Friends, the following is a press release from Channing Church, one of the congregations in my district. If your congregation is a member of the Ballou Channing District and has news you’d like me to help promote via this blog, please email me your ready to post press release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Channing Church * Newport, RI
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Make a difference in the city of Newport. That’s the challenge members and friends of Channing Memorial Church were given, as envelopes of money were distributed to everyone attending the April 11 Sunday service. According to Rev. Amy Freedman, “The purpose of Channing is to be a caring church family that works together to make the world a better place.”
The initiative, named “Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” grew out of a desire to involve the congregation in deciding how best to distribute a bequest designated to serve the poor and needy of Newport. Using a small portion of the bequest, the church’s Social Action Committee organized the distribution of $5,000, divided at random into amounts ranging from $20 to $500.
Each envelope was numbered and tagged with a slip of paper on which the matching number was written. Recipients were asked to write their name on the tags, which were then collected and recorded. The goal of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” is to encourage creative thinking about ways to make positive change in our city of Newport. The choice of what to do with the money is up to the individual. Some recipients may decide to donate individually, and others may choose to pool their money to make a larger gift.
Parents are encouraged to help their children think about the idea of making a difference in the world, and organize a family project around deciding where to make their donation. Six weeks after the surprise “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” distribution, Channing members and friends will have the opportunity to reveal their choices.
On May 23, the church will host a celebration, where those who wish may share their experiences, and talk about how, or whether, the experience of giving has affected them.