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Historic Boston church considers sale of hymnal

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm •  Published: November 30, 2012

But Taylor said the church's financial projections indicate its ministries and programs are jeopardized by costs such as $7 million in deferred maintenance at the building it's occupied since 1875. This is not a time to choose historical artifacts over meeting today's needs, she said.

"We have a great history, but we gather that up in stories, and in inspiration, and bring it with us," she said. "The leadership doesn't think it has to be possessed in museum-worthy artifacts, but rather in the living and vital work that we do in the world."

Makholm said many costs described by church leaders as critical are discretionary. In an October letter, he asks members not to trade the church's heritage "for air conditioning and upgrades to the basement!"

A growing church with an $18 million endowment is not facing financial crisis, he said. The leadership is considering misusing gifts from the past instead of doing all it can to solve its problems, he said.

"Once we break the faith with our forebears, it's all out the door," Makholm said. "How easy is it to spend somebody else's money?"

For the sale of the book and silver to proceed, a two-thirds majority vote from attending members is required on Sunday. The debate has provoked hard feelings, but Taylor said a church old enough to have baptized Benjamin Franklin the day he was born can endure it.

"We've made it through the Great Depression, and abolition, and the American Revolution," she said. "I think that we can weather this."