The Cambrian

Festival of Gifts celebrates talents in Cambria

In mid-October, Rev. Mark Stetz said something unusual during all the Sunday Masses at Santa Rosa Catholic Church: “When the collection basket comes around today, don’t put any money in. Instead, there will be envelopes with money for you to take — anywhere from $10 to $50. If you want to participate in Reverse Giving, take an envelope and combine it with your time and talent, then return it for the good of others.”

The response from Cambrians so far has been, well, creative. A memoir-writing course already has begun. Recipes are being collected for a parish cookbook. Several families are working together to offer progressive dinners or other meals and treats. Tamales and other handmade Mexican favorites have been offered.

Many people participating in the Reverse Giving program will share their stewardship of time, talent and treasure at a Festival of Gifts on Sunday, Dec. 9. There will be holiday cookies and baked goods, decorations, wreaths and garlands; potted succulents; flan; bread and rolls; and many handcrafted items, such as jewelry, fleece scarves and hats. There will also be an offer of brunch and theater; haircuts; a raffle; a silent auction of a homemade covering for table or bed; plus ribbons and bows.

There will be a preview sale of some of the gifts after the 5 p.m. Mass on Saturday, Dec. 8. The Festival will open at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, and continue until noon, then pick up again after the 6 p.m. Mass, if there are still items to share. Everyone in Cambria is invited to come to the Festival of Gifts to see what some talented Cambrians have been doing, and then purchase any offerings.