For 13 years, men, women and children at Hyde Wesleyan Church in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, have included a small, yet impactful, form of worship in their Sunday morning service.
The “Penny March Offering” occurs every week and is a highlight for all in attendance. Children and Next Gen ministry leaders “march” to the front of the sanctuary, where they pick up a coffee cup and walk through the congregation, row by row, collecting pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters—and occasionally paper currency—in the cup. After each collection, the money is dumped into a large ceramic globe.
Since June 2005, more than $70,700 has been collected. The money goes toward what the church calls its “Swaziland Orphan Fund,” which is saved specifically for The Fortress Children’s Home, an orphanage adjacent to the Emmanuel Wesleyan Bible College in Swaziland. Hyde Wesleyan regularly invests prayer, resources and people into this ministry. Through the years, Hyde Wesleyan members have traveled to Swaziland to interact directly with boys and girls who are benefiting from the Penny March Offering.
“Our weekly Penny March Offering continues to be a highlight of our worship services,” said Rev. Stevan Sheets, lead pastor at Hyde Wesleyan. “Watching the joy on children’s faces as they participate in this each week truly brings joy to the entire congregation. Our people look forward to this as children flood our worship space and carry the collection. We also put a photo of one of the Swaziland orphans that we are supporting on screen as a way of reminding us how we are truly seeking to make a difference through this unique act of worship.”
Sheets was recently installed as lead pastor at Hyde. He had previously served as pastor of leadership development for four years. He loves the Penny March Offering as much as anyone in the congregation he serves.
“I expect our Penny March to continue to outlast generations at Hyde Wesleyan Church,” said Sheets. “It is a part of who we are as a congregation.”