It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just over 6 weeks away! 2020 in some respects has gone extremely slowly and in other ways… well, here we are talking about Christmas once again! ECC has always stepped up to help those in need over the Christmas season. Things have not always been done the same way but they have ALWAYS been done in the same spirit of love and community. A few years ago, we decided as a congregation to scale back the number of people that we help in order to make a more lasting impact. The past 3 years we have focused on the families that are a part of our Afterschool JAM ministry. JAM, which stands for Jesus and Me, is our afterschool ministry for Miller School students. In early December, we’ve had a 2.5 hour event for the whole family that included lunch, fun activities for the kids and the parents receiving/shopping for presents for their children.
This year, due to the concern over COVID 19, the event will be changed up significantly. One of the favorite things we’ve done each year is to take family pictures. Each family will still have the opportunity to get their family picture taken, we will schedule individual times so that they are not in contact with each other. The major change is that we will not be hosting a family event or have ECC congregants shop for gifts. This year only, we will be giving a gift card directly to the parents, and they will be able to do the shopping for their own children. This will be empowering for the parents and will help keep our ECC family safe.
Through our work with the families, we have come to know and respect them deeply for their effort to provide for their children and keep their households going. Several of them have, in years past, struggled with being homeless. All have experienced significant financial concerns. A majority of our parents are single moms with 4 or more children. Raising a family on one income is extremely difficult. We all know how hard it is to be financially secure. These families are precious and we are honored to be able to walk alongside of the parents as they care for their family.
Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to several of these families on Sunday mornings during worship. We feel that by meeting them and hearing a little about them you will get to know them a little bit better, and it will help with a better understanding of where our outreach efforts are focused.
Each year at this time, we raise funds to help with our outreach efforts. This year our goal is to raise $7,000 to use throughout the entire year to bless families in need. Some of the money will be used in December for Christmas but a majority of the money will be used to help families throughout the year. We ask that you pray about what God may desire for you to give. Please make this gift above your regular giving if at all possible. All monetary donations are recorded as part of your giving, just make a check out to ECC with Christmas Outreach in the memo portion.
I would be happy to talk with anyone that has questions about our outreach ministry and the thought process behind why we do what we do. Feel free to contact me at 474-4842 or firstname.lastname@example.org