PWA IDEAS FOR FUNDRAISING OR SOCIAL FUNCTIONS – A TIME TO SHARE
Local Art exhibition
Garden Party with a Theme
Speaker from Royal Flying Doctors
Join with another Branch for a Day Out
Sewing Day for Market
Picnic at The Park
Flower Luncheon demonstrating Bible Stories with flower arrangements
Tour to a Nursery and Lunch
Tea & Coffee Tasting Morning Tea
Getting to know you Morning Tea
Function with a theme (crystal, antique linen, embroidery, old and interesting things, baby photos etc.)
Prior to Christmas (make a sweet box to give out to oldies in your congregation)
Gingerbread House making evening.
Christmas Extravaganza with craft and food and booklet with recipes and ideas.
Theme Bible Reading at you meetings with your favourite verses.
Teddy Bears Picnic
Blue and White China display ( other colours or patterns)
Police Community speaker.
First Aid Morning
Food to the needy in your area.
Meals to sick in your parish
Women of the Bible Morning
Morning Teas for young mums who have children Baptised
Pleasant Sunday Afternoons (Musical)
Salt & Pepper Displays
Quilting Display and demonstration
Millers Fashion Parade
Collection on Handbags
Everything coming up Ross
Three “S” Morning Tea (Soup, Sandwiches & Slice)
Robbie Burns Night
Music Hall Evening
Mystery bus Tour
Special Project for the Year
St. Andrew’s Luncheon or Dinner
Share Hobbies (coin collecting, stamp collecting, art, tapestry, embroidering etc.)
Visit Allowah Presbyterian Children’s Hospital
Visit a local Nursing Home
Afternoon Tea at a local Retirement Village
HELPFUL HINTS FOR SHORT INFORMAL BUSINESS MEETINGS “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the blond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3
*Seating arrangements are important for making a meeting more welcoming and informal. Small groups can sit around a large table (or 2 or 3 tables pushed together). Alternatively, chairs can be placed in a circle or horseshoe shape. Having the chairs in rows with office bearers in the front is a very formal seating arrangement.
*Devotions are very important to focus our thoughts on God. If different members take turns at doing devotions, it helps to create a more informal and friendly atmosphere. Sharing a personal experience that relates to the theme of the devotions gives a personal touch to devotions. Never cut down on the time spent on devotions.
*Executive meetings can deal with routine business and save time and boring details at monthly meetings. If time and travel distance are issues, hold executive meetings just before the normal meeting or after Church on the previous Sunday.
*Printed Minutes save time and are very helpful for ladies who have difficulty hearing.
*Correspondence can be itemised and only important extracts need to be read. Items which may be of interest can be tabled so people can look at them after the meeting. *Invitations to functionscan be passed around on a clipboard, so ladies can write down their name if they are coming and if they need transport.
*Standing Committee Reports can be printed or read in Span. Anything very important such as Rallies or special functions can be spoken about at the meeting.
*General Business needs to be dealt with efficiently and any discussion should be brief and relevant. Minor matters can be dealt with at executive meetings and put to the meeting for approval.
*Catering arrangements for functions can be passed around on a clipboard for people to fill in what they can bring. *Business meetings are not the main focus of PWA. They are an opportunity to receive correspondence and reports and to plan for the activities of the PWA Branch. Business meetings can be held every second month to allow more time for other activities on the alternate months. Important announcements can be made at the beginning of other meetings.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR ACTIVITIES WITH PURPOSE “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10.
*Fellowship activities are very important as they give us the opportunity to get to know one another better. In this way we get to understand the needs of others in our Church family and how we can support each other through prayer, encouragement and in other practical ways.
*Fellowship within your PWA group can be achieved by things as simple as talking together over a cup of tea, or by working together on a particular project. Ladies can be asked to prepare a 3-5 minute talk about an experience which was important in their life. One or two of these talks following a short business meeting can help to generate good fellowship opportunities over morning tea, and help ladies to get to know one another better. Try to encourage quieter ladies to take part in this activity as well.
