Monday, December 24, 2012

Advent Conspiracy

It is just a few minutes into Christmas Day! A few hours ago, we gathered with our respective congregations for special Candlelight Christmas Eve services to celebrate the Savior's birth. Parker went with Daryl to Druid Hills where he helped with the Children's Moment and lit the Advent Wreath. Wesley went with Debbie to Belleview where he handed out candles to everyone arriving for the early service and participated in the Children's Moment at second service. Both congregations had very meaningful and moving worship experiences. We always close in both churches with a tradition that we grew up with at the FUMC of Seffner - lighting candles while singing Silent Night. While we know the Savior comes regardless of how we worship, somehow it just would not seem like Christmas without that particular experience.

Debbie also got to announce at worship tonight the results of Belleview's Advent Conspiracy Fund. They started this drive back in August/September talking about a new way to consider celebrating Christmas - by Worshipping Fully, Spending Less to Give More of Ourselves, and Loving All. This is something that really spoke to our family's heart. We've been feeling convicted in the last several years regarding consumerism and Christmas and what message that communicates to our boys. We've done our own scaling back in the way of gift budgets and concentrating more on creating meaningful experiences and memories with our boys.

Anyway, Belleview's challenge was to give a portion of the money saved by doing Christmas differently to a mission - specifically Living Water International. They dig wells all around the world in communities to provide clean safe drinking water, something most of us here in the United States simply take for granted. Belleview's goal was $5,000. Some people felt that was too lofty at the start. But boy did the congregation embrace the challenge! They exceeded it - to the tune of $5,755.83! That will build a well for a community in India and give seed money to start another well fund in a different community. What a blessing to be a small part of giving Christmas away this year to others.

Merry Christmas to you and your family! May you feel and experience the hope, love, joy and peace of Christmas in your hearts this day!

No comments: