10 Years of Cookie Walks
Lives and Communities Transformed
The pattern of ministry leads us from one thing to the next. We share ideas, pray, plan, work, and bring many things to fruition. That is our way. Rarely do we reflect on what has been accomplished, because we are on to the next thing. For a people who weekly remember all that God has done for us in Christ Jesus, and recall those mighty acts specifically in the Eucharistic Prayer, you would think that such a pattern would influence the whole of our lives in ministry. At this ten year interval of holding “Cookie Walks” at St. Paul’s it is fitting that we spend some time remembering what God has accomplished through us and the ingredients needed for baked goods, and the vast volunteer hours! Ten years ago when we prepared for our first cookie walk the Mpuguso Committee members were so worried. Would people sign up to bake cookies? Would people volunteer to help the day of the walk? Would people bring enough cookies to fill the display trays and would there be a wide variety? Would people show up to make a purchase and support the mission projects? Yes, congregation members did sign up and they did volunteer to work and they did bake a wide variety of cookies to fill the trays! But even so, the first year we sold out too soon! Each subsequent year the committee learned new things, and implemented them in planning for the next season. Ten years have come and gone. The cookie walk brought about the transformation of lives and communities.In Tanzania the revenue from the cookie walk provided sewing machines so that women could sew school uniforms for the children of the community. Affordable uniforms mean that local families can utilize their limited finances for basic essentials. The walk provided a kitchen for their preschool so that daily meals could be prepared and served to the children. This insured that children were receiving at least one nutritious meal each day. The kitchen would also service young women boarding at the hostel during the week while they are taking classes at the local school. The walk provided tuition, books and supplies so that medical officers could be properly trained and credentialed. The medical offers will work off their educational expenses by serving at the local hospital for a specified number of years; a service repayable loan. This year’s walk raised $2,272.00 to provide for expenses associated with a medical officer.In York the walk provided a catalyst for our congregation to come together working for a unified purpose. With such broad based participation new friendships were formed, congregants were able to contribute in a meaningful way to a project of global proportion. A short term commitment yielded a long term transformation through enhancing the education of others. The greater York community responded favorably to the walk, grateful for the delicious baked goods at holiday time, but also providing an opportunity for us to tell our story, the story of God’s love, generosity, compassion, and hope for all people. In a spirit of gratitude and appreciation, we applaud: planners, bakers, workers, walkers, and the tireless efforts of the Mpuguso Committee for allowing us to participate in ministry that has truly transformed lives and communities. Thank you for this 10 year ministry placing us in relationship with sisters and brothers in Tanzania. While our official relationship is much longer, the work accomplished through the 10 years of “Cookie Walks” held at St. Paul’s gives us opportunity to pause, celebrate, and give thanks to God for calling us together in mission.