Crummy Pizza Leads to Generosity
Natasha just got the surprise of her life.
I admit it. I’m kind of a pizza snob – meaning that I do not like to eat cardboard. It’s true and if that offends you, I am truly sorry. Please, continue to enjoy your cardboard.
On the other hand, I am a sap for heart-warming stories. I can cry at the sight of puppies, babies, and after seeing a good romantic gum commercial. I like anything that warms my heart, because sometimes my heart can be pretty darned cold and it needs a little heating up now and again.
Enter the melding of the two: cardboard pizza and a heartwarming story about generosity.
Just this morning I was reading the newspaper when this story caught my eye, “Church Congregation Gives Pizza Driver $1k Tip”
You read that correctly. For the past month, Sycamore Creek Church in Pinkerton, Ohio has been talking about being generous through “random acts of kindness.” In an effort to put all that talk into action, the congregation collected money from its three worship services for a tip. You can imagine - $1 here, 50 cents there, and maybe the occasional $5 bill.
On Sunday morning, they ordered a pizza. The Dominoes driver, Natasha, gamely came up on stage to deliver the goods to Pastor Steve Markle. At first he gave her a $9 tip (not too bad on a $5.99 pizza). He then told her about a gift the congregation had for her – a whopping $1,046. You can only imagine her reaction. She sobbed, Pastor Markle gave her a hug, prayed for her, and gave her another hug. See how it all played out right here.
Here’s why this was great:
- No one knew if Natasha really “deserved” the money. Just like Jesus’ love for us, there was no litmus test.
- The congregation recognized someone who is often overlooked. In our society, one of the worst jobs to have must be a pizza deliverer. It can be dangerous, people can be dismissive, and Lord knows it doesn’t pay much.
- Everyone giving a little made a big difference.
- They prayed for the recipient of the gift. The church was true to itself and offered Natasha a blessing in addition to a financial surprise.
Last Sunday morning everyone at Sycamore Creek Church learned that generosity in action pays off in big dividends. I’m guessing that women, men, and children in that congregation continue to look for ways to bless people in their community through random acts of kindness – and the ripple effect of their generosity is now inspiring others throughout the country.
Yes, I will forgive Sycamore Creek for ordering cardboard pizza…and will I give thanks that they provided a wonderful, creative example of generosity in action.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2.5 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She's still trying to find a pizza commercial she can cry over. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation; she is available to consult with churches in Oregon and Idaho. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.