover that there are NO CHARGES. Weddings are part of the ministry of this parish. Pastor is pa= id by the parish to do his/her ministry. No tips. Janitor is paid by the parish=97no business of the wedding party. Organist is paid to do HIS or= HER job=97how much is nobody=92s business. No money/checks go(es) to the chu= rch. It=92s all free (like funerals and baptisms, which are also free).   I also disagree with this. Weddings and funerals are outside of the salary, and there may be churches where this is included. However, I've never worked for one. And, I will most likely NEVER will. Unless you ca= n guarantee a certain number of weddings per year (and funerals), how can y= ou say that's part of the job? Baptisms are free, but I rarely see any musi= c connected with them unless it's part of the full worship service.   Jeff    
(back) Subject: RE: Prostitutes??? From: "Jeff White" <reedstop@CHARTER.NET> Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2004 02:24:07 -0600   > Per the rather sanguine suggestion that organists who > (reasonably) expect to get paid for their services are > PROSTITUTES ...   Sorry, prostitution is sex for money. I fail to see any sex involved when = I play the organ for a wedding. And I'm talking about the musical = instrument, not anything else! :)   Jeff    
(back) Subject: RE: Money for weddings From: "Jeff White" <reedstop@charter.net> Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2004 02:28:37 -0600   Money for weddingsCorrection: How can you say it's part of the SALARY? = Not the JOB. Sorry...very late here. :)   Jeff   Unless you can guarantee a certain number of weddings per year (and funerals), how can you say that's part of the job?