Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mother's Day and Bread for the World's 2015 Offering of Letters

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
There are symbolic advantages of holding an Offering of Letters on Mother's Day, especially when the theme of the letter-writing campaign centers on child nutrition, as is the case this year with Feed Our Children.

One drawback of holding an Offering of Letters on Mother's Day is that some families are anxious to take mom out to brunch and might not stick around to write a letter.

The Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ has found a solution to this problem. The church plans to invite all members of  the congregation and visitors to see its Offering of Letters event as a gift to their own mothers — and as a way to honor or to remember them. The church will encourage participation by making available preprinted Mother’s Day cards for honorees. The cards will say: In your honor, a letter was sent to the President of the United States and to my elected legislators to encourage that all mothers will have enough food to feed their children. Happy Mother’s Day!   Read more in the Bread blog.

Cards to Congress in Appleton
Beth Lepinski, a Bread member in Appleton, Wisconsin, is also incorporating Mother's Day into the bulletin insert and sample letters she and her team will be using for the Offering of Letters at Memorial Presbyterian Church. She borrowed the format from the Bread teams in Minneapolis-St. Paul and Sioux Falls, South Dakota to create the bulletin insert, including the note about the Mother's Day card. However, the Mother's Day theme has already been part of the activities leading to the church's Offering of Letters, scheduled for next Sunday, May 3.

"I collected about 100 varied blank note cards, mostly with flowers and birds and butterflies, suitable for Mother's Day," said Lepinski."I led an adult ed. class on the OL topic on April 12 and 19. This was attended by about a dozen people. At the end of the session on the 19th I asked class members to write Mother's Day notes to Congress on the notecards, and collected them in a decorated basket."

Other members of  the congregation were informed about the Mother's Day theme for this year's Offering of Letters in the bulletin inserts that came with the weekly bulletins on April 19 and 26.  There was also a note in the bulletin itself explaining about the cards and collection basket. "The decorated basket for collecting completed cards is on a table in the narthex with a basket full of more blank notecards, April 19 and 26. Some people are taking cards to write at home," said Lepinski.

There will also be an activity geared toward the young people of  the church. "On May 2 there is a Youth lock-in at the church and I will spend some time with them talking about the OL and asking them to write cards," said Lepinski. " As a service project, they will also help me with the task of putting blank cards and envelopes, bulletin inserts and pens in the pew racks ready for Sunday morning, May 3.".

"Following the Youth lock-in, and right after the worship service, is the youth Pancake Breakfast fundraiser for their Mission Trip. I will set up a table during that with the basket, cards pens, and information for people to finish and collect the cards, to be mailed May 4."
Sample letter to Rep. Red Ribble, Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Sen. Ron Johnson

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