A Woodbury teen has set out to raise $10,000 for charity -- a penny at a time.

David Plappert, 15, is selling pixels for 1 cent each on a website he created to support Sheaves for Christ, a religious organization that was launched to provide transportation for missionaries. It since has expanded to include, among other things, an orphanage, a camp for troubled youths and a chemical dependency program.

David, an active member of First United Pentecostal Church in Oakdale, already has raised $1,225 selling space on the website, www.Million DotsForChrist. org. Sponsors who buy space can use it for whatever they want until April 1, 2009.

"It can be an ad, a slogan, a picture or a flash [video]," David said. "There are a couple of rules. It can't be pornographic, for instance. And you can't have music with it unless the user scrolls over it, in which case you can have the music play as long as you want. We just didn't want someone going to the site and having 15 ads all go off at once."

He chose $10,000 as his goal for a couple of reasons. For starters, that was the size of the biggest single donation to Sheaves for Christ last year. "And the math -- a million pixels for a penny each -- worked out nicely that way," he said.

His father, Hugh, is computer-savvy, but his mother, Denise, "well, not so much," David said. If your skill level tends to fall closer to her end of the spectrum, don't worry. David will help you at no cost.

He isn't entirely sure where the idea for the fundraiser came from. "It just popped into my mind one night when I was on the computer about 1 a.m.," he said.

Is he often on the computer at that time of night? "As a matter of fact, I am," he said.

Two for one

Two Methodist congregations in the St. Paul suburbs have merged into one entity but will continue to operate out of both churches.

The United Methodist Churches of Woodbury and Peaceful Grove in Cottage Grove merged July 1, "so we're still in the process of working out the bugs," said spokeswoman Patty Martin. "One of the reasons we wanted to merge during the summer was to give us a chance to deal with these things" before the church year starts in earnest in September.

The church is being called Woodbury/Peaceful Grove, although discussions of a possible new name is on the to-do list. The services at the two facilities are being coordinated, with "pastors at each preaching on the same topic but in their own words," Martin said.

The new church has a membership of about 1,200. "Woodbury was a much bigger church, so it brings staff and programming that can help Peaceful Grove get traction as it grows," she said. "Peaceful Grove had a very active and committed group of people, so they bring a lot of energy."

Now hear this

It's another sign of changing times: The Christian Book of the Year requires no reading.

For the first time in the award's 31-year history, it has been given to an audio book. "The Word of Promise New Testament" features such well-known actors as Lou Gossett Jr., Jim Caviezel and Marisa Tomei reading from the King James version of the Bible.

The Christian Book Awards were announced at the annual International Christian Retail Show, which was held this week in Orlando. They used to be known as the Gold Medallion Book Awards, but that was back in the days when people used to read.

Jeff Strickler • 612-673-7392