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first_img An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Bath, NC Rector Pittsburgh, PA Featured Jobs & Calls The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group [Episcopal News Service] Every organization needs money to carry out its mission. Churches, too, but Christians sometimes have a lackluster spirit when it comes to raising money. Add to that the pride of being in charge, the feeling that you can’t change anything lest the event chairpersons of the past will haunt you, and the unspoken fear that if you don’t raise so many tens of thousands of dollars you’ll disappoint God, your rector, and the entire community, and church fundraisers often have more drama than daytime TV.Let’s be honest: People of faith are lousy at fundraisers.People of faith are good at inspiration, compassion, and celebration, however. That’s what it means to be animated by the Holy Spirit. What if we took our fundraisers and turned them, inside out, into celebrations of ministry? Or opportunities for fellowship? Or a gift to our community? What if we set out to raise fun; fun-raisers instead of fundraisers?Actually, this thought occurred to me at the very moment I needed it. The church I serve in Maryland has a tradition of an annual crab cake dinner. Every year we beg, plead, and drag someone into the role of dinner chairperson. Then, for the next six months of their once blissful life, they fret about beets and crab meat and hear everyone’s opinion about everything else. After it’s all over we wonder why they look so exhausted or why we seldom see their chipper face.Around the time of the annual solicitation, er, cajoling for a chairperson, the parish historian shared with me some anecdotes about crab cake dinners of the past. I read stories about people bringing what they had – farmers bringing chickens, watermen crabs, others produce from their gardens. The week was spent picking crabs (and probably gossiping) and making sure the chickens kept cool hanging in the well. On the appointed day, everyone came and the church charged a nominal fee. At the end of the dinner the kids were taken home, at which point the adults danced and sang, probably accompanied by a few bottles. Some of these stories were told by parishioners who remember, as children, sneaking back to the hall and peeking through the curtain at their moms and dads doing a jig and having a blast.To me, it sounded like fun. Over time, we turned what was a potluck-homecoming-fellowship dinner into an all-you-can-eat fundraiser. Besides the bit about chickens hanging in the well – about which today’s health department would have something to say – I saw no reason why we couldn’t return to the fun and celebration that marked the historic dinners.We ditched the crab cake dinner and started to plan a new (but actually old) Crab Cake Festival. The crab cakes were the same, and we served in boxes a simple but ample dinner – which not only brought down the price but also cut down on the number of required staff, given that we no longer needed table servers. Preparation days were reduced from four to two. Tasks were delegated in advance, which left no one person doing everything. We found local bands, and friends of the parish donated inflatable moon-bounces for the kids and other fun outdoor games. Homemade desserts were offered for rock-bottom prices, and beverages sold for just over cost. All day long people enjoyed food, fellowship, conversation, and fun. By the end of the day, we nearly sold out of crab cakes, and what was leftover was bought by noon on Sunday, ironically making it one of the most successful crab cake dinners in recent memory.Recently, a colleague reminded me of a line from a book I’ve never read but see quoted a lot. In the 1958 novel, Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), the character Tancredi urges his nobleman uncle to support a rising political power: “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” We sold our dinners, raised lots more money than we thought possible, and had fun together, celebrating the gift of Maryland’s finest seafood and the treasure of Christian community under the auspices of the Episcopal Church. People are talking about it with their friends in the congregation and, most likely, with their friends and co-workers who didn’t show up: “That was just a perfect day,” one said. Or: “When we do this again next year, I’d like to…” They say those things with a smile because they’ve experienced, once again, the work of the Holy Spirit in their midst. And they want more.— The Rev. Greg Syler is rector of St. George’s in Valley Lee, Maryland, co-chairs the Collaborative Ministries Exploration Group of Region 6 of the Diocese of Washington. Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ rosalie wieldt says: Rector Martinsville, VA Mary Catherine Day says: Rector Smithfield, NC Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab June 6, 2012 at 1:23 am Thanks for the article. I believe you are “right on”! I will be sending this along to the Fund Raising Committee and Rector at our church in Maryland, St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Baltimore. Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Submit a Job Listing In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group FUNraisers Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem By Greg SylerPosted Jun 5, 2012 Joey Rick says: Jessica Dye says: An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET center_img Comments are closed. June 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm Thank you so very much for writing this and for publishing it! I’m part of a small church in Central Texas and we just had our annual drama/exhaustion fund raising fest, which, thankfully, was at least profitable this year. I’ve sent this article on to my Vicar and our Congregational Development Director, and will present this idea at our upcoming Bishop’s Committee meeting.We definitely need more fun and fellowship in our fest, and with that I think the funds will come on their own. Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Tampa, FL Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Washington, DC Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Director of Music Morristown, NJ Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Press Release Service Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Curate Diocese of Nebraska June 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm what a wonderful story; and from where i was the day before helping out and having the best time with “real people” making crabcakes to the day of the dinner it was an experience i’ll never forget! Rector Collierville, TN Rector Hopkinsville, KY Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Featured Events June 6, 2012 at 6:51 am Bravo, Greg! Way to bring fun and mission together — and to evangelize it for us all to see! Rector Belleville, IL AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Submit a Press Release Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Comments (4) Rector Albany, NY Submit an Event Listing Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Youth Minister Lorton, VA Associate Rector Columbus, GA Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK last_img

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