Like many churches in the Massachusetts Conference, Second Congregational Church of Attleboro had a desire to help others in their community. This past year, however, members wanted to take their mission outside their local area.
With a suggestion from a member who had worked with the Maine Sea Coast Mission decades before, the church decided they would head "Down East" to help repair homes in the very poor, economically disadvantaged communities.
The Maine Sea Coast Mission provides spiritual, health, and youth development programs in coastal and island communities from mid-coast to Downeast Maine. As written on their website: "Rooted in a history of non-denominational service, the Mission offers hope, encouragement and help to strengthen individuals, families and communities."
"This mission trip is a manner we can extend beyond our local community," said Dianne Ordog, the church clerk. "We recently became ONA so we are trying to become more of an outward-reaching church. This was one way we could go beyond our own walls."
Now that the church had a willing group of people and a place to do their work, they needed $7,000 to get them there.
Joe Ordog, a member of the Christian Education committee, explained that they thought a visual representation of their goal would help people donate, so they created a giant poster. This poster was not the usual elementary school presentation board, though. The group created a scene of the crumbling communities they would be helping. They interspersed bible verses among the photos, and then they covered up the whole poster with 4x6 cards - like paper bricks.
Mimicking many large-scale community building projects, members were then invited to "Buy a Brick." The person then got to remove the brick and reveal more of the scene beneath. If you bought a brick you would receive a small hammer (silver for $25, gold for $50 or more).
Those bricks added up. The group surpassed their goal and are looking to add a few more people to their mission group.
"Part of our charge is to build discipleship," said Joe. "So building our community by helping to build a community for others who don't have the resources really makes sense."
Attleboro's Buy-a-Brick program created the foundation they needed to bring their spirit beyond their own neighborhood.
Dianne and Joe Ordog can be reached at the church office at 508-222-4677 or email@example.com.