Parishioners in a Texas church got a surprise after its pastor handed out checks ranging from $250, $500 or $1000 during last Sunday's service. Meanwhile, Pastor Paul Mussachio has high hopes that the money will be used for good and that parishioners will pay it forward.
The Preston Meadow Lutheran Church gave away as much as $125,000 to its congregants. The checks were left blank in the payee line because Mussachio told the parishioners that how they used the money was up to them in the name of generosity.
"They were given the encouragement to go out and be a blessing to others," the pastor said, according to Fox 4. "You release a lot of control on this. And so it's left up to them of where it goes."
The members of the church were also told to encash these within 30 days to spend on needs or as donations to someone else before Easter Sunday on April 1. They were also told not to give the money back to the church.
Along with the check, the envelope also contained a flyer about joyful generosity. On it were the words from Luke 6:38.
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back," the Bible passage stated.
A few members donated the money that funded the checks. They were inspired to pay it forward as well after a similar exercise that involved fourth graders and smaller amounts of cash became a success.
The parishioners' good deeds will be shared on the church's official site. Those who accomplished the challenge to pay it forward have been encouraged to share their story to the world though their website.
The Preston Meadow Lutheran Church is based in Plano, Texas. It has been a congregation for the last 30 years.