Christmas is a time for giving and this year during our ‘Advent Conspiracy’ we will consider how we might SPEND LESS and GIVE MORE. Christmas is a season of excess and it is difficult to resist the consumerism that seeks our attention and our loyalty. Spending less and giving more requires us to plan, research and cultivate relationships – pursuits that are more taxing than flipping through the latest catalog or bingeing online. This year we will focus our Advent giving on three points of need: the Target Uniting Care Christmas Appeal, drought affected families in Goondiwindi and the Christmas Bowl.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus tells the disciples, ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you’ and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ Jesus commands the disciple to go into all the world with the Good News (Matthew 28:16). The ‘world’ as he describes it includes Jerusalem – their own community – Judea and Samaria – their more distant rural community – and to the ends of the earth – their global community. Of course, the world was a smaller place with little knowledge of the ends of the earth, but today we are more aware of global needs. Jesus’ instruction sent the disciples into unknown places in order that those people and places would become known to them. This would take planning, research and time cultivating relationships so the good news might be received.
Over the past few years we have partnered with the Target Uniting Care Christmas Appeal, purchasing food for Christmas hampers for local families in need. This year you might like to support these local needs and give to families in our neighbourhood who are struggling.
We are also aware of rural families doing it tough in drought affected areas. The Sunday School will be involved in an empty Christmas tree project to support families in Goondiwindi through the local Uniting Church and locally owned grocery stores.
And on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we will have the opportunity to give in the Christmas bowl appeal to support the development of global communities in need.
Please consider prayerfully how you might support these local, rural and global projects during Advent.