This Advent, as we anticipate God’s greatest gift, His Son our Savior, we also may remember those outside of our circle of family and friends with special gifts. Here at the International Center we recently joined our Sent to Serve Committee in supporting families at Saint Paul Lutheran Church in the College Hill Neighborhood coordinated by Lutheran Housing Corporation.
Here are some ideas you can do yourself or share with the children, youth, families and others in your setting:
- LCMS Servant Event provides A Year of Servanting Ideas at http://servantevents.lcms.org/yrofserv.asp. Here are the ideas for serving in your church and community during the month of December. Make this a monthly activity using the additional ideas provided for January to November.
- Senior adults, especially those who are homebound, are another group you can remember. Cards and visits are always appreciated, now and throughout the year. If they are able to travel, the invitation of a ride to church or out to dinner can be a thoughtful remembrance. Our family is on call to serve a local senior apartment complex providing snow removal for resident’s cars during inclement weather.
- Those who are serving in the military are also an important group to remember during this season, along with their families as they are separated from their loved ones. Your church office is a great resource to discover the soldiers and families from your congregation who would benefit from getting a card, letter of encouragement and/or a small care package can help make the time away from family easier.
- For ongoing support for military members and their families, your church may want to consider being a part of Operation Barnabas. The goal is to equip and encourage local LCMS members in compassionate care and witness by training outreach to all military connected people (active, reserve, retired, veterans and their loved ones). For more information, contact Diane or Joan at 888-843-5267 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- College students are another group of special people you can remember. Finals are usually a significant part of the days prior to Christmas break. Projects, research, papers and extra reading can occupy much of their time prior to being with their families for Christmas. An e-mail or text message of encouragement will be appreciated. Care packages and cards can also be sent. Consider planning a reunion event for college students hosted at your church or home during Christmas break.
- Another important gift you can give a college student is connecting them to ongoing opportunities for spiritual growth, fellowship and worship. Sharing their information with Campus Link is an excellent way to make initial contact with a nearby campus ministry.
- Don’t hesitate using the young people of your congregation and the community contact in discovering ways you can serve. Emily Briggs, age 15 and a participant in the LCEF World Changers Internship shares these ideas https://lcef.org/teens-christ-christmas/
May you continue to anticipate His coming as you discover ways to serve in Christ’s name in the days ahead and into the new year!