The offering time is as important as the sermon. Often someone will give a testimony and Scripture on the theme of giving.
The pastor often asks one of the ushers to pray, to bless the givers and also that those who are not giving may be blessed to give.
Sometimes the ushers take the baskets around, and at other times members come up to the front to put their offering into a basket. In many places, the people sing and dance because giving is accompanied with much joy.
MWC invites a special offering to be taken for the global Anabaptist church community on Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday. One way to think about this offering is to invite every member to contribute the value of one lunch in their own community to support the networks and resources of our global Anabaptist church family. Sacrificing one lunch is our humble way of giving thanks to God, and supporting the on-going ministry of God through the church.
This gift of “one lunch” per person once a year is something that all MWC members can do. Some people have resources to give much more than this, and should be encouraged to do so. Others with more scarce resources might be encouraged to hear that the Executive Committee of the Mennonite World Conference, with members from every continent, is confident that most adults all around the world can give the equivalent of one lunch per year for the work of the global church.
Here are some ideas on how to plan for an offering in your congregation.
- Plan for One Lunch offerings to be given in a special basket at the front, or culturally appropriate lunch containers during the worship service.
- Plan for a shared congregational meal together before or after worship on Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday
- This could be “potluck”, with each family bringing big dishes of food to share, including an offering basket for MWC with the meal.
- Each family could bring a prepared packed lunch. These packed lunches are then available for auction or for purchase or donation to take home or eat together after worship.
- Plan for a time of shared fasting and praying for the global church during a mealtime before or after worship on Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday, and include an offering for MWC during that time, for at least the value of the meal that is not being eaten.
Funds that are gathered through this special offering in each congregation can be sent directly to Mennonite World Conference (find ways to give at mwc-cmm.org/donate). Or, these funds can be sent to your national church office, clearly designated for Mennonite World Conference and indicated as an Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday offering. You can ask that they pass the funds on to MWC.