Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Most people think of Las Vegas as a city dominated by casinos; however, that is far from the truth. Yes, there are many casinos in Las Vegas; however, a simple check with the Clark County Courthouse will confirm that their are more permits issued by the County Board for churches then there are for casinos.
The large number of casinos throughout Clark County does, however, present a significant problem for the many churches in Las Vegas, regardless of their denomination, because most of the churches receive a large number of casino chips in their collection baskets each Sunday. It seems many of the locals, as well as hundreds of visiting tourists, seem to toss casino chips into the collection plate rather than actual cash as the plate is passed on Sundays.
Consequently many churches, especially the large number of Catholic Churches which dominate much of Nevada, wind up with a wide assortment of colorful chips from various casinos that are scattered throughout the city of Las Vegas and surrounding communities in Clark County that have casinos.
To aid its local parishes in Clark County with this casino chip dilemma, the Bishop of Nevada created a system that seems to work fairly well for all churches in both Las Vegas and the rural churches in Clark County.
Every Monday, all the Catholic churches place all the casino chips they received over the weekend in a bright red bag that has the church name on it. The Archdiocese has assigned one monk from a Franciscan monastery the sole responsibility of driving around to each church and collecting all the red bags of casino chips. This one monk then brings all the red bags back to the monastery where he sorts all the chips by their casinos of origin.
On Wednesday, this one monk takes the monastery's van and travels to all the various casinos on his list so he can cash in the all the chips he has collected.
After this one monk has cashed all the chips in for cash, he deposits all the money received in a special diocesan bank account. When he returns to the monastery, he writes checks for each one of the churches in the amount of the chips they turned in minus a 2% church administrative fee to cover the cost for gas, postage, and maintaining the checking account, etc.
This arrangement, to have only one monk responsible for all the casino chips collected by the Catholic churches, saves all the individual parishes in Las Vegas and Clark County both time and money. It also ensures complete 100% accuracy of funds collected and financial integrity for the entire diocese.
The one monk chosen for this very special "Chip Collection" position is assigned this duty for one year. This position is considered a very privileged position within the Clark County diocese . Not only does this one monk have contact with all the churches in Clark County; he also has the privilege to leave the monastery once each week and visit every one of the air-conditioned casinos in Las Vegas where he has to cash in the chips.
Because this monk's job is totally different than every other monk's job in the monastery, his special position is considered the best job in the monastery and the best job in Clark County, Nevada. Every monk who has been with the monastery for at least four years is eligible to apply for this casino chip position when it comes available each year.
To distinguish this one monk position from all the other monks in the monastery, the Bishop has personally given this monk a special title. The title given to the monk who is responsible for the casino chips is the Chip Monk.
Posted by Gabe Gabrielsen at 1:16 PM