Have Fun! Think and Thank Creatively
B. Varty Bly cetsalem.org
I’ve been watching “Mad Men” this season and those people are seriously messed up. “Mad Men” is about advertising in the 1960s and has now moved to the 70s. No one is happy. For heaven’s sakes, these poor people are wearing 70’s “fashions” which is depressing enough – especially remembering that I once wore puffy-sleeved outfits and dated guys who wore leisure suits. Everyone is drinking hard liquor throughout the day and lives are falling apart. So why am I watching it? That’s an excellent question that I will ask myself again after I watch it next week.
But you my friends do not need to be depressed or sad or wearing odd clothing. And you and I know why: you can be thanking people. Thanking people is the right thing to do and (bonus!) it makes you feel better too.
There are so many ways to thank people – in writing, with a phone call, from the pulpit, or with ice cream. The possibilities are endless.
On April Fools Day a theater group I work with did a fun and quick “thank you” to some of our major donors. We had copies made of an up-close photo of kids in the program. On the back of the photo, high schoolers wrote – “No foolin’! We love our donors. Thank you!” They signed their names, stuffed it in a hand-addressed envelope, and to make it stand out, added a commemorative circus stamp. Done. The response was super. The Executive Director received emails and had people stop him to say “thank you” for the thank you note they received.
How can you make this “thank you” happen in your setting? Here’s what you do:
- Photograph people in your church in action (make sure the picture is clear, preferably up close, and no more than two to three people).
- Take copies of the photo to your Administrative Council (or a facsimile thereof).
- Have Council members write on the back of the photo: “Thanks for your faithful stewardship to our church. You are making a difference. God Bless You!”
- Have them sign their name.
- Address and stamp the envelope.
- Let people feel blessed.
Saying thank you should not be a drag. It should make you happy thinking about the people who are giving out of love for your church and its mission in the world. Be creative. And most importantly, have fun.
Ah, if only the people in “Mad Men” were thanked occasionally, but then again…they’d have to change the name of the show.
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 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. She swears that a non-leisured suited Jon Hamm has nothing to do with her watching "Mad Men." Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. 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.