The Parable of the Talents took on new meaning recently for members of Newsong Church in Grove, Oklahoma. That’s when Pastor Steve Dyer handed out $14,000 to congregation members with instructions to invest the funds for seven weeks, then bring the money and profits back to the church to be used in missionary work.

Members of the 125-member congregation ripped open envelopes containing $100 and $50 bills after the Sunday sermon. According to a Feb. 15, 2005, Associated Press story, Dyer had placed crisp $100 bills in red envelopes for adults and $50 bills in green envelopes for school-age children. “That is going to be a lot of fun,” Dyer said. “A lot of people already have ideas.”

Dyer said the church isn’t keeping track of who has the money, but did give one stipulation: It was not to be used to buy lottery tickets or to gamble.

When asked what the church will do if someone steals the money, Dyer replied, “That’s between them and God.”

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