*Fellowship within your Church family can be achieved by PWA ladies talking with other ladies after church – not to ask them to come to PWA, but simply to get to know them better and take an interest in them. Church barbecues, Sunday lunches or picnics can also be great opportunities for fellowship as long as people don’t just stick to their own group. (You may need to think of creative ways to stop this happening.)
*Worship and study activities need to be a part of your PWA program. As well as your normal devotions, some meetings can include a short Bible study on a passage which is of particular relevance to your Church’s situation. Singing a few hymns or choruses is more interesting if we know the history of the writer (some were very talented women!)
Educational activities can include a wide range of topics and interests. Some of your PWA members may have knowledge and talents which they are willing to share with others. This may be anything from ‘how to make great scones’ to a talk on Archaeological digs in Egypt. Talks and demonstrations can be a great opportunity to invite those who are not members of the PWA. Inviting someone from your Church family to give a talk or demonstration can also help to involve other members of the Church. Outside speakers who provide information on topics of general interest to the community can create an opportunity for outreach.
*Supporting our Church’s Ministries is a part of our PWA Mission Statement. This must include prayer, but may also include making items for sale or for people in need and often includes fundraising for particular projects or for the general work of PWA and Church committees. Fundraising is NOT the main purpose of the PWA, but it is something that can be included in a balanced PWA programme.
*Fundraising activities often included things such as cake stalls, lamington drives and fetes. With the aging of many PWA groups and the time constraints placed on younger women, these activities are not always practical, so we need to adopt a different approach. Inviting a speaker who can talk about a particular project or mission, and having a morning tea, lunch, supper or breakfast can be a simple and effective way to raise funds for that project or mission. People can be asked to pay an entry fee or give a donation to the cause. Make sure that you advertise the event well, giving clear details about the project the funds are for. Send the donations as soon as possible after the function.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR WORKING WITH OTHER CHURCH MEMBERS “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:5-7).
*Aim for unity within your Church congregation by developing closer links with those who are not part of your PWA group. Different groups, with different purposes and interests, are important within a church congregation. We are all different and we do not all want to belong to the same group, but it is important that all groups work together in love. Before Jesus left the earth He prayed for all believers. “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:23)
*Accept one another without passing judgement. True Christian acceptance involves accepting and loving others just as they are. We are all different, and we must accept one another as different parts of the one body. “So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5)
*Look for ways to bridge divisions within your Church. If there are divisions in your Church between different age or ethnic groups or for any other reason, look for ways to bridge these gaps and create a better working relationship. You don’t have to agree about every detail, to work together in peace and harmony. “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you.” (1Corinthians 1:10)
*Look for needs within your Church and Community and consider how you can best work towards meeting those needs. Look around at the people who come to your Church and take note of those who do not seem to have friends or people they talk to after Church. Make an effort to get to know these people. Look at your Church Directory, and contact someone you haven’t seen for a while, just to ask how they are. Doing these things will make people feel welcome and loved and may help you to find needs which are not being met in your Church.
*The following are some ideas for activities which can help to build unity between different groups in your Church. Your own PWA will be able to think of others which are relevant to your situation.
- “Ladies’ Dessert and Coffee Night’ with a Speaker suitable for all ages. Invite all ladies from your Church (teens to oldies) to come along.
- “Country of Origin Dinner” (or lunch) when all members of your Church are invited to come and bring food to share from their country of origin. This could be a good opportunity for people to bring relatives and friends from their own country and perhaps even to dress in national costume.
- “Morning Tea at Grandma’s”. Invite ladies with preschoolers to a morning tea where PWA ladies will provide the morning tea and look after the children so the mothers can have an opportunity to chat and spend time with each other.
- “Prayer and Care Buddies”. PWA ladies can offer to be a “Buddy” to a young mother in the congregation. This would involve taking an interest in the family, keeping in contact and praying for them.
