Turning Wine to Water in Columbia, Missouri

"Wine to Share, Water for All" was a shared event between four Columbia DOC churches.  Rev. Jimmy Spear, Associate Minister at First Christian Church, Columbia, offered these reflections of the recent event.

It was set as the social event for spring as First, Broadway, Olivet, and Rock Bridge Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) in Columbia, Missouri made plans for an evening of friends, good wine, bountiful food, and a great cause.  First Christian Church in Columbia had for the past four years held a spring “Wine to Water” benefit for Week of Compassion. This year they used their momentum to invite other disciple friends to join in the party! 

The World Outreach Department at FCC, Columbia found that for a traditional 180 year old congregation in an historic stone church, wine being served at a church event didn’t need Jesus to bring it himself!  With the right team and plan Wine to Share, Water for All had become an event looked forward to by church folks and a great way to raise a largeamount of money for clean water.  With the story of Jesus turning water to wine as a backdrop, they invited other Columbia Disciples to join in the party for 2016 – bringing wine back into the story of Disciples helping others - providing clean water to those in need.

There was word of Disciples in Springfield were doing this kind of event together so why not the many who are in Columbia?  They DO all share a passion for Week of Compassion and its efforts to find the ways and means of getting clean water into the hands of those in need around the world. 


The Saturday, April 16, event was hosted by Rock Bridge Christian Church.  RBCC was the perfect setting for the several hundred folks to mingle, visit, and share in fellowship over wine and food.  The evening was a unique occasion for folks to have the chance to come out for a fun social event not like any other church potluck or picnic.  The crowd ranged in age from 21 to 95 and was a good cross reference of the four churches.

A select group from each church was invited to share their best appetizers, a good selection of wine was secured, the church was decorated for a spring gala and it was a go!  Live music in the background and uniquely decorated candlelit tables welcomed church members and their guests, dressed up for a night on the town, to a unique space and a warm fellowship.  Childcare was offered so parents of young children could participate.  The event encouraged people to donate as they felt called.  There was a very large glass decanter on the serving tables.  People were invited to offer their donations there throughout the evening.  

For the Disciples in Columbia, having a chance to do something together outside of church business and planned worship was really needed.  With a love for Week of Compassion as the common bond a well planned committee representing each church made the work load manageable and kept all four churches involved.  At the end of the night, the members and invited guests from four very different churches found a unique and fun witness to their shared calling of care for others.  

How much was raised? $4,000 in two hours.  Outstanding!  Plans are already in motion for next year.  

All photos courtesy of Stephanie Scott-Huffman.