Just A Little Steamed!!!!

Decorating By gilson6 Updated 9 Aug 2006 , 3:34am by mookey

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gilson6 Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 12:50pm
post #1 of 36

Two weeks ago I was asked to do the cake for our pastor's 10th anniversary on August 13th. This cake would be for 200 people. They just wanted a sheet cake with the church logo (blah, blah, blah!). I came back with a suggestion of a cross cake with roses on it, sheet cake with the logo and "congrats!" (also with a filling in this one) and a book cake with our pastor's favorite verse written on it. I gave them a price of $250.00. That's a $1.00 a slice with 50 cents a serving for the filling in the sheet cake. I pretty much assumed I had the order. Well, last night the events coordinator came to me and said that I needed to give them a better price. He had called HEB (a grocery store in our area) and they had given him a price of $50.00 for two sheet cakes (50 servings each) 1 with a bible on it and one just with the logo on it. I told him to get it from them if he just wants a generic cake with no extra touches, choice of cake flavor (lets face it - they offer three flavors - chocolate, white and marble) and the choice of different flavors. I am just so mad about this. How am I supposed to compete with a price like that? I even told our events coordinator that I've been burned by our church so many times when it comes to events. I was a caterer for a few years and I would do events at cost - 1 event they gave me a budget of $200.00 for a breakfast for 100 people which ended up costing me an additional $300.00. I never asked for more money just used it as a donation. I was so excited when I was asked to do this - now I'm just mad! Thankfully, I hadn't started purchasing anything for the cake!

35 replies
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candyladyhelen Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 12:56pm
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Let's face it, when our churches put events on, they only want it for free or as cheap as possible. If you are not willing to do that, then you just have to let them get their cakes elsewhere. They just don't have the money to spend on cakes like we make them.

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MomLittr Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 12:57pm
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Obviously they are more concerned with price than quality. Next time they ask, maybe you will have to be booked.

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Bethroze Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 1:06pm
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I am so sorry that this happened, but I understand your frustration. I am finishing up my two years as Sunday School Superientendant, and I am ashamed at how excited I am to get out of there. Planning, budgets, food, parties, begging for volunteers, and its not like I'm getting paid for running this program. I love my church, but I now realize how much of a business it is. They do watch that bottom line, and it has burned my pocket book a couple of times as well.

Let them eat blah cake, and enjoy what your church is truly there for, your relationship with your Lord. *Pat on the back.* "It'll be okay..." thumbs_up.gif

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gilson6 Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 1:07pm
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Just to let you know - our church can afford it. The events coordinator was saying that they gave him a budget of next to nothing for this event. They want appetizers as well as cake and etc. The deacons have been mailing out letters for months now asking for donations so that we can give our pastor $25,000.00 as a gift for his anniversary. The person that did cakes before me (my former partner in fact) always did things at cost when they ordered a cake. I just can't do that. I think the problem is is that they are trying to surprise the pastor and don't have his permission to spend this money so they are trying to do it as cheap as possible so there won't be problems after the fact. That combined with the fact they just don't understand the amount of work it takes to make these cakes and the cost involved with putting on an event for 200 people.

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Kiddiekakes Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 1:16pm
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Well church or no church I wouldn't do it for free or cost..Tell them your running a business too!! JMO

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littleredtonya Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 1:46pm
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I think that if they can take donations to give your pastor money for this when some people don't make that in a years time, I think they can give donations to pay for this cake, and if not I believe I would be busy from now on if they asked me to do something. I understand it's for church but you have to draw the line somewhere.

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Doug Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 2:00pm
post #8 of 36

you may have answered your own conundrum....

in my church and church body, stewardship is always talked about in terms of the three "T"s.

most people understand treasure as it's that stuff we're supposed to tithe -- give 10% of our financial gain to the Lord.

but how many of us tithe time? or talent? that would be 2.4 hrs a day for the Lord. not sure how one would calculate 10% of talent.

you're right...a church can suck the marrow from the bones until you feel like "dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones" (don't I know right now, doing my 5th stint as church treasurer and having in the past been the volunteer church secretary -- a former pastor used to love to dictate the bulletin as I typed...argh!!!)

but, even those bones were lifted up by the Lord.

I can only speak for me and my house....

1)WWJD: am I at risk of recieving the same treatment as the money changers and sellers of goods for my actions/thoughts?

2) the cakes would be a thank offering to the church for the many blessings received through the church and the pastor's care. (and boy, would I be a nervous wreck doing them!!! have to be soooo perfect!)

you've done it once...asked for cost and written the rest off as a donation to the church. maybe again?

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stephanie214 Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 2:30pm
post #9 of 36

Wow, is this a TEXAS thing? My sister lives in Houston and their church gave their minister a brand new Lexus plus $15,000 in cash for his birthday icon_surprised.gif icon_confused.gif icon_mad.gif

Don't do it!!!!!!!!!!! Tell them to subtract the money from his $25,000 icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif .

