You just never know what can happen when you have a mission project and add in a dose of a friendly baseball rivalry and turn it loose.
Colona UMC’s mission team conceived an idea last winter of increasing our support for the Colona Food Pantry. Mission team leader, Laura Smith and assisted by Sarah Browning, brought a plan to how best use our spirited enthusiasm for our baseball teams and turn it into a game of providing more resources for the Food Pantry.
The plan was for each item brought and placed on either the Cards or Cubs tables a run would be scored. Included with this, any money contributed would also count. For every dollar given a run would be scored.
A receiving area was set up in our Narthex. Along with that, a big scoreboard was installed so that each week everyone could see which team was in the lead. Talk about igniting some spirited competition!
After the first week of “competition” we were informed the Food Pantry was in great need of peanut butter and jelly because the end of the school year meant children would need extra meals at home. The mission team came up with the idea that for every jar of peanut butter and jelly – each team would be credited with a Grand Slam.
Let me tell you the local grocery stores and Walmart experienced a shortage of peanut butter and jelly on their shelves as we “loaded the bases”, I mean shelves for the Food Pantry. .
After three weeks, we celebrated the winning team at this point in the season. On Pentecost Sunday, everyone was encouraged to attend worship by wearing their team attire. At the close of worship the “winning” team was presented a traveling trophy. We also celebrated during fellowship time enjoying cut-out baseball cookies, bats, cookies that looked like those foam fingers you see at sporting events, along with popcorn and peanuts.
We will conclude this mission project in September when we again recognize the victorious team with the traveling trophy and a potluck that includes the traditional ballpark fare of hotdogs, hamburgers, nacho’s and your favorite drink in the proper team colors.
The true winner in all of our spirited fun is the local Food Pantry especially during the time of year when support is not as great and the need is increased. The Colona Food Pantry supports over 100 area families each month! We are considering doing something similar during the football season.
In case you are wondering, the Cubs took the first round, followed by the Indians (we have a couple stray fans in our midst), and the Cardinals. We’ll just say the Cardinals fans have some work to do. To God Be the Glory!
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Mark E. Horn