It’s November so the great debate has begun: Can you or can you not listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. I’ll spare you my opinion and instead direct your attention to our annual Advent Offering instead.
Economists predict that we will spend over 1 trillion dollars on ‘Christmasy’ things this holiday season in the United States alone. In the midst of that astounding consumption we, the church, celebrate Advent: a season marked not by rampant consumption but rather radical generosity. We see selfless giving at its peak through the arrival of a King, Lord and Savior in the form of a baby. It is this vision for the holiday season that should shape our lives.
We will take up our 8th Advent offering this December where every dollar given to this fund will go directly to our local and global partners to bless the restorative and redeeming work they do. Here are this year’s partners:
1) – RIP Medical Debt
The idea is pretty simple, we donate, RIP buys up medical debt in our area at a significant discounted rate. For every $1 donated $100 of debt is forgiven. Many of us have experienced the weight of debt and know it’s impact on all of life. RIP identifies the greatest needs and risks in our community and offers the gift of freedom and hope that people might move towards flourishing and peace. Currently, RIP has located just shy of $1,000,000 of debt in Coconino county. Our desire is to wipe out the whole of it this Advent.
This last year we partnered with our close friends to help start RCC with the hope of bringing licensed, faith-based care and counseling to the community of Flagstaff. The need remains massive, as does the vision to offer this care at an affordable rate. This year’s support will go to help fulfill this mission by infusing the RCC voucher program with significant funds going to those in greatest need.
3) – IRAQ
The breastfeeding support program that Anna began last year has seen wonderful success with mothers empowered through education and direct support from the community health workers (CHWs) to have a sustainable way to feed their babies by breastfeeding. The program has grown from two CHWs to four (with a total of seven women trained during this last trip) which means that twice the number of women and babies can be helped. The gratitude expressed by the women who had received support was overwhelming, and the tangible love of God is present in the care for these vulnerable babies.
If you are not able to join us in December or prefer to give online, you can give HERE: Select “Advent Offering” in the drop-down menu when prompted.
In Partnership for the sake of the Gospel,