[This is a guest post by Claire George an Anglican/Episcopalian friend of mine)
The Teddy Bear Travels project has three aims.
1. Encourage church communities in different countries and denominations to use the internet to talk to each other.
2. Raise money for charity.
3. Give a child or special adult the joy of receiving a soft toy that has been on a global adventure.
The project works like this.
1. A soft toy is sent from one church or individual to another church abroad.
2. The receiving church photographs the toy and emails the picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. The photo is used in project publicity.
3. The receiving church then has a choice to give the toy to a person, or send it on to another church. This next church is asked to email in a photo and make its own choice about whether to send the toy on to another church.
I'm supporting two charities with this project. I'm asking people to sponsor me for Christian Aid via my just giving page. Or if they wish, they can give a PayPal donation to St Matthew's Episcopal Church in Fairbanks, Alaska, to help with its homeless outreach.
I'm very moved by the plight of Alaska's homeless because it's extremely cold there! I'm also impressed by the church's commitment to Native Alaskan language and culture.
If you want to join in by sending your own soft toys to churches, you're very welcome.
It would be great if you could email me a photo of the toy you're sending, and ask the receiving church to email a photo of the toy at their end. It would be really good to keep an online list of all the churches that participate because this builds international relationships.
I will be posting Teddy Bear Travels updates on my blog.
Claire George runs the website for St Laurence Cowley, an Anglican parish church in London. She believes in encouraging geographically dispersed churches to be neighbours and friends on the internet. She has gained from the spiritual insights of Alaskan Christians and wants to see similar knowledge sharing worldwide.
Her ambition is to send a teddy to meet Pope Francis and tour the Vatican Museum.