Put it in the books, Boone UMC’s 35th Annual Fall Bazaar is done for another year. As always, it represents a great deal of work by hundreds of volunteers. And as always, it was another opportunity to bring joy to the hundreds of shoppers that come looking for treasurers or for much needed items that come at an affordable price. I call it a Win, Win, Win. An event that brings our church folks together for a good cause, an opportunity to help meet some needs in the community by providing affordable shopping for a ride range of items both basic needs and guilty pleasures, and an opportunity to raise funds to support great ministries both in our community and for our church. Some of the ministries that we will be sharing our proceeds with include Western Youth Network, Kari’s Home for Women, and Hebron Colony. Oh and by the way, we raised a gross $55,500! That is amazing considering the average price on the items sold is only a few dollars.
As a pastor, it is so exciting to watch the lay persons display such servant’s hearts by helping to set up and organize the bazaar in a one week period. It is a sight to behold! You would think these folks all work retail and are experts! But they aren’t. They are just willing to roll up their sleeves, donate a large chunk of their time, and enjoy working side by side one another pricing and organizing the merchandise. Friends that connect so intensely for this week once a year. If it weren’t so much hard work, how I long for that spirit and “can do” attitude the 51 other weeks of the year after the Bazaar is over. I see our church family successfully work together for a common good cause enjoying getting to know each other better as the week progresses. I call this a WIN for our church family.
The other joy for me was standing at the door and greeting all of the shoppers that were lined up at the door by 7:30 AM Friday morning. As I offered directions to various shopping departments or to the restrooms or to the gym for breakfast I saw the joy on the faces of those who came looking for good deals, unexpected finds, and new items to either wear or adorn their homes. After watching some folks circle our property for the third time still smiling and itching to spend the rest of the dollars during a hole in their pocket. The patient spouses who would finally sit in the lobby waiting to see their wives circle back through the lobby asking me questions about the church and how we prepare for the sale. Smiling while I held the door open for the folks making a trip to their car to drop off their shopping so their hands would be free to search for more treasurers. Again, a WIN for our shoppers.
And then finally, as we split the funds between missions in the community that support men dealing with addiction, women also dealing with addiction and supporting the youth in our community by nurturing and supporting them in positive and healthy ways. It feels good to be able to offer finical resources to organizations we know are supporting our community in ways we could not. We are grateful for their service. We will also use some of the funds to help support some capital needs that have been postponed when our dollars have gotten tight this year. When I see how much our building gets used far beyond our church ministries 7 days a week from organizations outside our church wall, I am thrilled that we have the chance to improve the facilities that we so gladly open up for others to use. This is a WIN for missional and ministry support.
I celebrate a job well done by new leaders who stepped up to head this ginormous project. I am grateful for the success after the last Silent Auction item is picked up and the signs and supplies are put away and the storage pod is packed up and locked up for another year! And I look forward to using my new bird feeder and pulling out the light up Christmas decoration that I purchased! I will smile and think fondly of Fall Bazaar 2019.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Lory Beth