Culture At Large

Here's Your Friday Feel Good Story

Chris Salzman

I love it when people take the Bible seriously:

The challenge began in April. The Rev. Jeff Greenway used $67,000 loaned by some church families and distributed $50 to adults and $10 to children, challenging them to use their talents to turn the money into something larger.

The $117,500 ultimately collected was enough to repay the families who provided the startup money, while generating $50,500 more for charity. That amount is being divided and distributed to four causes to help people locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.


At the Reynoldsburg church in April, congregant Karen Howald sat and listened, and accepted the $50 inside an envelope.

"The thing that ran through my mind was, 'The only thing I can do at my age is make a pie,' " the 81-year-old recalled this week.

So the pie lady, as she is known, got to work in her kitchen, making the crust by hand, as she always does, and baking 58 pies, which she sold for $10 each. She wound up donating $500, after she kept $80 for her expenses. Her blackberry pies were the most popular.

So many congregants came up with so many products that the church held a bazaar every Wednesday night.

There, services including financial consulting, golf caddying and calligraphy were up for sale. So were products such as homemade chicken pot pies, hand-knit baby hats and painted birdhouses.

A churchwide yard sale brought in thousands of dollars more, as church members sold clothes, toys and housewares, said Dave Stoffel, who organized it.

For Stoffel, who has belonged to the church for 12 years, the fun and rewarding part of the pastor's challenge was watching people dream up ways to raise money and learning the congregation's talents.

"It was so neat to see people proud of what they had made," Stoffel said this week. "It really gave the congregation a chance to really be involved with each other."

Has your church ever done anything like this before?

[ht: Church Marketing Sucks]

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