FUMC Santa Rosa Calendar Supports Youth
Three years ago, the Coordinator of Youth Ministries at First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa, Cassandra Lawrence, was seeking a new way to raise funds for Sonoma County United Methodist Youth (affectionately known as "SCUMY"). The program was growing and the need for camp and trip scholarships was growing, as well. The old ways of doing fundraisers were not up to the challenge: A fresh approach was needed.
An idea began to germinate when Lawrence saw photographs taken by FUMC Santa Rosa's senior pastor, Greg Bergquist, in the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. They'd be great for a calendar, she thought.
She took the idea to Bergquist. If they created a calendar themselves, Bergquist and Lawrence would be able to retain control of the content, while the profits would remain in house. They decided to give it a try.
They used Bergquist's photographs, and Bergquist and Lawrence collaborated on the calendar design, and selection of quotes and verses. The project was a success!
While the idea for the calendar was born of a need to support youth, the project has had another benefit. Impressed by the professional quality of the calendar, church members purchase them every year as gifts for friends, neighbors, family, and co-workers – making the calendar a way for the church to connect with the community, as people read the carefully-chosen quotes and look at the beautiful photographs.
"The quotes remind me of God's love for me and [for] everyone I meet," Lawrence says. They also remind me of the hope that God has for us as humanity, to care for each other and love each other."
This year, the Bergquist-Lawrence team has designed another beautiful calendar full of inspiring quotes, thought-provoking Bible verses, and stunning photographs – several of which (including the cover photo) were taken during the recent trip to Fiji led by Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr.
The 2012 calendars are available at FUMC Santa Rosa every Sunday after worship, from the church office, and on line. The $15 purchase price supports scholarships for youth and college students, to enable them to attend church camps and participate in mission trips.
"Our goal in the next three years is to support any youth who wishes to attend camp and to reduce the cost of our fall and winter retreats for every youth," Lawrence says.