Stories of Renewal: Opening New Doors
In the beginning of 2017, the Saint Paul Area Synod distributed 11 micro-grants to congregations wishing [...]
It's time to think of gifts again... Or was that only last week when we remembered all the things for which we were grateful as we celebrated Thanksgiving? I am sure this is a “yes, but...” or a “both, and” question. It seems that the season from mid-November through January 1 is the season when gifts take high priority in our thoughts and lives.
My congregation is again this year making use of the ELCA Good Gifts Advent tree ornaments to help people find gifts for their family members and friends which “gift” someone else. We have a table display at each of the morning worship services with many of the colorful ornaments as well as the ELCA Good Gifts catalogs. It was great fun this Sunday morning to watch a grandmother select gifts for five grandchildren (bees, chicks, backpacks, malaria nets, and fruit tree seedlings) but also larger gifts for her adult children. She happily wrote a check to the church with the memo “ELCA World Hunger” and went home to fill out the ornaments.
I appreciate that the ornaments say not only “This gift was given by...” with space for your name and date but also include this statement: “Your gift carries God’s love to others, making a difference in their lives and around the world. Thank you.”
We are all gifted by God. Take a quiet moment this Advent season to remember your gifts and ponder ways in which you can share those gifts and God’s love with others. A smile is one good way to begin.