Setting up an Offering of Letters event in your church, campus, or group is not difficult. Here are a few key points to remember and some examples of what has worked in the past.
Here are six easy steps for conducting a successful Offering of Letters.
Examples of Successful Offerings of Letters
Host a letter-writing forum after worship or between services. Show the Offering of Letters video. Invite a speaker who has first-hand knowledge of the advocacy issue. Set aside 20-30 minutes for letter writing. Collect the letters and end with a blessing. Consider baking bread to entice would-be participants.
Many people like to write letters at home instead of on-the-spot. Set a goal for how many letters your congregation can collect. Distribute the sample letter the week before the beginning of the campaign, and have materials available each Sunday during the campaign. On the last Sunday, bring the letters to the front of the congregation for a blessing.
Host a movie night at church and show a film related to the topic at hand. Make sure you have the appropriate license to show the film publicly (you do not need a license to show Offering of Letters videos). At the end of the showing, host a short discussion and invite attendees to write letters. End the evening with a blessing of the letters.
Consider conducting an Offering of Letters as part of a service project. For example, if your church is volunteering at a food bank, invite participants to write letters to address the root causes of hunger. If your church is sponsoring a mission trip, be sure to check out Bread’s resource "Getting Ready to Come Back: An Advocacy Guide for Mission Teams," available at www.bread.org/store.
If your church sees Bread as a central part of its mission, consider asking congregants to write letters during a worship service. The sermon should tie closely with the issue, and congregants should be given at least 10 minutes to write in silence. We recommend this only for churches that are highly engaged with Bread. Distribute half-sheets of cardstock and pens before service. End by bringing the letters forward for a blessing.
Learn about the issues, take action on behalf of hungry people.