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MomLittr Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 2:42pm
post #10 of 36

$25,000 gift?!!! that is outrageous! what happened to men of the cloth taking vows of poverty?

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Lenette Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 2:43pm
post #11 of 36

I truly understand. I have been treated so badly about my cakes, even after donating them, that with the exception of 2 events I just won't do it anymore. I will do it for the one board I am on and I am doing one for our pastor's appreciation this week. That is only because our pastor and his wife are WONDERFUL people and I truly love them. Other than that I will not donate a cake. I have had to just let it roll off my shoulders ya' know? I figure if they don't appreciate it I am not going to do it. Hugs to you and let it go.

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mbalis Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 2:53pm
post #12 of 36
Originally Posted by MomLittr

$25,000 gift?!!! that is outrageous! what happened to men of the cloth taking vows of poverty?

I agree....I've never heard of such a thing as $25k for a gift. icon_surprised.gif

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MJsmom Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 2:59pm
post #13 of 36

Wow... Bless your heart! All I can say is pray about it- which I'm sure you've been doing. As Doug said, you could use this as your contribution to the pastor, and either doing it for free, for cost, or for what HEB priced for them. However, if you do this, MAKE SURE they understand that you're doing this in appreciation of your pastor.
You and I know that unless they decorate cakes, they won't understand the blood, sweat and tears that go into planning, baking, decorating, and delivering the cake. However, once this situation is passed, and we all face our Lord, they will be held accountable for how they treated you. All you can do is present yourself in a way that you know would be pleasing to the Lord, and despite what they do or say, you WILL come out on top- in this life or the next. My heart goes out to you! Please keep us posted with how things go!?! God bless you for your efforts! icon_smile.gif

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luvbakin Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 2:59pm
post #14 of 36

I do think Doug has a point, a very good point, BUT since they are giving the pastor a gift of $25,000 - that's all out the window as far as I would be conserned. That is OUTRAGOUS! You are doing work for Christ, the church runs on donations, WWJD, and all that, but not if you are the only one sacrificing. How can they ask that of you all the while they are giving WAYYYY TOO much on the other end to someone else????????????????????????

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debsuewoo Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 3:16pm
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Holy macaroni!!! $25,000????? Man, if I didn't think it was for the wrong reason, I'd look into becoming a member of the clergy myself!

Actually, my church is a relatively small church, and we tend to give cash gifts to our pastor on anniversaries and Christmas, which I never understood. True, as a pastor she didn't make a whole lot of money, but her husband is a doctor (a teaching doctor at that) and they lived in a ritzy area (Known lovingly as "The Hill").... plus, the church paid for her "spiritual retreats" three to four times a year, and cash gifts on top of that? Sheesh! Oh well, we just got a new pastor and things will be the same, but this pastors husband is an elementary school teacher. They are going to need those spiritual retreats!

But to the cakes.... as I said, we are a relatively small church and they get their cakes from Sam's Club for fellowship every week, but the Sunday School coordinator for the second service and I just got together and decided that we needed to celebrate birthdays on a monthly basis, so starting in Janurary I am going to be making monthly birthday cakes for the second service. I am doing this as a service to the church for no cost, but I am also looking at it as advertisement for my abilities. The second service has all of the younger people attending and that's the demographic I need to hit.

Oh, and not to ignore the beginning of this thread, if you feel that you are being short changed, then let them get the cakes at HEB. No skin off of your nose. Just know, as they are serving and eating those cakes that you had nothing to do with them and it isn't on you if they don't like them.

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karensjustdessert Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 3:32pm
post #16 of 36

I've been watching this thread, and not really knowing what to say. I don't really have an opinion on whether you should do the cake or not, but I do have something to say about the pay for clergy.
My husband's mother and step-father are both Episcopal priests. They are on call 24/7. They do get vacation time, and one of them scored the rectory at their church, so their home is part of the salary. But they both work on their vacation time too. (phone calls, emails, correspondence, project work, etc.)
Like I said, they are on call 24/7. They both work, put in office and community hours 6 days a week. They receive phone calls 7 days a week; they both work for different churches, so their responsibilities do not overlap nor do they have the same schedule (save Sundays and holiday services).
I think we tend to judge too much what other people should be worth. The responsibilities we see them have (the church services) are just the tip of the iceberg. And they, just like most of us, donate a percentage of their salary too.
Sorry, I was just getting upset at the way this was going. Thanks.