- “Christmas Craft Afternoon” with demonstrations and opportunity to make Christmas items. Crafts could be suitable for adults and children.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR A MINISTRY OF CARE “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead…….I will show you my faith by what I do. (James 2:17,18)
*A Ministry of Care is faith in action. In John 21:16, Jesus said to Peter “Take care of my sheep”. We may not be prophets or preachers or teachers, but we can take care of Jesus’ sheep. The sheep in our pasture are those in our PWA, our Church congregation and our Community.
*Love is the first requirements of a Ministry of Care. Jesus said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35) Jesus tells us to love one another in the same way that He loves us. Read 1 Corinthians 13 for a great description of the way we must love one another. We must be patient, kind, accepting, understanding and forgiving and we must always persevere. By showing this type of love to others in our group and our congregation, as well as to those we meet in our community, we can deliver Christ’s message through our actions.
*Prayer is essential to direct and maintain our Ministry.
We need to pray for God’s guidance. Jesus prayed “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42), and he taught his disciples to pray “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). If we are going to work for God, we need to know what He wants us to do. It is a very exciting and rewarding experience to be working in a Ministry that is directed by God.
We need to pray for God's strength. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:31). We need God's strength as we cannot rely on our own strength.
We need to pray for one another. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). “Pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16). One of the greatest things we can do for another person is to pray for them.
*Encouragement is a Ministry that inspires Courage. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25). The dictionary definition of “encourage” is to inspire with courage. Today we see so many people (including Christians) who have become dis-couraged. God said to Joshua “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9). We can take courage because we know God is with us in the Holy Spirit, who is our Counsellor and Encourager. We can encourage others by taking an interest in them and the things that concern them and by giving positive feedback about things they have achieved or are striving for. We can also encourage people by demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit in our relationship with them and others. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
*Carry each other’s burdens and do good to all people. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Carrying other’s burdens may sound like a tall order when often we are struggling to carry our own load, but this verse says to carry “each other’s” burdens. In other words we need to share the load. As Christians we need to help others, but we also need to let others help us. In Galatians 5:13 we are exhorted to “serve one another in love”. If we can promote this attitude in our Church congregation, it will bring greater unity and provide opportunities for the Church to reach out to the Community in a Ministry of Care.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR SMALL BRANCH SURVIVAL “Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)
*Don’t close down your PWA Branch just because it is small or you are all over 70 or you don’t have a secretary with a computer or you can’t run cake stalls anymore!! A small group of ladies can achieve great things when they are working for God!!! Help is available!!!!
*Small PWA Branches can be effective and very worthwhile if we remember that the main aim of PWA is to unite Presbyterian women for fellowship (not for fundraising). The advantage of having a PWA Branch rather than a local women’s fellowship group is that PWA is a state-wide network so we have contact with, and information from other Presbyterian women throughout NSW.
*Keep your programme simple and your business meetings short and informal. Allow time for morning or afternoon tea after your meetings so you can enjoy each other’s company. Morning and afternoon teas don’t have to be fancy, a packet of biscuits or some cheese and fruit are good. Everyone can take a turn at doing devotions. This is not difficult if you use the PWA Opening Devotionals. Share the load with the jobs that do have to be done. It is better if everyone has a small job which they can manage than one or two ladies trying to do everything.
*Positions of President, Secretary and Treasurer are not difficult if your programme is kept simple. Business meetings need only to be held every second month and should only take about 15 minutes. The Secretary can keep a record of attendance and apologies by passing around the attendance book at each meeting. Minutes can be very brief. Just keep a record of correspondence and record any decisions made by your group. The Treasurer’s job is not hard if your branch is not doing a lot of fund raising activities. The President does not need to be an expert leader, she just needs to be friendly and caring and take an interest in the other members of the group.
*Be a motivating force for Church activities that involve everyone. Obviously if you are a small group you cannot organise something like a church dinner or a weekend camp, but you can provide enthusiasm and get other people involved. If you want to promote a whole church activity, you first need to talk to people about the idea and make sure it is something that people will support. If not, try a different idea, as it is important to do something that is successful and beneficial for all.
