What do gold and the bible story of Mina have to do with each other? Well, a lot more than just both being money. Let me tell you all about it!
A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that I went to Gold Party and sold some of my old junky gold. When I say junky, I'm talkin' broken, missing pieces, completely out of style gold jewelry that was sitting in a small snack-size baggie in a drawer. I sold it for $341.00. My sister in law recently sold hers for almost $500.00! I immediately took my "earnings" and bought some Christmas presents with it. I also mentioned in that post that I would be having a gold party myself.
What I have not told you about is this year's Mina Project at my church. Here is a little history of why we do it, what it is and how it's impacted our community. I've talked about it in past years HERE and HERE.
What is the Mina Project?In simplest terms, it is Hope Community Church's radical gesture of generosity to our local community and beyond. It is built on the precept of Jesus’ parable of the minas (pronounced my-na), calling us to multiply and invest in God’s kingdom.
How did it get its name?
In ancient Greece and Asia, a mina was a varying weight or value of money. In Biblical times, five minas were worth about three months wages. We have named this annual undertaking the Mina Project based on Jesus’ parable of the minas as told in Luke 19:11-27, particularly verse 13 as the nobleman charges his servants, “…’Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.” The servants were given the money to invest and work with to see by how much they could increase the amount given to them. Since each was given a relatively small sum, the nobleman’s purpose was not to increase his own worth, but to see which of his servants would be worthy of greater responsibility in his kingdom when he returned. We, of course, understand that Jesus is the nobleman inferred by the parable and we are the servants to whom much has been entrusted on his behalf. It is the work of God’s kingdom that we are to invest in.
How does Hope’s 2009 Mina Project work?
During the weekend services of October 31/November 1, each adult Hope attendee—at both the Raleigh and Holly Springs campuses--received an envelope bearing various amounts of cash ranging in increments of $10-$100. In total, $60,000 was distributed throughout all four services. With eight weeks leading up to Christmas, the congregation is encouraged to be as creative and innovative as possible and use the money to invest in a project or work to raise additional funds. This will allow them to multiply their “minas” to provide aid to someone in need. Then, before Christmas day, they are asked to take their profits and use them to help someone in the community less fortunate then themselves--a family, a single parent, a widow, a non-profit organization, etc.
Mina Project 2008
In August 2008, $50,000 was distributed throughout Hope’s congregation. They were also asked to increase the amount they had been given and then return the donations by October 26, 2008 to benefit a pre-selected list of charitable organizations. From the $50,000 given out, over $400,000 was returned by our congregation for disbursement among the following non-profit organizations: Wake InterFaith Hospitality Network, Raleigh Rescue Mission, Healing Place of Wake County, Alliance of AIDS Services (Carolina), House of Hope, With Love from Jesus, M25 Organization, Urban Hope, Ship of Zion, and the Hope4Haiti Foundation.
Mina Project 20072007 was the first year of Hope’s Mina Project. $35,000 was distributed and that year, congregants were simply asked to give the money away to someone in need. They were encouraged to find ways to multiply the money received before distributing it. Based on the stories and feedback we received, we are confident that over $200,000 was provided to local agencies, ministries, individuals and families in need.
What does one have to do with the other?
I'm glad you asked. I'm having a gold party and just like any in-home party, the hostess gets a certain percentage of the sales of that party. At a gold party, that comes in the form of cash. So, I am donating whatever my party makes to my Mina Project. The best part of it is that the people coming to my gold party do not have to donate a penny of their earnings from their own gold. Unless, of course, they want to.
So, I invite everyone I know to a Christmas Open House, they sell their old gold and make cash to buy Christmas gifts, give to their own charities or mina projects and I raise money for my own mina project which will be given to a family in great need right here in my community. In this city of abundance in which I live, also live more than a few families that are without homes, food and bare necessities to just survive. I hope to help one of those families with my Mina money.
How Do You Get In On This?
If you are local the the Raleigh/Durham area and would like to come to my party - email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you directions. It is not at my home. It is a very central location in Apex and I would love to for you to come, have some treats, make some money and help this very important cause.
By the way, if you want to have your own gold party, my very good friend is the procurer and helps you host these parties. I'd love to pass her name along to you.
Hope to see you there!