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imartsy Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 3:34pm
post #17 of 36

Perhaps you could compromise - tell them that you can't possible do it for that low because all of your ingredients are of higher quality than the grocery store, plus you are offering custom flavors and fillings and added decoration, etc. However, perhaps you could make the cross cake and use that as a donation or as your "gift" to the pastor instead of contributing to his $25,000 fund. Your church is generous to your pastor! And my gosh the one church that gave a pastor a Lexus..... my goodness!

Anyway, perhaps they can have the one crappy cake and your cake and then people could see & taste the difference - then they can decide in the future if they want good cake or if they just want some cardboard w/ icing slapped on it (i.e. grocery store cake) for events.

Or I agree w/ Doug too - you could do the cake for cost and consider the rest part of your tithe....... if you tithe part of your income, consider how much you would be paid per hour for your cake work and kinda compute it into your tithe.... hope that makes sense.

Good luck! Know that you are working for the Lord - not for men. Men/man can be ignorant and don't always appreciate the talents the Lord has given us - but God appreciates our talents b/c He gave them to us and He wants to see us use them.

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lsawyer Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 3:35pm
post #18 of 36

If I were that minister, I'd be sooooo embarassed to receive $25K as a gift! Whose idea was that? As a widowed mom on a teacher's salary, I never received such a gift, nor did anyone pay for my "retreats." Nor did I ever expect it. If you want to donate one of the smaller cakes as part of your gift, that would be a nice gesture, but I certainly wouldn't do the whole thing for pennies. Your cake could be good advertisement for you, especially when compared to the crap cakes from the store that they'll be serving.

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gilson6 Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 4:43pm
post #19 of 36

Just wanted to add - our pastor is going to be very upset when he gets this gift. He is a wonderful, caring man that would not expect something like this.

As far as giving this as a donation, I just can't do it anymore. I give to our church in every possible way that I can. We tithe not only money wise but of our time. We have always been very active in our church. We were the Children's Church Directors for 8 years (we recently resigned because we needed a break - being in children's church every Sunday morning for 8 years takes its toll on you and your family), I am the Hospitality Room director, my husand is an usher and we are both leaders in our Sunday School. My kids are also hard workers in our church - my sons give up most of their Saturdays to help the maintenance man (who is in his 70s) at our church. We are one of the families that do anything that is asked of us. Maybe that is one of the reasons this upsets me so much. We are tired of being taken advantage of. I catered every event that was asked of me for cost and as mentioned earlier - at a loss on most of them. I was told that with more experience I would be asked to do our January banquet and that is one of the reasons I did the things I did (I guess that's a little selfish on my part). I submitted a bid for the January banquet this past year and was told that someone else would be doing it. We have been members of this church for the last 9 years after being members of another church for close to 25 years. I firmly believe in using the members of the church for whatever jobs I need done (for example: security company for the security at my full time job, carpet cleaning & etc.). It really frustrates me that people assume that since you are a member of the church that you shouldn't be paid for what you are doing - they expect it to be a donation. In the last year our income (my husband and mine) has dropped over $30,000.00 because I changed jobs and my husband's company shut down and his new job is paying him less for more work. I can't afford to be spending all the money and time on a cake that would cost me almost 3xs as much to make as what I'm being paid.

It has gotten to where we are discussing leaving this church. I'm torn about this decision. We have friends here. My parents are also members (they joined about a month after we did). I hate the thought of starting over at a new church.

Thanks everyone for all the responses. I'm just going to have to pray about this and let the Lord show me the way.

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Doug Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 4:52pm
post #20 of 36

i learned this at a church I was at for 20 years.

sometimes it is best to just say NO...

no...because if you do it, no one else learns to do it

no...because part of ministry is to equip others to take over -- so you become the resource/advice person

no...because others will only gain an appreciation for what you do when you don't do it.

no...because you too need ministry done for you not just by you


ah, the lament of the "Martha"s....and I'm a "Martha" too ---

so hard to learn to be like Mary instead of being martha busy in the kitchen.


rest, take time to sit at Christs feet.

+ His blessings to you +

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imartsy Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 5:04pm
post #21 of 36

Totally agree w/ Doug - especially the Martha/ Mary part - I'm a total Martha!!!

I agree you should just pray about it. Does the church know your income situation? Is anyone helping?

Does your church do small groups? Like 6-10 people who get together outside of church for deeper Bible study? You need a support group. Sometimes the church as a whole can't take care of all of its members individually and it needs the members to help each other too. I'm trying to join one at my church right now. My parents have almost always been in one and its great to have a smaller church family within the larger one (and your church doesn't sound very small).

Anyway - I'll say a prayer for God's guidance. Maybe you just need to let someone know that you are feeling taking advantage of - maybe the church leaders just don't realize that they are treating people like that and maybe other people in the church are feeling that way too - that's not good for the church as a family. Good luck and God be with you!

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leta Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 6:46pm
post #22 of 36

Accept it: You have a wonderful church home. A wonderful pastor. You are a wonderful person.

