In a December 20 column appearing on the Huffington Post, Kellie Kotraba (Religion News Service) reports on Trappist Monks who bake and sell fruitcakes worldwide in order to support their contemplative lifestyle and practices at a monastery in the Ozarks.
“The fruitcakes sell for $31 each, and people from all over the world buy them,” writes Kotraba, but the monks are “less interested in profits than in eking out enough money to maintain their contemplative lifestyle.”
Perhaps this could provide a model to be scaled-down by ministries within local faith communities who could support themselves when attendance, membership and giving dwindles. Instead of relying solely on funds from an annual budget, a group within a faith community could produce and sell items to support its ministry.
This could provide meaningful opportunities for creative ideas and expressions of gifts and abilities, offer a needed service or desired product in the local community and help take a strain off the overall church budget.
The full-text of Kotraba’s article can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/20/assumption-abbey-fruitcakes-slice-of-divine_n_2333534.html?utm_hp_ref=religion