NewsPhoto AlbumsWhat a happy crowd

Dear Community –

We are wowed by your generosity! A big thank you from your Stewardship Ministry to everyone who donated an item, bid on an item, got swept up in the fun of bidding on more items, and also to those who volunteered countless hours to set up behind the scenes and who jumped in during the evening to lend a hand. THANK YOU! Since the list is so long, perhaps you’ll agree that the only three people we can call by name here are our auctioneers extraordinaire, Jeff Langenderfer and Greg Flynn! THANK YOU BOTH! And Tim Jensen, our tech guru, THANK YOU, too!

Jeff gets us ready to bid on the next itemLast Saturday Community UCC revived a traditionally annual event that hasn’t been seen in its full glory since before the pandemic. Like many parts of CUCC’s personality, it’s a little bit old school while constantly changing in some details. It is also full of insider fun as well as a way for new people to jump right in. In short, our 3-hour auction evening is a high wire act and an embrace of our collective ideas for extending ourselves for the good of the church.

Pulling together donations to make up the list of auction items is perhaps my favorite part of the process. I enjoy helping you all think of what you might have that will fit the bill with other wide-ranging offerings. This fall, we only gave ourselves a month to gather items. We don’t go out broadly into the wider community to solicit items, but count on your imagination to make up our catalog. I love wondering with each person about your potential donation. Is your expertise something others will want to sign up to learn about? Will an item from a person who is downsizing spark someone else’s interest? How can you host an event that results in getting to know church friends better? What handiwork have we made that will find a home with a church friend who values the item and the church connection?

Cash and carry for those must-have items

Deciding where to put donated items is harder. With well over 100 items in play, we separated the lot into Silent (bidders write their number on paper), Live (auctioneers invite us to bid by waving our paddles), and Cash & Carry. If this guesswork and/or the gathering of items is appealing to you, please give your name to Stewardship to be involved next time. We welcome your ideas!  Email Stewardship co-chair Jim Oxenford at jloxenford@gmail.com.

We tried a few new ideas this year, starting with moving the auction from spring to fall. We added the birdhouse initiative, which helped our ministries get into the spirit of offering donations. What beautiful houses some bluebirds and brown headed nuthatches will enjoy! Children got into the act by decorating playfully over-the-top indoor birdhouses. We also provided programming for children and youth during the evening. Perhaps all of this inspired two youth in particular to donate a 1920s style costume gathering of their own! This led to the blending of two items into the fanciest and highest bid item of the auction.

Bird houses decorated by our ministries

Skip explains the legacy rock

So last Saturday, we 65 or so folks crammed into the fellowship hall along with 77 Silent Auction items, 21 Live Auction items, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and drinks. After we had time to bid on the Silent Auction items, our auctioneers got to work with the assembled crowd. They made sure everyone who was interested got the chance to consider adding $1, $5, or even $50 to their bid. Jeff taught us how a “reverse auction” works – to great effect for the Steak Dinner a la Great Gatsby, I might add! Greg brought the one liners that kept the conversation going. (Skip certainly is a Rock Star!) And one last number for you: proceeds totaled over $9,000. Wow!

Can’t end this recap without singing the praises of the unsung hero of any auction, the tech team! Years ago, Tim Jensen created and has continually modified our system of cataloging items – multiples of some items but not others, bidders – whether bidding for one person or two, totaling and emailing results. Tim’s ease with most of it and willingness to figure out and follow up with the rest is absolutely the foundation of this Rube Goldbergian fundraiser. THANKS AGAIN, TIM!

We have put away the paddles until next year and begun the process of more full communications about items and events won at auction. By now you have received an email with your total, payable in an “Auction” drop down box once you click the “Donate” button on our webpage (here). Or you may drop your payment in the collection plate. Please include a note that the amount is for your auction winnings. Check your spam folder for emails from cucc.auction@gmail.com. If you haven’t received this, please let us know.

The next email will be in regards to events that are hosted by a CUCCer. You all need to know who’s in your group, what day and time the event will take place, where to go and what to expect. Your host will email the group thereafter.

If you have questions regarding any of the above or another issue with an item donated or won at auction, do not hesitate to reach out. Our goal is to follow through with every person who gave so generously.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of CUCC! We are a busy church with many of us answering the call – We Can Do More. Hopefully, this event reminds us that getting together for fun while fundraising plays a part in how we answer the call to love one another.

On behalf of the Stewardship Ministry, thanks to all for being the church,
Susan Atkinson
booatkinson@mac.com

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