Thanks to Christa Meland for sharing this Great Idea in the MN Annual Conference’s MNConnect newsletter.

Meland’s intro states, “Every Wednesday from 4:30 to7 p.m. last summer, Alexandria UMC invited its community to purchase a pizza made in its wood-fired pizza oven. Local nonprofits could apply to work with the church and receive a portion of the night’s proceeds. It was a way for members to build relationships with community leaders, and each nonprofit received $7 per pizza sold. The church m Ade and sold about 250 pizzas every Wednesday evening – ultimately raising $20,000 throughout the summer that was shared with 20 nonprofits. ‘This is really truly discipleship in so many ways because it’s not about getting butts in seats, ‘ said Rev. Amy VanValkenburg. ‘It’s about how we live our lives in community with one another.’

Read the full article here.

Other area congregations host similar gatherings with similarly wonderful outcomes:

The Berne Church/Zwingli UCC in Milton Township (outside Pine Island), draws thousands of people throughout the summer to their wood fired pizza and music evenings. Read more here.

Our Saviour’s Lutheran in South Minneapolis shares bread and pizza throughout the year for various reasons and seasons. See photos here.

How might your congregation use an outdoor wood fired pizza oven to gather and deepen community, raise funds, share music, support other local artists, explore diverse local cultural culinary delights, etc.?? The sky’s the limit!