Read  all of the articles in this series from Barbara McMillan.
After signing up to receive information about Compassion Sunday from compassionsunday.com , I shared the DVD I received with my pastor. He offered to show the “teaser” videos to our church in advance of our main event.
I downloaded every single resource on the site, watched every single video — and there are quite a few — and got myself quite overwhelmed with the possibilities.
My pastor and I didn’t talk much during the weeks leading up to Compassion Sunday, but he let me hang up some posters that I already had on hand.
The week before Compassion Sunday, the church newsletter featured a nice article about Compassion that came from the “talk to your pastor” kit. I didn’t ask for or expect that, so it was a nice surprise and highlights the level of support I received.
My resource kit arrived one week before my event. I could have used a little more time with it. It contained promotional posters that I was able to display only a few days before the event, so they did little good.
It also included 15 — yes, 15! — child packets. That seemed excessive, and I was a bit overwhelmed by that number. How embarrassing to send them all back!
The kit included some logistical items that I appreciated. For example, it was nice to know what to do with the sponsorship forms, and having the mailing envelopes and labels was a good thing. I liked the idea of the T-shirt to wear for the event.
Because I use PowerPoint in my classroom every day, I decided to use the prepared slides as a guide and build my own presentation using some of the premade slides and some of my own.
I included poverty facts as well as pictures of my Compassion kids, past and present.
As I polished the slides and worked on my narrative, it occurred to me that I didn’t know how much time was designated for me.
My pastor was out of town all week, and I finally made contact with him the day before I was to present! We discussed his expectations and the order of the service and my time slot. I had 15 minutes to speak.
He opted to show the shorter video from the resource packet, and he told me that there would be a special offering taken for Compassion at the end of the service.
I asked for permission to set up a table to recruit sponsors, and he said, “Okay.” I did a couple of run-throughs with my family, and then tried to sleep. It was difficult. I had a recurring feeling that I had overslept and missed church! Not to worry, though — I woke on time, put on my Start Small, Think Big T-shirt and some khakis, checked to make sure I had my visual aids, table display, and child packets, and headed out.
… to be continued
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara McMillan and her family sponsor three children and correspond with one more. She has been an advocate for two and a half years.