Monday, July 29, 2002

Good News: Church's $2,600 gets good returns




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        You have heard the preacher say it is better to give than receive. The Revs. Jerry and Diane Zehr, pastors of Florence Christian Church, have taken it to another level.

        They distributed $10 coupons through the church newsletter and bulletin. When members returned the coupons, they were given real $10 bills. The church passed out $2,600 in $10 bills. Members then had six weeks to invest money, make a return on the investment and return the initial $10 to the church.

        The Rev. Mr. Zehr said the idea was to help people understand that you can do a lot with a little.

        “I wanted them to know you could get a good return on your investment, both spiritually and financially,” he said.

        The results have been tremendous. Some bought ingredients for bake goods, baked them, sold them and made the money back.

        “Some even hired themselves out cutting grass and cleaning just to make the $10 back,” church secretary Bev Reynolds said. “It was interesting to see what some of the people did. Some went into gardening and plan to sell the produce to make the money back.”

        The Rev. Mr. Zehr made a $500 pledge for a marathon he ran in Northern California. He said the idea also drew a surge in attendance.

        To date, their investments and various activities have not only brought in the $2,600, but they were able to give $3,600 to the Northern Kentucky Habitat for Humanity. That agency has helped more than 30 low-income families become homeowners.

        “It turned out better than I thought it would,” the Rev. Mr. Zehr said. “Money is still trickling in.”

        He said the remaining money will be donated to the Northern Kentucky Habitat group, a part of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit ecumenical Christian housing ministry. He said the church supported Habitat last year through labor and donations and is helping to build a home in Southern Boone County near the Gallatin County line.

        The Zehrs have pastored the church for six years. For more information, call them at (859) 647-5000.

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        The Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency has received a big boost in its plans to renovate the Elder-Beerman store in Bond Hill's Swifton Commons into a new headquarters.

        The Fifth Third Bank gave the agency $250,000 to help finance the conversion of the 136,000-square-foot department store.

        The check will be presented Thursday during a special reception prior to the Fifth Third Bank's Commonly Jazz concert series. The series, featuring Eugene Goss & Othello Molineaux begins at 6 p.m.

        The concerts will run from 6-8 p.m. each Thursday through Aug. 22. William Menefield Quartet will perform Aug. 8; Aurell Ray Quartet, Aug. 15 and the Afro-Rican Ensemble, Aug. 22.

        Allen Howard's “Some Good News” column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at ahowardenquirer.com or by fax at 768-8340.

       



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