Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Each Advent we prepare again to ponder the mysteries of God’s entering our human story in Christ’s birth. As the culture celebrates a time of festivity and gift-giving, so we too as Christians celebrate and mark the occasion with exchanges of gifts, as a way of remembering the greatest of God’s gifts to us: Jesus Christ.
As we give thanks for all of God’s many gifts to us, we invite our congregation to consider giving to others during this time of hope and expectation. We ask that you consider supporting the following organizations:
KenCrest Family Fund: KenCrest is a Lutheran social service agency started in 1905 in Philadelphia. They are dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities. Their mission is to support community development by exploring possibilities, mobilizing resources, and empowering dreams. Each holiday season, the KenCrest Family Fund helps brighten the holidays for some of the children and adults they serve and their families by providing gifts that would otherwise be financially out of reach. Educational toys for children aged 3-5 or gift cards (Walmart or Target) are requested by the KenCrest staff. Gifts should be dropped off to St. Paul’s before December 9th, so they can be distributed in time for Christmas.
Lutheran Disaster Response: Lutheran Disaster Response is a ministry of the ELCA that brings God’s hope, healing, and renewal to people whose lives have been disrupted by disasters in the United States and around the world. They are often one of the first agencies on-site after a disaster and remain working with communities to provide long-term recovery efforts months and even years after a disaster strikes. Gifts to LDR can be designated to a particular recovery effort, or simply “where needed most.”
ELCA Good Gifts: The Good Gifts campaign of the ELCA works with local communities around the world to help provide long-term, sustainable solutions to their problems. All of the Good Gifts last much longer than a couple of days or weeks. For example, $50 can purchase a goat for a family, which will provide milk for nutrition and sale. $200 is enough for a community vegetable garden, including tools and training. $30 provides vaccinations for a child—nearly 5,000 children die each day from diseases than can be prevented with a simple vaccine. You can see the entire catalog of Good Gifts at elca.org/goodgifts.
As we all make our checklists for the Christmas season, please consider adding one of these organizations to yours. Together, gifts from St. Paul’s will be able to make a significant difference around the world, in our community and in our congregation.
May God bless you this Advent Season,