Help the Work: Send a Card

EDMOND—From the apartments of Europe to the forests of Papua New Guinea to the farmhouses of America to addresses beyond, Church members are yearning to do more to help the work of the Philadelphia Church of God. One way you can help, and might not have thought of, is by writing cards.

Whether you are near or far, young or old, able-bodied or not, alone or not, busy or not, with a tight budget or not, you can help build the Church family and strengthen the Work by writing personal, positive, encouraging greeting cards. simple cards can connect Philadelphians in a special way. Seniors can give their wealth of experience, children can share their wealth of exuberance, and everyone can share his or her sincere thoughts, wishes, hopes, gratitude, and love in a personal and creative way.

All it takes is paper, pen, an envelope, a stamp and a little bit of time.

The time it takes to write and send a greeting card is actually one of the strengths of this method of building the family and supporting the Work. In a society increasingly dominated by electronic messages, receiving a greeting card in your mailbox is all the more special because of its rarity. It means more to the recipient precisely for the reason that it took more time and thought to send. In the Church and in general, many people have an increasing appreciation for things that are handmade, handwritten, tangible and “real.”

Twenty years ago, people found it exciting to get on a computer and find an e-mail waiting for you. Today, it’s exciting to go to the mailbox and find amongst the advertisements, statements and bills a “snail mail” greeting card. Everyone hopes to receive something besides statements, bills and advertisements in the mailbox. The one who makes the difference could be you. It’s a way of give.

Cardmaking has brightened the days of recipients for centuries. Cards and letters sent to soldiers on the front lines have been lifelines of love, meaning and hope. Messages between God’s people have gone on to become parts of the Bible or form part of the Church’s history, as in the cases of letters between Herbert W. Armstrong and his wife, Loma. This special tradition, craft and art can do some things that monetary donations, volunteering and other great forms of helping the Work don’t do in quite the same way. And, as 16th century poet George Herbert wrote, “Good words are worth much, and cost little.”

Ministers who have received e-mails, cards and text messages say that they are “greatly encouraging.” “But a card or letter has a more personal touch,” said United Kingdom Local Elder Colin Hercus, “knowing that they have taken the extra time and effort to do this.” What effect can such a card have? “Serving the Work in any capacity requires sacrifice and service,” he said, “and having that appreciation shown helps you to continue in that service.”

In more than half a dozen sermons over the years, Mr. Flurry has expressed gratitude for cards from members, saying that they show the love of the Family of God and have encouraged him.

The value of a surprise greeting card in the mailbox is in the thought and love of its author. So it can be as simple as a folded piece of paper with a “thinking of you” sentence or two, it can be a simple generic store-bought card, it can be an elegant letterpress card that captures your personality or the personality of the recipient, it can be as elaborate a creation as you can imagine, and it can be anything in between.

The craft of papergoods can develop not only your thoughts and your relationships, but it can also become a fantastic outlet for your creativity, especially if you have a good amount of time and desire to build the family and help the Work. You can find ways to express your thoughts creatively, with unique vocabulary, funny puns, or lines from a poem you found, or wrote yourself. You can write in colored pens or pencils or with a calligrapy pen. You can add a doodle, a pattern or a drawing. You can get really creative with buttons, cutouts, dies, folds, foils, ink stamps, liners, ribbons, sequins, special scissors, stickers, origami, paper varieties and more.

Just make sure your design will fit in your envelope, that it won’t be damaged in the mailstream, and that you affix proper postage. (You can even get creative by selecting or ordering creative postage stamps: try here or here.) The more creativity you pour in, the more generous it is to literally give away your creation. It is also a fun way to teach your children to be involved in the giving.

But making an elaborate card is not necessary. Just as you would love to receive a simple folded piece of paper with a couple of sincere lines, so will other members of the PCG family love to receive your sincere thoughts, whatever form your card takes.

If more members devote more time to encouraging ministers, staff members and other brethren with thoughtful cards of encouragement, the family and the work of the PCG will be motivated and strengthened.

You have a desire to build the family and help the Work. You have a pen and paper. You can make a difference! Mailboxes out there are waiting.


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