Members of Hope Church were challenged recently to replicate a well-known Bible story.

It is not often churches give out money to their parishioners, but on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, members of the congregation received envelopes containing cash.

In a sermon entitled “How are you using what God gives you” Pastor Dave Gish challenged the congregation to take the money and multiply it. The challenge was based on the Parable of the Talents, in which Jesus told a story of a master who gave each of his three servants a sum of money and the opportunity to increase its value.

Just as in the parable, the envelopes given at Hope Church contained different amounts of money.   Some people randomly got $50, some $20 and some $10, and everyone had to hand in their “talents” on Father’s Day, June 16.

Mr. Gish called the challenge the “talent adventure.”

A portion of the money, and its dividends, was to be given to Younglives, a ministry to single mothers in Norwalk.

The congregation also raised money for  pastors in Kenya who need Bibles and motorcycles.

Many of the congregants did different things with their money.

According to church member Lori Duncan, “Some of us made things such as hand-painted handkerchiefs, jewelry, photo cards, baked goods, clay figurines and note cards and much more.

“Some of us decided to go without and didn’t go out to dinner and gave the money that would have been spent for the dinner to the “Talent Adventure.”

The church’s children’s director, Kim Kraus, set herself up outside Swizzles on Saturday, June 8, painting children’s faces and making balloon animals. “It was a big hit with the kids and parents in the community,” Ms. Duncan said.

“Lastly, we had a market day at our church so if any of us wanted to sell what we made we could do it,” she added. “One of our families sold lobster rolls.

“All and all it was huge success and we raised over $20,000 to help two organizations that need money. Plus the ‘Talent Adventure’ brought families closer together and our church closer together.”