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Feb8WedFour ministry units get creative in support of Partners in Mission. February 8, 2017
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Pack Your Bags
At Westminster Park Corps in London, Ont., Captains Jon and Tracy Savage, then the corps officers, encouraged the congregation to raise funds for Partners in Mission by “buying” items to take on a trip to the partner territory.
“We decided to use the fact that these were destinations for tourism, and yet there is such poverty and hardship,” says Captain Tracy Savage. “We showed the videos and focused on how little it takes to support other communities.”
They divided the congregation into three teams of 50-60 people, and placed three suitcases at the front of the sanctuary. For six weeks, they set aside a time during the Sunday morning service to cheer on the teams and give a fundraising update.
“At the end of the service, the teams would gather as a group and choose what to add to their suitcase. Each item was assigned a cost, such as 'passport—$80,' 'camera—$120,' ” she says.
Along with regular weekly donations to Partners in Mission, they reached their goal of $3,600.
Building God's Kingdom
In 2016, the Partners in Mission campaign at Conception Bay South Corps, N.L., focused on “building God's kingdom” (see 1 Corinthians 3:7-9).
To illustrate this theme, they placed a growth chart on the wall in the sanctuary. “For every $25 raised, we placed a colourful building block beside it, to symbolize that together, as partners in mission and ministry, we are doing our part to help build God's kingdom,” says Claudette Hillier, assistant corps sergeant-major. Children were encouraged to participate by collecting money in “Lego” blocks created out of juice containers. By the end of the eight-week campaign, there were 576 blocks on the wall.
In addition, the home league held a sale; the 50-plus club donated a portion of the proceeds from their annual breakfast; and the men's fellowship hosted a gospel concert and took up a free-will offering.
When the grand total was announced, they had raised $14,400. “When our people see and hear the need that is before them, they want to help—to be God's hand extended,” says Hillier.
Tape the Pastor
What are the ingredients of a successful Partners in Mission campaign? According to Cornerstone Community Church in Mississauga, Ont., they are “to make it different, make it fun and engage everyone—from young to seniors,” says Caroline Bell-Tiberio, who co-ordinates family services at the corps. “We decided to have each ministry department come up with a unique idea to raise funds, and they all participated with passion and enthusiasm.”
The corps spread their fundraising activities over several months, from February to June, to give each event breathing room. Initiatives included a bake sale, chili dinner and auction (where two homemade carrot cakes generated a bidding frenzy), a multicultural tasting buffet, toonie tins and a prayer breakfast. But the funniest event was a challenge from Captain Jeff Arkell, then the corps officer.
“He challenged the congregation to try to tape him to the wall,” says Bell-Tiberio. “A strip of duct tape could be purchased for $2. Captain Arkell is not a gentleman of slight stature, but the challenge was met!”
They were proud to surpass their goal of $7,030, raising $8,596.
For 11 years, divisional headquarters in the Alberta and Northern Territories Division has supported the Partners in Mission campaign through coin wars.
From February to April, everyone is divided into four teams. “Last year, our theme was 'global impact,' and the teams were named after continents: South America, Europe, Africa and Asia,” says Leslie Stuart, charitable gift advisor in the public relations and development department, who leads the initiative.
Each team decorated a space to illustrate the work of the Army on that continent, and hosted meals and activities related to their theme, such as a silent auction, colouring contest, pancake breakfast and selling homemade perogies.
“Despite the heated competition, we all support each other,” says Stuart. Last year, they raised $5,739 for the international work of the Army.