Stocking Church Supplies Outside the Budget

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Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Berwyn, Ill., supports a lot of ministry: from providing family meals to free lunches for children, from hosting a men’s basketball group to a horticulture group. But while the church, located less than 10 minutes from Chicago, provides nourishment for its neighbors, the building uses provisions as well. So Ebenezer asked for help.

“Donations needed,” read an announcement on Ebenezer’s website. “In order to cut costs, we are asking for donations from the congregation for basic supplies we use.” Materials like dish soap, paper towels, plastic forks and spoons, and toilet paper have all been donated by congregants. “We began this in mid-December 2014,” said Dave Bakker, one of the church’s elders and clerk of the council. “To date, around $500 worth of supplies have been donated.”

The church has addressed declining donations in various ways. “We regularly talk about stewardship from the pulpit,” Bakker explained. “The church has also been consulting with a representative of Christian Reformed Home Missions regarding cost-cutting measures.”

Ebenezer is on the lookout for fundraising and grant opportunities as well. In April, the church hosted a “Taste of Ebenezer” fundraising event to highlight the church’s various ministries. “Members, [other] local congregations, and friends of the church are invited to learn how their support can help maintain the strength and efficiency of that work,” Bakker said.

As the church continues to reach out, it does so in the confidence that God will provide. Its website states: “We must rest on the condition that each day, each month, each season, and each year are under God’s hand.”

About the Author

Callie Feyen is a writer living in Ann Arbor, Mich. She attends First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor. Callie writes news for The Banner and contributes to Coffee+Crumbs, and T.S. Poetry Press. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is the author of The Teacher Diaries: Romeo and Juliet, and Twirl: My Life in Stories, Writing, & Clothes.

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