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Does it feel like we just kicked off a new year to you, too? We are now 3 weeks away from Thanksgiving and a little over 6 weeks away from Christmas! I am filled with both excitement and a little bit of fear at all the things we will ATTEMPT to accomplish as a family.

One of the consistent traditions that we have built in to every Christmas season as a church, and personally as a family, is practical generosity during a season that celebrates God’s great generosity towards us.

We often decry the immense narcissism that Christmas can bring with such a focus on gift receiving, but one of the beautiful realities of this holiday is the great generosity that is demonstrated to our friends and families.

We will dream up the perfect gifts for our loved ones and then spend countless hours shopping, purchasing and then wrapping it. We will savor the joy as it is received, unwrapped and enjoyed by the recipient. It really is a beautiful moment!

This Christmas, we will be expanding our circle of friends and family by caring for some families that are not able to have Christmas (and some who are unable to simply provide for their basic needs. Additionally, we have some serving opportunities to get you out of the house and in front of some of our most in need neighbors.

Whether you help with a gift, by serving, or both, know that you are making a difference in the life of someone who needs a helping hand and you are demonstrating part of the true spirit of Christmas.

  1. Thanksgiving Food Delivery – Thursday, Nov. 28th – 10am-12pm
    We have the opportunity to partner with the Salvation Army and our local chapter of the Christmas Motorcyclists Association to deliver hot meals to a number of people who can’t afford to have a Thanksgiving meal together. Residents will have already signed up, you just help deliver the prepared meal. You can learn more about this and how to sign up here…
  2. Christmas Family Adoptions
    This year, we are adopting 2 families to help this Christmas with gifts and items they need (and that we often take for granted). You can sign up for the gift that you would like to take care of here…
  3. Signal Mountain Social Services Christmas Basket Delivery – Saturday, Dec. 14th – 8:30 till ?
    Signal Mountain is home to some of the wealthiest residents in Hamilton County. It is also home to some of the poorest. Each year SMSS delivers Christmas baskets to several of those families. It is a great opportunity to share with your kids and it starts at 8:30 at Nolan Elementary. We will also be collecting Chapstick to place in each basket. You can drop that off anytime between now and Dec. 8th.

  4. KidsTime Christmas at Room in the Inn – Wednesday, Dec. 18th – 6:30-8pm
    Our 2nd through 5th graders will be going to Room in the Inn to help provide some holiday cheer to the young families (especially the kids) that are staying there. Several adults will be there and you are welcome to join us. Email Natalya if you would like more information!
  5. Red Bank Food Pantry – Thursday, Dec. 19th – 5:00 – 7:30pm
    Throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we will be collecting socks, hats, and gloves for those receiving food at the food pantry. They will be available at the Dec. 19th food distribution. We will also be providing food items that will be available for recipients to have a meal as they pick up their food boxes. You can sign up to help provide the meal here…or you can bring socks, hats, etc. to Journey anytime between now and the 18th. These items will be available for anyone that receives food to pick up. You can sign up for food items to bring here…
  6. Widows’ Harvest Caroling – Time TBD
    Our student ministry will be visiting 2 wonderful ladies that we have been serving over this past year. They will be putting Christmas baskets together for each and then delivering while sharing Christmas carols. If you would like to participate, you can contact David or Stephanie Henderson.

I hope you will join us for several of these opportunities during this holiday season as we remember that the Savior of the world entered into this place to give his life for you and I. It is the ultimate gift of generosity. Let’s share that generosity with others!

Pastor Mark

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