Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

God's work. Our hands.

Bookmark and Share

Letting the community in on the secret

March 5, 2012 05:09 PM

By Tom Brady


Like many parishes, we do many great things at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Baldwin, but we struggle to let our community in on the secret.


Our Evangelism Committee came up with a holiday idea for outreach, designed to appeal to many families that were not familiar with our congregation. For three consecutive Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas, for four hours each day, we allowed parents to drop off their kids (potty trained to 5th grade) while they got some much-needed time to themselves during the stressful holiday season (hopefully, shopping locally). When the dust settled after the last "Drop & Shop," we had served 120 children over the three days. Half of these families had never joined us at St. Peter’s for any worship service or event, but are now receiving invitations to all of our parish life activities.


Gingerbread_croppedUpon arrival, the kids were broken up into age groups to coordinate the appropriate level of each activity. Dozens of rotating volunteers from our parish, including youth group members, helped with childcare. In addition, several local businesses donated their time to entertain the kids: a local fitness center provided fun exercise, a children’s website offered a presentation on ocean ecology, a local author gave story time, a dance teacher warmed up the children with music, and professional jump-ropers performed. The children were both entertained and educated, while the businesses had the opportunity to promote themselves to young families.


Thanks to our volunteers beating the pavement across town, soliciting help, several local businesses donated funds to pay for the snacks and crafts.  All of these businesses were recognized in a local shopping guide we produced, with exclusive donations highlighted for specific crafts, ranging from Lego Christmas trees to Advent wreaths complete with a coloring book to take home, elaborating on the lesson shared during the craft. With the support of so many area merchants, we were able to present this program to the community for free.


While Drop & Shop was always meant for outreach, not fundraising, our committee’s hard work netted donations totaling nearly $1,000. The event was well-received by the participating families, which even led to local newspaper coverage and publicity. Though the positive feedback was gratifying, our biggest joy is that some participants are now attending St. Peter’s!



Connect and Share on Facebook

mnys is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

© 2011 MNYS. All Rights Reserved.

Web site design and development by Americaneagle.com