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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Goat incentive

Congregation uses 'Good Gifts' as Lenten discipline

Perhaps it was the goats in the narthex that did it. Epiphany Lutheran Church, Centerville (Dayton), Ohio, used the ELCA Good Gifts catalog as its Lenten mission project last year.

The catalog is used year-round by congregations and groups, such as Sunday school students. At Christmastime it's a popular tool for giving. Epiphany's use of the catalog during Lent is testament to the possibilities of its use during that season.

In a clever marketing move, the planning committee had several goats in the narthex one Sunday during Lent. They also sent catalogs to every family in the congregation with the challenge to sponsor 300 Good Gifts.

Members went beyond that goal by sponsoring 379 gifts, including $2,500 to dig an entire well for a village (with the help of Lenten soup supper offerings). But the most popular gift was a $50 goat. Members sponsored 56 of them.


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