Our hope is that we can convince everyone to do three things over the coming few weeks.
There is this great line in scripture from the book of Isaiah. The phrase simply says “Learn to DO RIGHT.” The verse goes on to explain that to do right is to work for justice, to help the down-and-out. To stand for the homeless, the widowed and the orphaned.
That verse, of course, is one of thousands of passages in the scriptures that tell us that living missionally is required of us. As Christians, involvement in missions is not optional. It’s part of the job description.
But the problem with missions sometimes is that it can be likened to eating a 500 pound cupcake. It’s something you are excited about digging into, but you might not know where to begin!
Enter the Mission Meal.
A Mission Meal is 6 (or more) people eating together. You take the initiative. You pull it together, inviting whoever you want, and gathering wherever or whenever you want.
You could invite folks over to your home and prepare them a beautifully fancy five course meal. Or you could invite folks over to your backyard for Kool-aid and Pop Tarts. A group could walk over right after a worship service and have lunch together in the cafeteria at The Waters. You could organize a group at your cabin to have s’mores around the campfire. The Twin Cities have approximately 17 billion restaurants. Draw one out of a hat. Choose one that has counter service so it’s convenient to go dutch. It’s entirely your choice and your initiative!
While you are enjoying your meal together, the conversation will flow.
We’ve created Mission Meal packets and each packet contains a brochure for 5 of Colonial’s highlighted mission partners. These 5 brochures are simply material to spark your conversations and get you talking about missions.
You’ll learn something about our mission partners, sure, but you’ll also learn something about each other, because there are also some included sample questions in the packet that will further facilitate conversation and help folks better get to know one another.
If you are newer to the Colonial community, then it’s a great chance to get to know some other people. Then there are some of us who can sit in the same pew with others for 20 years and never get to know the things they are passionate about, or the important things they are engaged in or care about.
Let’s fix that! Eating together and talking about things that matter makes us a stronger community and a better church.
Each person is also asked to give $25. There is an envelop in each Mission Meal packet. At the beginning of the meal, before the conversation has even picked up steam, each person should drop their $25 into the envelop.
At the end of the meal the group will pool that money and collectively choose one mission to give it to. Each meal should have at least 6 people, but let’s pretend for sake of illustration that you have 8 at yours. $25 X 8 is $200. Your group would decide by the end of the meal where you want to give that $200. You’d write that mission on your envelop and drop it by the church and we’ll process it, getting it to where it should go.
But wait…there’s even more!
A kind, generous soul gave Colonial a living bequest and designated her gift for mission. This gift has allowed Colonial to give some one-time gifts and do some above-and-beyond things that we normally wouldn’t have been able to do.
If your Mission Meal group chooses to give to one of Colonial’s 5 highlighted missions that are included in the packet, then Colonial will match your gift.
If you have someone in your group that has a personal project they are passionate about and can convince the group to rally around it, then your Mission Meal group can donate to that mission or to whichever mission they choose. That’s great. There is a lot of good stuff out there. Simply write those details on your envelop and I’ll make sure it finds it’s home.
But, if your group decides on one of the 5 highlighted Colonial missions that are included in the packet, then Colonial will match it. A Mission Meal with 6 people X $25 per person would be $150 bucks, then with Colonial’s match it becomes it becomes $300!
Let’s review. Here’s what you do at a Mission Meal:
You eat together.
You share together.
You choose together.
A Mission Meal packet will guide you through it, step-by-step, and there are a limited number still remaining and they can be picked up at the church. You only need one packet per group and those can be picked up in the church office.
The prophet Isaiah says that we should “Learn to do right.” That’s a big task, but we’ll take it one bite at a time. Meanwhile, may we take advantage of every opportunity grow together as a church.