Penny Magic Jar

Penny Magic Jar in narthex

We’d like to tell you the story of the Penny Magic Jar in the narthex. It’s been there for over 20 years. One of our church members, back in the late 1990s, had been carrying around loose change (pennies at that time) in his pocket that he wanted to get rid of. So, he put a jar on what we now call the “opportunity table” and had the pastor announce that people with loose change in their pocket (or car, ashtray, or cup holder) could throw it in the jar. Gradually, the jar filled up with change and was used to purchase gifts for a needy family at Christmas.

Over time the Penny Magic Jar moved from the “opportunity table” to its own stand-alone place in the center of the doorway leading into and out of our sanctuary to King Hall. The Penny Magic Jar tells the story of how little things add up! It’s become a symbol of the giving spirit of Church of the Palms and has led to the placement of half a dozen donation boxes now present in the narthex.

Michigan State University professor, Dr. Delaney Jones, wrote in a recent article: “I know we’ve all heard the saying, ‘It’s the little things in life that matter the most.’ I also know that there are plenty of people who say, ‘How can little things have such an impact if they’re so small?’ There are many reasons why I believe that little things in life are most important. Whether it’s an action, an item, or the way you treat another person, the little things are what hold us accountable and teach us the value of life.”

During His ministry, Jesus taught us this principle: “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much” (Luke 16:10). The New Testament gives us many examples of individuals who were faithful in small things, and yet whose faithfulness in small things aided the advancement of the gospel and brought great glory to Christ. The boy who gave Jesus his five loaves and two fish (John 6:6–14) was instrumental in the miraculous feeding of the five thousand. The widow with the two mites (Mark 12:41–44) seemed to have given far less than what those who put in large amounts had given. Yet, Jesus said that by giving all that she possessed, she had put in more than all.

The Mission and Outreach Team now manages the Penny Magic Jar and uses the small but meaningful donations to help one or more of the many needy groups or individuals assisted by Church of the Palms. So, next time you walk by the Penny Magic Jar, don’t hesitate to drop in that loose change!

Sending love,
Jerry, Suzanne, John

photos credit: Pastor Paul Whitlock