Church tea and bake sale strengthens community ties

Matt Gardner
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A tea and bake sale that took place at Cornerstone Free Methodist Church on Saturday originally grew out of the need to raise funds for a new video projector.

Members of the Cornerstone Free Methodist Church congregation pose for a group shot during a tea and bake sale that took place at the church on Saturday. Pastor Daniel Graham is standing at the far left. The cake on the table was the subject of an auction.

While the church did earn its share of revenue from the bake sale, it also gained something more profound -- a deeper bond between church members and closer ties with the wider community.

“People from the community come in and get some baked goods and that, and then they get to meet some of the people from our church,” Pastor Daniel Graham said.

“It’s good for a church to do projects together,” he added. “It’s good for a community.”

The bake sale began inauspiciously with the realization that the church needed a new video projector.

Aside from playing video clips and projecting the lyrics for songs sung by the congregation, Graham uses the projector to display PowerPoint slides in his sermons.

Polling the congregation, church members decided to do some fundraising in-house.

“Then one of our congregants said, ‘Well, what if we turn it into a larger fundraiser and did a bake sale for the community?’ … (We) said, ‘Well, that’d be a great idea,’ and so it sort of snowballed from there,” Graham recalled.

“We organized a bake sale and then some people said, ‘Well, I’ve got some crafts I can contribute,’ and so that happened, and then they said, ‘Well, maybe we should do a little tea and dessert too,’ and so we got a little tea room set up in the back.

People from the community come in and get some baked goods and that, and then they get to meet some of the people from our church. Pastor Daniel Graham

“So it was a small idea that turned bigger and bigger.”

The event marked the first time the church organized a fundraiser for its own needs.

In the past it had largely organized fundraisers for outside purposes.

“Where we can be helpful out in the community, we try and do that in lots of different ways,” Graham said.

Estimating the cost of a new projector as anywhere between $600 and $1,000, he noted that while the congregation hoped to raise the necessary funds from the weekend bake sale, “there are a lot of other benefits of doing something like this together too.”

With church members inviting friends and neighbours and a community-wide poster campaign publicizing the event, Graham indicated that his congregation was very pleased with the final turnout.

“We’re just really grateful for all the people from the community that come out to support and grateful for all the people … that have contributed baking and time and volunteer time for our bake sale.”

Organizations: PowerPoint

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