At the beginning of Lent, members of Reformation Lutheran Church, Kitchener, ON, set a goal to raise $5,000 for a Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) One Community project by Pentecost Sunday. They made it with a few weeks to spare.
Spearheading the project at Reformation was the congregation’s Honourary Pastor, Rev. Ab Lorch. Reporting to the congregation each week, Ab never revealed how much had been raised to date. Instead, he would use a poster board displaying the various gift items that make up the One Community project to indicate what members’ contributions over the previous week had allowed him to buy. One week it was flocks of chickens and pairs of goats, the next it was teacher training kits.
At the special luncheon held April 18, Pastor Ab reported mission accomplished. Within six weeks, the original goal of $5000 had been exceeded by $1157. This meant that the members would be providing a representative community of 17 households and 100 persons with nine fish nets, 17 fuel-efficient stoves, two teacher training kits, three sacks of seed potatoes, two flocks of chickens, two groves of trees, three bales of CLWR commodities, one medical kit, five pairs of goats, six gardens, one business skills training kit, one bamboo granary, one solar light panel, one water quality testing kit, four cows, and ploughs and a well.
At the luncheon, one member remarked, “This brings tears to my eyes,” while another said “What a great achievement. It feels good to do these things. Perhaps we should have tried to fundraise two communities.”
Aside from donations from individual members, the project received support from the Men’s Breakfast Club, the Wednesday Women’s Work Group, the Youth group with a garage sale, and the local chapter of FaithLife Financial who hosted a special luncheon that received a matching grant of $750.
To find out more about how your congregation can get involved in a One Community project, download the One Community resource package at www.clwr.org.
With notes from Pastor Ab Lorch