The Gift of Presence
For nearly two weeks, those of us in the Saint Paul Area Synod have been blessed by the presence of ou[...]
"What are other congregations doing to raise awareness and money for Tanzania?" is a question that BKB Cluster Leaders hear quite frequently. In this week's update, Pastor Marty Ericson from Como Park Lutheran Church describes their experience hosting a congregational mission auction. Curious about what such an auction might look like? Be sure to come to the BKB Fall Festival on November 12 to see one version.
Each spring, the Social Missions Committee at Como Park Lutheran Church hosts a dinner, silent auction and live auction event for global and community ministries. Tickets are pre-sold for the dinner, while others arrive just for the auction and games that follow.
Children's games and auction items that children can bid on make this a fun evening for all ages. Congregation members and local businesses provide donated or discounted items, dinners, vacations and events to fill out the silent auction tables and live auction.
The final items auctioned off are "wish-list" items from our companions. People are invited to make donations for construction items, livestock, books, et cetera - typically in units of $5 - 50. This is their chance to 'buy' a sheet of tin for a church roof, a truss for a school, or a chicken, duckling or beehive for an evangelist's family.
The proceeds are distributed outside of the congregation each year to support our companion parish ministries in both Tanzania and Guatemala, as well as local food shelves, youth, women's and homeless ministries. If you haven't considered hosting a dinner, gala, soiree, or mission auction in support of your partner ministries, you may want to give this idea a try. It's a wonderful way to build community and engage the whole congregation in a spirit of mission.
The Rev. Martin R. Ericson, Como Park Lutheran Church & BKB South Central Cluster Leader