Some context: We’ve been working with the theme, ‘Invest Yourself,’ trying to shift the mindset away from consuming church to making church a vehicle for giving ourselves away in service to one another and the larger community.
We’ve had an influx of folks from outside the Episcopal tradition in the past couple of years, most of whom were eager to be active in the church but unsure how. Nobody could recall when in living memory we’d ever had a ministry fair, so we decided to put one together prior to the annual meeting as a way to acquaint our folks with the work that goes on in and through the church. Hence, "Mission Fair" was born.
Still working on that investment theme, we decided to use Monopoly as a way to make it fun and interesting. We set up a life-sized board in the parish hall, with various volunteer roles in place of property cards. We had ministry leaders milling about to answer questions and there was a place on the back of the cards for people to add their contact info if they were interested in learning more.
Just to work the metaphor to death, we added a community chest, with pledge cards asking for small-dollar donations to various needs, and even ‘chance’ cards for folks to fill out if they had their own ideas or didn’t see what they were looking for.
It worked better than I anticipated. We got almost a hundred responses on the volunteer cards (in all about 50 unique individuals signing up to participate) and raised almost $500. Most important, there was a lot of buzz and people were becoming more aware of the ministries of the church.
Rev. J. Michael Matkin
Priest and Curate at Emmanuel Episcopal Church
This story was originally published by The Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, here.