April 2, 2013

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Judges 4:17-23; 5:24-31a
Revelation 12:1-12

The Rev. Gary Rarick, Christian Church UCC, Plainville, NY wasn't concerned with growing the money to bring back into the church – he was more concerned with his members trying to think of creative ways to use the money to make a difference in their communities. As a young pastor celebrating his one-year anniversary at his first church out of seminary, Rarick's goal was to do something different and memorable. But first he needed to get his congregation on board.

"No one made a sound or moved – a bomb could have been dropped outside and no one would have moved," Rarick said of the announcement. "Everyone was stunned and I was actually pretty nervous."
While some are still figuring out what to do with it, other members used their money in a variety of different ways. A few simply added it to their weekly offering and gave it back to the church or the youth group. One woman took the $20 to buy ingredients for pumpkin rolls and pies to sell and has since quadrupled the funds. Three young sisters pooled their money together and bought school supplies for needy children. An enterprising young woman garnered more donations from family and her employer and donated the total to a local nonprofit. Still others gave their money to the local food bank or the Meals on Wheels program.

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