Our mission is to use art and craft to support Christ‘s commandments and the work of Castleton United Methodist Church.
About 10 years ago Margo W. asked a few artist friends if they wanted to share their passion with other members of the church. They did, and it ended up being a Passion Sharing Event in the Fellowship Hall, after the noon service for an hour.
At the time, Margo was on the Stewardship team, and that committee was working to promote the idea of tithing throughout the membership of the church. The two ideas, the Art Fair and Tithing merged, so that she began to encourage the artists to tithe from the proceeds of the fair.
Her vision was that Art is a universal language transcending age, race, gender and venue. As a God-given gift, artists could share their passion, and give the Glory to Him. But, as Paul says “The workman is worthy of his hire”, so the artist needs to make a return on their effort. So, the project became a “win-win” for both the church and the artists.
As the fair continued, our mission statement emerged: “Sharing our God-given gifts and passions with our Community”. This project then began to put outside eyes on CUMC, as well.
Fast forward a few years: while the artists kept asking to do it again, the church was unable to schedule the project for a time. But, when Reverend Frank B. became Senior Pastor, he fully embraced the idea, and the Art and Craft Fair again flourished. In fact, he even wanted a booth for himself and his marvelous hot sauce. It was at that time that we opened the fair up to, not just church members, but the entire community.
Soon, Margo, Susan M. and Amy H. from Still Waters began to collaborate, and the first Art and Craft Fair was a reality only three months later.
Margo handled publicity, reaching out to her many artist friends, going to as many artists markets as she could find, and enlisted talent to advertise and hand out flyers. That fair had 80 artists and enough attendees to inspire everyone to come back and bring friends. While Amy could not remain on the team and left a real hole in our organization, the following year Natalie R. stepped up, taking charge of Hospitality.
The funds from the craft fair go to support a number of CUMC community outreach programs: the Go Weekend, AHEPA, Community clean up, the Share Program, the Live Nativity, Trunk or Treat, Vacation Bible School and more. Other funds go into Castleton UMC's general fund for UM ministries which include all the Methodist missions.
Over the last five years, we have tithed over $7000 to our church funds.