*Support the work of one PWA Standing Committee each year, instead of trying to support everything. Choose one for each year and find out what the “project of the year” is for that committee and get as much information as you can. Invite a speaker from that committee and invite all church members to come and hear the speaker. Advertise your chosen project to the whole church and let them know that there will be an opportunity to give donations for this project. Serve a simple morning or afternoon tea or supper after the speaker. Send the donation as soon as possible after the function and let everyone know how much was raised and how much it was appreciated.
*Hold an “Ideas meeting”. Invite all PWA members as well as anyone who used to be a PWA member and anyone who may possibly be interested in PWA. Sit in a circle or around a table (not in rows). Make sure you have someone with a pen and paper to write down the ideas. Now ask for ideas of things your group could do, and write down a list of all the things your group CAN do. Don’t write down things you can’t do. Things you can do may include things like; invite a speaker and follow with morning or afternoon tea, phone or send cards to church members who are sick, serve tea and coffee after a church barbecue. Things you can’t do may include things like; provide the food for the annual church dinner, run the cake stall at the annual fete. What we can do is valuable and worthwhile. We must focus on what we can do, not on what we can’t do.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR BEGTINNING PWA AGAIN IN YOUR CHURCH This is what the Lord says – “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19
*If your PWA Branch has closed, it may be possible to begin again with renewed enthusiasm. The first step is to talk to women in your church about the PWA. Find out what previous members did and didn’t like about PWA and why the PWA branch closed. Also find out what women who have never been members think about PWA. This will give an idea about the amount of interest there is in PWA and the changes that may be needed for the group to be successful. Talk to women who you think may be interested in being office bearers in the new PWA.
*If there is sufficient interest in forming a PWA Branch, ask the Minister and Session for permission to hold a preliminary meeting of all interested women. Invite all the women in your Church to this meeting. Contact the Presbytery Representative in your area and invite her to the preliminary meeting. Organise to get a copy of the PWA Constitution and Handbook and the Guidelines for Office Bearers booklet from your Presbytery Representative or from PWA State Council.
*Hold a Preliminary Meeting on a day and at a time that would seem to be suitable for a regular PWA meeting to be held. Make this meeting short and informal. The business of this meeting is: 1. To agree to form a PWA Branch 2. To set a day, time and place for regular meetings 3. To elect office bearers 4. To obtain a list of all ladies who wish to be members After this is done, allow time for discussion over morning tea. Notify the PWA State Secretaryand obtain an enrolment form for State PWA affiliation and a Span order form. Send a list of office bearers to the Session and open a PWA Branch bank account.
*Hold an Executive Meeting before your first regular meeting. Office bearers need to read the Guidelines for Office Bearers booklet, the Constitution and Handbook, and Helpful Hints for Branches leaflets. Have an executive discussion about matters such as: who will do devotions, arrangement for morning/afternoon tea, seating at meetings, format and frequency of business meetings, PWA activities and fundraising. Plan the Agenda for the first regular meeting. Plan a draft programme which can be discussed and accepted at the meeting. Consider moving a motion at the first meeting that certain positions should not be held by any one person for more than three consecutive years.
*Your New PWA should not be the same as the previous PWA Branch at your Church, if you want it to continue into the future – after all, the previous one closed down, so this one should be different. Make sure that people understand that it will be different. Making the changes in style before you get started is easier than making them later. Do not try to achieve too much in your first year. It may be best to have only one fundraising project and concentrate more on promoting fellowship among members and a caring ministry towards others in your Church family.
*Ask for help if you need it. Talk to your Presbytery Representative or the State Secretary if you need advice or help in setting up or running your new PWA Branch. *At the end of the first year make a careful assessment of your achievements and any difficulties encountered (the PWA Branch Review Guide is helpful for this). Set goals and priorities for the following year. It is a good policy to do this every year.