As Outreach Coordinator at The District Church (TDC), I've helped develop an Advent Conspiracy Campaign for our church community that I'd like to invite you to be a part of - either with us or with your own community, and your own version of this! TDC is participating in the nationwide Advent Conspiracy campaign, along with churches all over the country, but we've changed the details of the campaign to fit the vision God has put on our heart's for our church and our neighborgood. The purpose of the Advent Conspiracy campaign is to help the Church live into the true story of Christmas by worshiping fully, spending less, giving more, and loving all. (Check out this awesome video and the Advent Conspiracy website to learn more)
So this Christmas season, we are spending less on meaningless gifts and are instead redirecting our money to those who really need it. And we are focusing on spending more thoughtful time with loved ones, instead of spending money on a gift they probably don't need. We have organized the giving portion of this campaign around 7 local organizations, with the hope of deepening relationships with each organization in the process, so that this pattern of worshipping fully, spending less, giving more, and loving all can continue throughout the year in relationship with each organization. Listen to our Pastor Aaron Graham's powerful messages from the past two Sundays to hear more about the campaign and why we're doing it!
Next week we are organizing a huge gift drop to people in these 7 organizations. The goal is to have over 200 people participate! On December 4th, everyone in our church received a card, assigning them to a person in one of the organizations, and listing gift needs for this person. If you would like to participate in this campaign, email Blythe@districtchurch.org
A few important points about this campaign:
- $25 spending limit per person
- Bring gift to TDC on Sunday, Dec. 18th, or email Blythe@districtchurch.org to drop off your gift at another time
- Place gift in gift bag and label with contents
Below are the organizations we are partnering with for this campaign:
- Samaritan Inns is an organization in Columbia Heights that provides structured housing and recovery services, and support and accountability, to homeless and addicted men and women to help them rebuild their lives. Visit http://www.samaritaninns.org/
- Christ House provides comprehensive health care to sick, homeless men and women from the District of Columbia, and assists them in addressing critical issues to help break the cycle of homelessness. Visit http://www.christhouse.org/
- Joseph's House offers a welcoming community and comprehensive nursing services for formerly homeless, HIV positive men and women at the end of life. Visit http://www.josephshouse.org/
- Restoration Ministries seeks to bring healing to men, women and children who are trapped in the slavery of sex trafficking here in DC. Visit http://www.restorationministriesdc.org/
- Central Union Mission operates an 18-month rehabilitation program for men with life-controlling issues, a free meals program, a clothing and furniture distribution center, and a 220-acre retreat center with a camp for underprivileged children and recreation facilities for the community. Visit http://www.missiondc.org/
- Columbia Heights Youth Club: TDC helped launch this youth outreach this fall in partnership with Grace Meridian Hill and the Columbia Heights Community Center. The Youth Club aims to reach local high school youth. If you want to learn more about the Youth Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- TDC is also partnering with three DC teachers and their classrooms. These three teachers are a part of TDC's church community and are doing an amazing job in their classrooms, but are very under-resourced and need our help.
In addition to the gift drop, the District Church is also taking up an offering to build a well in Liberia as a part of the Advent Conspiracy campaign. (I highely reccommend listening to Pastor Graham's message on why we are building this well in Liberia: http://www.districtchurch.org/#/sundays/podcast.)
TDC is encouraging everyone to think of two friends or family members - one for the gift drop and one for the well campaign. Then write this person a letter instead of buying them a gift, telling them how much they mean to you and how they have inspired you to give money to this gift campaign or well campaign in their name. Then bring your gift for the gift drive and your money for the well to The District Church on Sunday, December 18th. You can also donate online to the well project (http://www.districtchurch.org/#/sundays/podcast)
TDC's goal with this campaign is to inspire members of our own church community, as well as the Church at large, to show the love of Christ through our lifestyles - not to give out of excess but to truly live differently than the culture around us and live a lifestyle of love and generosity. We pray that the Church would be unified in this, not just during the Advent season but all year round!
Outreach Coordinator, The District Church