Simon Taylor – 19th November 2022
As you will know from our recent GC Vision preaching series our new church vision statement includes three excellent verbs; Enjoy, Declare and Demonstrate.
For Christians, Christmas is a time when all three actions come into the spotlight with greater prominence than at any other time of the year.
Enjoying and Declaring
As an example, many of us will enjoy spending time with family, friends, neighbours, and work colleagues in the reverie of the festive time of year. We also participate in declaring our salvation through Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection in the carols we sing, scripture readings we give and as we watch the nativity story played out in a school hall, community centre, and of course, as part of our own Grace Church street-outreach and Christmas services.
But what of the Demonstration?
For the past two Christmases we’ve had the opportunity to bless those beyond our own social circles by demonstrating God’s Grace to clients of the local foodbanks in Bognor Regis, Chichester, Havant and Midhurst. We’ve done this by making up and giving Christmas Gift boxes, giving treats that local people and families would not otherwise have the resources to buy.
Whilst this year may seem no different to the last couple, the ongoing ‘perma-crisis’, has made things significantly worse. With the cost-of-living crisis, the increased cost of fuel and rising inflation rates, people are having to make tough spending choices on the most basic human needs, heat, light and food.
As a result, our local foodbanks are in demand more now than ever before. They have seen a downturn in regular donations of food and funds from members of the public, as many people who would otherwise support them, have themselves started to feel the squeeze and can no longer afford to make donations. In addition to this, they, like organisations and charities are also facing increased operational costs.
Grace Church is providing financial gifts to our local foodbanks from our tithe and will continue to champion them as a worthy cause to be supported. So please continue to check out the local foodbank donation pages here:
Giving a Christmas Gift Box is an act of lavish grace
The aim of the boxes is to demonstrate something of God’s lavish grace by giving someone in need of foodbank assistance more than just the basics to get by providing some extra special Christmas treats that they would otherwise not be able to have this Christmas.
Over the past 2 years we have given in excess of 350 boxes from across Grace Church, blessing over 1,000 people in our area.
Participating is easy!
Step 1: Using the list below as a guide, do your weekly shop and pick up some extra goodies.
Step 2: Find a suitable sized cardboard box, some Christmas wrapping paper, Sellotape and ribbon or string.
Step 3: Place all of the treats into the box and wrap it up fully. Why not write an anonymous Christmas card from yourself to include in the box as well?
Step 4: Get the box to the Grace Centre for Sunday 4th December
Things to include:
- Christmas themed chocolates
- Christmas Crackers
- Children’s Christmas Goodies
- Festive Crisps and Snacks
- Tinned meats (Ham for instance)
- Christmas pudding and custard powder sachets
Note: Any foodstuffs should be long-life, non-perishable.
Things to avoid:
- Alcohol (including chocolate liqueurs)
- Party Poppers
- Items for pets
- Mince Pies (many of these are given each year already).