Swarms on Sunday at Bethesda Lutheran Church

Allison Beebe

Bethesda Lutheran Church of Jewell, IA focused on malaria during the month of October.  They were host to a variety of activities and creative fundraisers which contributed to the success of their malaria campaign.

The efforts began with a gathering of Women in Mission to decorate the church by hanging mosquito nets and filling them with paper mosquitoes.  Sugar-cookie mosquitoes were also decorated for serving during Fellowship Hour the following Sunday morning. 

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The first Sunday in October found members of the Senior Choir of Bethesda passing the peace and passing glitter that represented how easily others can be infected with malaria by parasite-carrying mosquitoes.  Then worshippers were able to purchase paper mosquitoes at a cost of one dollar per mosquito – the goal being to try to rid the church of those pests.

The second Sunday, worshippers were given the opportunity during the children's sermon to purchase mosquitoes for children to stick them on their Pastor Dave Nerdig.  In all, more than 200 mosquitoes were purchased that day and stuck to Pastor Dave.

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The third Sunday, a good-humored member was wrapped in a mosquito net from head to toe and paper mosquitoes were hung on him.  As worshippers entered the Narthex, they had the opportunity to purchase mosquitoes in an effort to "de-bug" him. 

And, finally, on the fourth Sunday, Bethesda held a trick-or-treat for the malaria campaign.  All who purchased mosquitoes walked away with a Halloween pencil or treat.

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At the conclusion of the month, all one thousand paper mosquitoes had been purchased and the mosquito nets were cleared away.  The Church Council generously offered match money for donations collected. The total amount donated to the campaign this time was $1,697.01 and was matched by other mission funds for a total of $3,394.02.

​Many thanks to Donna Busch at Bethesda Lutheran Church for sharing this great congregational story. Has your congregation supported the ELCA Malaria Campaign in a fun or creative way? We'd love to hear about it! Send your stories to Allison Beebe at allison.beebe@elca.org.