Many families have traditions that they do around this Christmas season. When I talk to people about this holiday, they usually tell me the traditions that they like the most. They say things like, “Our family always goes to our parents house for Christmas.” Or “we always open our presents on Christmas Eve after the church service.” Or “our family always reads the Christmas story from Luke 2, before we open presents.” What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Here at Westbrook, we have done one Christmas tradition since we were founded in 2011. We have always given the Christmas Eve offering away to one or more of our ministry partners. Usually, we split it between one local ministry and one that is national or international. So, all the money that is given for the Christmas Eve offering goes out our doors to help our ministry partners.
This year we have a new partner and an old partner. The new partners are Ryan and Kristen O’Leary who lead the First Peoples Initiative of Converge International Ministries. The vision of this initiative is for a gospel movement among First Peoples in North America, so that 70,000 First Peoples, or approximately 1% of the population, are reached for Jesus and are raised up to participate in God’s global mission. The First Peoples Initiative has six centers or large-scale ministries within it. They include the following: church planting/revitalization, sports ministry, missing and murdered Indigenous women, justice/reconciliation and healing; business as mission, and youth and family. Half of our Christmas Eve Offering will go to this exciting ministry.
The old partner is Love Inc. This is a cooperation of local churches in Eastern Carver County with the purpose of pooling resources to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs in Carver County. We are one of 30 churches that are working together to meet daily essentials for people who are struggling to make ends meet in this area. We have partnered with Love Inc since we started the church and our contribution as a church is called loads of love. We provide dish soap, dishwasher, and laundry detergent. Over the years, through your donations we have provided for many families! Thank you!
So, we would ask you to give generously to our Christmas Eve Offering so we can start something new with a partnership with The First People’s Initiative and continue something old with our continued partnership with Love Inc. Merry Christmas!