Under #missionflamingo, people paid money to have front yards of fellow congregants “flocked” with plastic flamingos. Those who wanted to keep the flock away were allowed to pay anti-flamingo insurance. Within the first week, the stunt raised nearly $1,000, and provided some financial breathing room for the mission team, which is scheduled to leave for Missouri Aug. 3.
Join us outside the church at 9:55 am on August 3 to give them a warm McFarland UCC blessing & sendoff! Click on 'read more' to get more of the story, photos, and video.
Church member Carol Lemke, who participated with Maddie in the car wash, also supported the #missionflamingo idea.
“We had some other ideas, but decided to go with Maddie’s because it would get our name out in the community as well as at the church,” she said. “We had no idea how well received it would be. It was a little scary, but Maddie stepped up and did all of the work to get it rolling.”
Maddie said the plan came together with the help of others in the mission group.
“All of the people that are going on the mission trip worked with me, and we have been communicating via email constantly,” she said. “I have been telling them where to place the flamingos and when I have gotten an email for removal. They have been enthusiastic and are having a lot of fun.”
A number of congregants who were “flocked” got into the spirit of things by sending pictures of their flamingo infested front yards to the MUCC Facebook page tagged with the phrase “#missionflamingo.”
Many of the pictures were entertaining. Jim Hartman and Paul Fritsch who were “flocked” filmed themselves dancing among their new front yard friends while sipping their morning coffee.
Visit McFarland UCC's Youtube channel for more videos. youtube.com/mcfarlanducc
On the mission trip, the team will provide assistance to 250 developmentally disabled residents who live at Emmaus Homes in Marthasville, Missouri. They will paint, clean, garden, do some organizing at the facility, and also put together recreational activities.
Emmaus Homes was founded in 1893 by clergy and lay people from the surrounding churches of the Evangelical Synod of the West who wanted to use vacated seminary buildings to serve individuals with developmental disabilities.
“As a reflection of their Christian faith, the founders of Emmaus attempted to care for those in need, while recognizing each person’s worth and unique qualities, and creating a spirit of community,” according to the group’s Web site.
Emmaus Homes now operates in nearly 50 homes in the St. Louis area, and is recognized nationwide. The organization is part of the United Church of Christ’s Council for Health and Human Services Ministries (CHHSM).
The MUCC mission group will be making its first trip ever to Emmaus Homes, and Carol is optimistic it will be a positive experience. She said the money raised from #missionflamingo takes the financial pressure off, so they can focus on the upcoming effort.
“#missionflamingo has been a great boost, and it provides a feeling that everyone in the congregation has become involved with the mission trip,” she said. “It certainly has taken some of the financial fear away. I can’t wait to see the total funds raised. The Lord sure does provide!”
During worship on September 14, the mission team will report back to the congregation about their experience. We hope to see you there!