If you want to make a cake as a gift, make a cake as a gift.

If you need to get paid for your talents and labor, do cakes for those who are willing and able to pay for it. Don't bemoan the fact that the people you would love to grace with a cake don't want to pay you. Your friendships certainly don't hinge on that. You'll continue to love them and continue to make cakes for immediate family and paying customers.

We know you would put a lot more into the cake than Costco, Walmart, whoever. But it takes something out of you also.

Bring your hostess talents to the front and serve up the cake. It's not about you, it's about your pastor and your church family. Have a nice time.

Stand firm about not doing cakes without pay. You can't afford to do it anymore. You will find people and people will find you who will want what you've got.

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puzzlegut Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 9:10pm
post #23 of 36

You said they are going to buy 2 sheet cakes (50 servings each)? That's only 100 servings. What are they going to do with the 100 other people?

I also agree with some of the other people on here that $25,000 is rather exorbidant (sp?). Why couldn't they just do a gift certificate to a store or a nice restaurant? If your pastor does feel uncomfortable about the money, then hopefully he won't keep it and instead donate it to charity or give it back to the community.

Just like what some of the other people on here said, you could donate a small simple cake. That way, people can compare the cakes and see how much better your cake looks and tastes and maybe next time they'll order from you.

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SweetConfectionsChef Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 11:33pm
post #24 of 36

I run into this kind of problem more often than I care to admit. People really don't understand what it takes to make a cake. Beyond that...small business CAN NOT compete with places like Walmart & HEB. When I have someone come into my bakery and say "well, I can get a 1/2 sheet at Walmart for $27" my response is "well, who can compete with Walmart? They are the cheapo depo! Would you buy a Jaguar at a Kia dealership?" Most people are out for a good deal...especially with the high prices of everything...but there are some things that shouldn't be skimped on. CAKE is one of them!!!! icon_wink.gif

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oceanspitfire Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 12:54am
post #25 of 36

Plenty of different points to make/respond to.
Sorry you have to go through this frustrating business.

I find merit with most of the points made, but for now I will just say this:

'Remember, your knowledge and talent are valuable. Don't be afraid to ask for what you believe you are worth. Of course, everything in life is negotiable, but don't sell yourself short.

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all4cake Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 1:21am
post #26 of 36

I think it's a wonderful thing if ya'll were able to raise that much money to give to the pastor as a gift. If he gets upset, surely it will be put to use in a Godly manner.

What got me buggy was that they wouldn't consider giving him 24,750...and too, why they would consider giving the money(my math ain't so good...but I figured 125) to a grocery store that doesn't put that personal touch to their cakes instead of helping one of their own parishioners.

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da_goof Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 1:24am
post #27 of 36

Well be glade your not in the church i was in. The pastors wife ask me to do a cake for a big thing we we were going to have and i told her that the church was going to have to buy the stuff for me sence i had just lost my job and could not afford it. well She went on to say it was my oblogation to do it for the church, i told here sorry i can not afford the stuff to make it so she went on to say that i was selfish, rude and into my self and all i wanted out of it was money. well I did not make the cake and sence have found a new church. They have sence left the church because we did not give them enough money.

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JulieB Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 1:54am
post #28 of 36

Well, first thing I would say is if you can't do it, say no.

But really, I would pray about it. Just ask God what He wants you to do. He'll tell you.

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mmdd Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 2:16am
post #29 of 36

I can sympathize! I've lost many customers to walmart who seems to do it for atleast half of what I charge...if not more!!!

Dealing with a church is sometimes a sticky situation. I'm just getting back into church after being out for 10 years!!! So, I really don't know what'd I'd do.

But.....be glad, I guess, that they did come to your face, look you in the eye (hopefully) and were upfront & honest about it; and didn't make you wait until the last min. wondering if you were gonna do it or not.

There will be other cake orders!!

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aligotmatt Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 2:43am
post #30 of 36

I think you should say no to doing the cake, quickly and simply and just leave it at that. You've obviously done a lot for your church, but people tend to mistake priorities in their church role and if you need to reiterate it to your church, you should. First, your personal relationship with God. Second, your husband. Third, your children. Fourth, your ministry (childrens church, making cakes...). I think it's SO easy to confuse 1 and 4, and while 4 is still giving TO God, it's not to substitute. If making the cake (ministering to your church) is going to get in the way of providing for your children, you HAVE to say no. Additionally, I think you should talk to your church about taking some time to step back and focus more on your relationship with God for a while, if they can't accept that then you may need to look elsewhere.

ETA: About the pastors gift - I think it's a lot, but if they're anything like my pastor and wife, they could REALLY use the money. The people that put that together may know about a need they have for a new vehicle or something. I know my pastors wife uses second hand homeschool books for her kids and I'm sure they could use money other places too.

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