JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP)–What two women started three years ago as an offering toward a church building program has grown into a thriving business that helps spread the gospel.
Sandi Miller and Karen Staggs, members of Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Mo., began making Christmas cards in 1996, with the profits devoted to the building fund.
“It became more of a mission, with the Great Commission saying, ‘Go ye therefore,’ and we realized that although our feet were not going, that through our card ministry, the message was going,” Miller reflected.
Miller, Staggs and other contributing artists call their cards “Son-shine Selections.” They have come a long way since printing the first cards on the church copy machine. For the first time, this year’s Christmas cards’ text and design were reproduced by a printer.
Previous years’ cards — which have included Christmas, Easter and some general occasion — were printed, then colored by hand. One year, the two women, plus a host of volunteers, painstakingly hand-colored 800 Christmas cards.
But that did not deter Miller or Staggs. “I love to do art, and this is a great opportunity to witness,” said Staggs, who has a degree in art and previously designed cards for Dayspring Greeting Cards. She has designed several of the Son-shine Selections cards, including the current one. Each card contains text that in various ways shares the gospel and includes a Bible verse. The plan of salvation is printed on the back, and the church phone number is provided.
Last year, they sold 1,500 cards. This year, 2,000 cards are available.
Concord members Charlie and Marie Brown regularly purchase and send the cards. “The cards have a very to-the-point message … and they’re close to the quality you find on store shelves,” Charlie Brown said. “We send them to both Christians and non-Christian friends alike.”
Miller said they hope the ministry continues to grow. “We’d like other churches to know they can order a quantity of cards and sell them to raise funds for mission projects.”
Sometimes she ponders the impact of the card ministry. “There’s no telling who these people are sending cards to. I wonder how many generations they will affect — Grandmother putting the card in her memory box and the grandchildren finding it years later.
“And I like to think that when I get to heaven, I’ll meet some people who were led to Christ because of one of these cards,” Miller said.
For information on starting a card ministry or purchasing Son-shine Christmas cards, contact Miller at (573) 635-6609. A $7 package contains 10 cards. All proceeds currently are going toward expanding the card ministry.
(BP) color photo of the creators and scans of two cards available by request from the Missouri Baptist news journal Word & Way.