Baldwinsville Just before the offering was collected, the pastor announced that every person in attendance that Sunday would be getting money after church. No matter what age the person, each would be receiving $20.
“When preaching about the parable of the talents, each member of the congregation was given money with the instruction to go out into the community and make a difference,” said Rev. Gary Rarick, pastor of Plainville Christian Church United Church of Christ.
The parable of the talents is a story in the Bible where a landowner gives three slaves a different amount of “talents,” or money, to keep and then bring back to him. Two of the slaves make more money from it to give the landowner even more, while the third buries his money and then gives the landowner back the same amount.
“My interpretation of this passage is showing that we need to use our God-given gifts to go out into the community and make a difference,” Rarick said. “My original idea came when I read about other churches that have done a similar project, all of which requested that the money be returned with more earned. Our goal is not to receive a larger amount back than what we gave away, but to make a difference in as many lives as possible.”
The week Rarick announced the generosity project marked his one-year anniversary of being at Plainville Christian Church. “I think it was a good time to do the project,” said the 28-year-old pastor who graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary in 2011. “I’ve gotten settled in and now it’s time to start making a difference.”
Now each member of the nearly 200-year-old congregation just west of Baldwinsville is charged with the task of using their money to give back to the community.
“It really blew our minds,” said Rich Madden of his family’s reaction. “It’s not a lot of money, but you feel pressure to use it wisely and really make a difference.”