WEEKLY OUTREACH UPDATE
Last weekend as we were making funeral preparations for our brother Eric, many of you were also out grocery shopping for pantry staples: beans, rice, boxed milk, canned vegetables. Steadily and quietly over the course of two days, these bags of groceries appeared on my doorstep, ready to be delivered to Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA) clients facing food insecurity and economic hardship. It is easy in grief to turn inward, but instead you reached out in love to serve others -- exactly the sort of thing Eric would have done. Thank you!
We will continue our partnership with RILA through our Christmas offering this year. With COVID cases spiking and the virus inching closer and closer to home, we knew we wanted this year's offering to go to a local partner meeting the needs of those most vulnerable to COVID's impact. We also wanted to support a well-vetted existing partner, someone we could trust to steward resources effectively and quickly toward areas of greatest need. RILA, whose work we know, love, and trust, fit the bill; and as an added bonus, this is a ministry that the Owens have faithfully served since its inception. We encourage you to consider an extra gift this season toward our Christmas offering; 100% will go directly to RILA.
Normally, we would take up a physical offering at church on Christmas Eve (remember passing the basket down the pews?). But this is not a normal year, and so we will accept gifts toward this offering throughout December until midnight on Christmas Day. You can give online or text the word "Christmas" and a dollar amount to 843-21.
Our Advent theme this year is "for all people," taken from the angel's message in Luke 2:10. Jesus' parents were a couple of poor, unwed, ethnic minority teenagers, and he was visited by poor shepherds and pagan Magi. The Christmas story reminds us that the incarnation brings the hope of God's redemption for all people: all ethnicities, all immigration statuses, all languages, all income levels. I invite you to express this hope through your generous gifts in this season.