On the first Sunday of Advent, our church held and Advent Festival and dinner - crafting, dinning and then a Christmas Carol Sing-along featuring hymnal favorites. It was a very well run event, with crafting stations carefully organized by the church volunteers and staff. We had face painting; origami crane making, with the goal of making 1,000 cranes to be hung in the church; a scientific snowflake making station using Borax powder, string, Popsicle sticks, cuts and water. Our crystal snowflake is beautiful! Popsicle stick ornament making; linking paper chains together and topping them off with a star.
My favorite area, crafting and writing cards to shut-ins and home-bound parishioners. When I sat down to make a card I was over-whelmed with stickers and glitter glue! I wasn't sure what I wanted to make but I put my inhibitions aside and just started crafting. Before I knew it, I had a fun card and was ready to work on another.
The creative process was easier than I realized. It was the writing something meaningful that got me stuck. And then I just looked around the room, listening to the sounds and I took it all in and put it into words. I wrote of the experience of creating, of sharing a communal experience, of making something and giving it to others. I wrote about the sounds I could here - the laughter and joy. I wrote about the way the kids were so carefree and how much love and spirit was present in the Fellowship Hall on this day. I wrote two letters, each describing the day's event in a way as to let the reader feel as though he or she were with us in the moment.
I cannot think of a better way to share some bit of love than through a personal letter. While giving money or gifts, things that people truly need at this time of year (food, clothing, shelter) are our HUMAN duties and obligations to each other, it's not just a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or any other faith-based duty, it's all of our duty to one another. The Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, an organization that I know of, contacted me recently, asking me to help spread the word through social media, about what they do. As I thought about what I could write, or tweet, or even Instagram, to help direct attention to The Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, it dawned on me during the Advent Festival, that what I was doing at church was very similar to the work at the mission. We were coming together to help bring a bit of happiness to those in need. Granted, the snowflakes and paper chains are not going to feed, shelter or clothe a person in need at a mission, but the cards will be mailed out and given to people in order that a connection is made, a joy is shared, a person knows that someone is thinking of you.
Our church family does a lot of work to help those in need. We support other missions, do house building, send money, clothing, food to organizations. We have served meals at Broad Street Ministry. This coming weekend we are doing a meal pack of 10,000 meals in 2 hours, through an organization called, Stop Hunger Now! We are a community of doers and givers. I'm happy to be a small part of this just as I was pleased to be asked to help spread the word about Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission.
If you can take the time out to not only make a financial contribution to this charity, or a charity of your choice, you can write a card to someone who may come to the mission for a meal. SBRM is accepting holiday cards and is hoping you will write "something from the heart or a meaningful quote". Cards or letters can be sent to :
Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission
P.O. Box 297
Philadelphia, PA 19105
P.O. Box 297
Philadelphia, PA 19105
I think I'll go and make a few more cards now...