church was quite some time ago. It was a bit loud — that was the excitement of the children who were going pew to pew with their offering buckets. Yes, it was noisy — that was the sound of all the coins being dumped into the collection buckets; oh, and the children shaking the buckets to hear the sound of clinking coin against coin! If I recall correctly, it was loads of FUN — for the children and the congregants alike. So many smiles on faces as coins/bills were collected and as folks gave generously to fill the buckets!
Well, this special offering is happening once again in our church on August 27, 2023, at the 9:00 am service. The proceeds from this offering are going to benefit the 1st Pres Neighborhood Closet.
But, as I sat and thought of this offering, I wondered how it all began? So, through a bit of research, (sending out the "HELP" SMOKE SIGNAL to 1st Pres folks) I got some background information.
Kierstie let me know that “in the past it has been a fun way for our children to be involved with giving to a specific mission partner. The change hitting the buckets serves as a ‘visual and auditory representation’ of giving with generous and joyful hearts to people and places God has called us to walk alongside.”
Yvette let me know that it was a “fun way for the children to participate in collecting ‘change’ (hence the noise in noisy) for a special project they were supporting”. She also said that the children’s lesson on Sunday, August 27, will be on Matthew 25:40-45 Whatever you did for the least of my children, you have done for me.
Jeannie asked about a tour of the 1st Pres Neighborhood Closet for the children. This could help the children understand how the money collected from the Noisy Offering would support the 1st Pres Neighborhood Closet.
So, during their class time on August 27, the children will be touring the 1st Pres Neighborhood Closet to see the types of new clothing items that will be purchased with the proceeds from the offering. They will get to physically put merchandise on the racks for their peers' shopping experiences.
WOW! What a hands-on way to help children understand scripture.
Over the last several months, the 1st Pres Neighborhood Closet has been mostly providing new clothing to our families. It has been wonderful to hear the comments and excitement on the children’s faces when they enter the Closet and see all the brand, new clothing (with tags attached) they get to choose from.
The following are comments from a few of the children. Most recently, we had a 9-year-old girl come for a shopping experience. Her first reaction was to go to a rack of blue jeans and run her hands along all the tags attached and make a ticker tape noise as she did. It was priceless when she said to her mom, “Look Mom, these are all new!” On another shopping experience, we had an early teen whisper to her younger sister as she picked up a new package of underwear and socks, “This is cool, they’re all new, no one’s worn these!”
This is why we do this! When we serve children and families in a dignified manner, we know we are following the word of God. Matthew 25:40-45, Whatever you did for the least of my children, you have done for me.
Thank you, from the 1st Pres Neighborhood Closet, for supporting children and families with this Noisy Offering.
Blessings, Gina Dingman
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.