Sharing God's glory through sight, song, and story
With social media taking up more time and mental energy than ever, you might be struggling to sort out quality from the... well, not quality. Who doesn't do a quick Facebook scan only to come up for air 45 minutes later with a head full of useless updates, and maybe a touch of comparison envy. (You've met that joy thief.) What if we told you about a different resource — one where you were spiritually fed, instead of drained? We agree it'd be fun, and it'd feel better too.
Enter breadforbeggars.com. A digital marketplace for Christ-centered art, Bread for Beggars shares God's glory through sight, song, and story, by spotlighting both new and familiar artists. With a variety of media highlighted, we've gathered a storehouse of goods, and are thrilled to share.
We invite you to be daily nourished by the talents of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Be intrigued by the abstract paintings from Karen Goetzinger. Be moved with a stirring Koine ballad. Be inspired by a cultural commentary with Pastor James Hein.
Take a minute to nourish yourself. (Or take 45.)
After several conversations at the 2012 WELS South Atlantic District Convention led to the concept of Bread for Beggars, Pastor Mark Parsons worked to assemble a team of creative writers, musicians, visual artists, pastors, teachers, staff ministers, and lay people to provide support and content for BreadForBeggars.com. This team has as their mission and vision
"to share freely devotional materials, art, music, and multimedia of the highest quality possible, both in content and production, from a confessional Lutheran perspective."
This gathering/producing/sharing serves as both in-reach to individual WELS members and congregations, as well as outreach to those who are non-WELS and even non-Christian.
From its launch in September 2012 to its most prolific years of 2014-2015, Bread for Beggars shared new resources daily and had over one million page views, all without a single paid staff member or contributor. Although most widely viewed in North America, content was also downloaded weekly in Pakistan, China, Thailand, Mexico and more.
Since January of 2016, when ministry responsibilities pulled Pastor Parsons and other key contributors away from active involvement, posting to Bread for Beggars greatly diminished. However, the mission and vision of Bread for Beggars has never strayed from Pastor Parsons' heart and mind.
opportunitiesAfter a nearly two-year hiatus, opportunity and answered prayers have made a Bread for Beggars relaunch possible. A generous donation has made it possible to hire Bread for Beggars' first ever paid employee. In September of 2018, Jenny Kottke began her work as Bread for Beggars' new site and concept administrator. Jenny is working closely with Pastor Parsons to ensure a January 2019 relaunch.
Over the next several months Jenny and Pastor Parsons will be
- crafting an image and identity update
- migrating BreadForBeggars.com from Wordpress to Squarespace hosting (the current site is glitchy and out of date)
- recruiting, communicating, and collaborating with WELS, ELS, and CELC artists, musicians, and writers
- grant writing and fundraising to help make Bread for Beggars sustainable long-term
- establishing posting parameters and best practices
curationWith each resource curated and shared, our Bread for Beggars team works to make the words, art, music, and multimedia understandable, accessible, and edifying to a wide audience.
Content posted to the site and social media varies weekly. Much is unique content produced specifically for BreadForBeggars.com. However, much more is produced by WELS/ELS pastors, teachers, staff ministers, and lay people for use first in their individual congregations and ministries, and are now being shared with the church at large. Most posts will provide suggestions on how to make use of these works in a family or congregation setting for worship or study. Whenever possible, information will be provided for how to purchase music or artwork for personal or congregational use.
At times, Bread for Beggars also features "BEST OF THE REST" content which highlights the finest of contemporary Christian (Non-WELS) creative writing, arts, music, and multimedia. These works will edify and educate all who partake of them and inspire some to use artistic gifts to the glory of God and the good of their fellow man. Additionally, Bread for Beggars regularly pulls from the creative writing, art, and music that has been created throughout history as they share incredible "BLAST FROM THE PAST" resources.
Bread for Beggars is also working in cooperation and partnership with the WELS Northern Wisconsin District Commision on Discipleship on several other online resource endeavors specifically geared towards engaging, encouraging, and equipping parents as they prepare their children for life and eternity.
How can you help Bread for Beggars in its efforts to share God's glory through sight, song, and story?
- Pray for the work being done over the next several months, especially as we relaunch
- Share update posts on Facebook and Instagram
- Suggest ideas for WELS artists, musicians, and writers to feature and highlight
- Consider making a contribution toward a current $30,000 matching fund drive
Jenny Kottke — firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Parsons — email@example.com or phone 941.421.2227
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/breadforbeggars
U. S. Postal Mail — Bread for Beggars, 55 Prairie Road, Fond du Lac, WI 54935 USA
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