That’s what Wintonbury Church gave away to Bloomfield residents on Saturday, September 25th! For over two hours, twenty volunteers from Wintonbury Church pumped gas into hundreds of tanks as and gave away dozens of free pizza coupons as a way to bless the town of Bloomfield. The purpose was to display the generous heart of God by giving as they’ve received – freely!
The idea for the day came when the church found itself with a surplus of funds at the end of its fiscal year. Having prayed for guidance on what to do with the excess funds, the church was led to give it instead of keeping it.
Since God has freely forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ, unearned and undeserved, the church wanted to display God’s grace through this act of extravagant giving. Some funds were given to a local church with financial need, other monies were sent to build a church in a rural African village in Cote d’Ivorie, and the rest was deemed to be given to the town of Bloomfield, where the church resides.
Of this, $20,000 has been promised to the town for a future permanent structure in a town park. The remaining $9,000 was used to fund the gas/pizza giveaway. The church partnered with Citgo and Bloomfield Village Pizza.
The actual event far surpassed what everyone envisioned! With the mayor’s and town hall’s hearty support, residents flocked to the event. Cars were lined up for a quarter mile up a busy street with the police needing to direct traffic!
Church members greeted people, offered to pray for those who wanted prayer, and directed people to pumps. Two people mentioned that they had awoken that day and prayed for God to provide gas for their cars! Then they opened their email and saw the giveaway! Both were in tears sharing how much they appreciated God providing for them and answering their prayers!
Overall, the atmosphere was electric and filled with great joy – a wonderful break from the recent hard times we’ve all been experiencing. Wearing red tee shirts proclaiming, “Love God, Love People,” the church said that it’s hope is that people might get a taste of the generous, loving heart of God.
The mayor of Bloomfield closed the day with this comment, “Today, Wintonbury Church, you came out of your four walls, and you were the hands and feet of Jesus to this community.”
To find out more about Wintonbury Church, go to www.wintonbury.org.
Andre Riendeau, Lead Pastor, Wintonbury Church
Andre has been on staff at Wintonbury Church in Bloomfield CT for 23 year and currently serves as their Lead Pastor.