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The Reverend Vern Barnet, DMn
bio page    CRES minister emeritus

My Twilight Situation

Thank you for the compliment of your thinking that I have finanical resources, time, or other ways to honor your worthy request. 

I sometimes think my situation is evident, when it is obviously not. Since either an issue of my time or my finances may puzzle you, here is a clarification, which I ask that you not share without the need to do so. 

The tread on my tire is wearing very thin. I have pressing personal situations, too long postponed. I have completely exhausted my pension/retirement. Except for a small Social Security check, I have virtually no income (compensation for work such as teaching, weddings, and my KCStar column is paid directly to CRES) and minute personal savings and tiny housing allowance account are rapidly disappearing. 

I can no longer can afford a car. I cut my own hair. I seldom go to movies or other events unless the tickets are a gift. I have a rabbit ears antenna (no cable) for a TV given to me. I live well below the poverty line. While people have given me clothes, furnishings, meals, complimentary tickets, and courtesy dental and medical attention -- for which I am exceedingly grateful -- I have to face the fact that my underlying situation must be addressed

I have a 30-year old special needs son who lives with me; he has not worked in years; I need to prepare him for life without me. I am grateful for a modest home which was in part the result of a gift, but it needs substantial repairs. . 

For 25 years I have given my all to promoting interfaith work, and I have no regrets about the personal and career sacrrifices involved. I am delighted with the growing interfaith activities and increasing promise among many organizations in the area. With the successful 2004 transfer from CRES to an independent Interfaith Council, the 2009 conclusion of 25 years of CRES sponsorship of the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Sunday Family Ritual Meal, and the other steps toward refocusing CRES, the obligations I have assumed in this area are ending. 

I'm happy to continue to consult, speak, and write, but as the Council becomes increasingly capacious now with an Executive Director and as  other groups grow, I need to do less networking so that the gifts I might best make through larger writing projects, can be completed before I croak.

So if you have asked me to buy something, to make a contribution, or request a commitment of time from me, please know that while I would want to support your efforts, at this point in the aging process (I'm older than I look! -- thank you!), this is why I decline.  I do wish you the very best.

Vern Barnet