Dear Advent Pilgrims,

God has a history of making a big deal out of seemingly small acts of generosity. Think about what God did with five smooth stones lying in a creek between David and Goliath. Or what Elijah did with the generosity of a widow and her last morsels of food. Or what Jesus did with a boy’s small lunch of bread and fish. Or how he marveled at the two coins the widow dropped into the Temple treasury.

The greatest example, of course, is how God chose to be fully revealed to us in the form of a baby, born in the most inconspicuous of settings. The story of Christmas reminds us that the greatest impact can come from the smallest of gifts.

With Christmas fewer than ten days away, here are three ways that your simple act of generosity can have make a significant impact in the lives of others:

  1. CONTRIBUTE TO DISASTER RELIEF

We have all been troubled by the devastation of tornadoes in several states across the country. Many of us have personal connections to persons and communities who have suffered significant loss. We invite you to make a financial contribution to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) which is always among the first agencies to coordinate and distribute relief to devastated areas. You may also wish to view this powerful testimony from a United Methodist pastor in Mayfield, Kentucky, who speaks to the power of our United Methodist connection in times like this.

  1. PROVIDE HOSPITALITY ON CHRISTMAS EVE 

One of the simplest and most impactful ways you can make a difference to someone this Christmas is to volunteer to serve in hospitality at one of our Christmas Eve services on the Hyde Park campus. We anticipate hundreds of people coming to worship with us, and your smile as a greeter, or your friendly efforts to help them park their cars, can be the first and most impactful glimpse of peace and joy that they are longing for. We still need about fifty persons to volunteer, and you can sign up here.

  1. INVITE PEOPLE TO JOIN US FOR WORSHIP

Next week is full of a diverse array of services that will move us from sorrow to hope, and your small act of inviting someone to join you in worship can make an eternal impact on their lives.

  • This Sunday evening is our Interactive Nativity service at 4pm and 6pm, and is a simple way to experience the joy of the Christmas story through the eyes of our children and families.
  • Next Tuesday is our Blue Christmas service at 7pm in our Chapel on the Hyde Park Campus. It helps people name the grief and loss they have experienced over the past year, through contemplative music, a time for reflection and prayer, spoken words of hope, and candles of remembrance lit during the service.
  • Next Thursday is a joyous “Christmas at the Park,” featuring our contemporary band at Water Works park. It will be a full Christmas Eve service, featuring carols, candle lighting, and a sermon of hope.
  • And of course, on Christmas Eve, we celebrate the birth of Christ both in person and online. For a full list of our services, click here.

Just as the shepherds shared the good news with the world, may we each find small ways to make a significant difference in the lives of others.

Grace and Peace,

Magrey

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