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The Reverend Rick Warrren, who campaigned for the passage of California's antigay Proposition 8, has received $2.4 million in donations after making an end-of-the year plea to parishioners to help fill a gap in his Southern California megachurch's budget. On Saturday, Warren announced at his Saddleback Church that all the money had come from individual donations of less than $100.
"We're starting the new decade with a surplus," he said. "It came from thousands of ordinary people. This was not one big fat cat."
Warren posted a plea for money on his website on December 30. "With 10% of our church family out of work due to the recession, our expenses in caring for our community in 2009 rose dramatically while our income stagnated," he wrote. "Still, with wise management, we've stayed close to our budget all year. Then ... this last weekend the bottom dropped out."
The weekly offering was less than half of a typical offering, leaving the church $900,000 in the hole for 2009. However, he followed up on his blog that the gap is not due to mismanagement of funds.
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