Letter From Jana–Giving Thanks!

 
Dear Friends,

In a few short weeks we will sing ‘Silent Night’ on Christmas Eve and wonder at the child that has come. This is God with us, Emmanuel.  God wasn’t required to send Jesus to live among us. But because of the depth of need in humanity, Christ was sent nonetheless. In Christ, this is the reason we are sent into the world as well. In Christ, God gave everything. This very gift is the reason we share gifts with those around. It is also this attitude of gratitude that has been living around SOPC as we tend to the need within our own humanity. Three examples for you:

First, The BootCamp class sought out and purchased for a family with 6 children their most basic needs such as underwear and socks, shirts and pants. Bootcamp wanted to do a little more than just bare minimum, however, and they gave them a Christmas complete with toys and joys for all ages. This took time and effort, financial giving and organization to make it happen but because of this gift, others will come to know that the church and our God loves them dearly. Luke 3:11 says “John answered, Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same”. It is also this love that we see in answering the needs of Providence Home Men as a church. It is this love that we find in the manger Christmas Morn, the love that is all giving to the depths of humanity’s need.

Second, Advent Adventure is the home where 30 or more children will gather at the manger and learn of the journey of Christ’s birth. Men and women across the church are giving of their hours, craft skills, food provision, time and money to engage these community children in Christmas truth. They will learn of the love of Christ and experience a ‘mini VBS’ right here in December. It is the gift of faith that will walk with them through this season and beyond. This gift meets the deepest needs of our community, one that the church is uniquely called to serve. 

Third, Family Promise guests came to stay with us last week, their first stop on a journey to a new life. It was within these walls, God’s walls, that they were given the gift of a new beginning. This too takes much time and effort to set up, be ‘on call’, organize and welcome God’s children into a safe environment.  Thanks to time and commitment from many of you, they received welcome, love, food, care, and prayers and we are told that this was a moment where their ‘faith in humanity and in the church was renewed’. What an awesome and awe-inspiring gift! This is a gift that can never be repaid, much like the gift Christ offers to each of us.

These are all examples of what Christmas is truly about. Soon we will gather at Christ’s feet with our church families and community families and welcome the new babe into the world. Soon we will see kids don the clothes that will keep their toes warm in cold weather for we have dressed the babe in the manger. Soon we will witness faith in humanity, the church, and each other renewed and Christ will truly be among us thanks to the small things we have done to embrace humanity’s needs. Thank you for being a radically hospitable church. Thank you for being Christ’s hands and feet. Thank you for meeting at the manger this Christmas Season. Christmas Eve, let us gather and sing Silent Night, welcoming the one gift that matter most, Jesus Christ our Lord.


2 Responses to “Letter From Jana–Giving Thanks!”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

  2. Shelagh Wirth says:

    Thank you Jana, Merry Christmas and God’s peace on each of you at SOPC.

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