3 minute read

LOVING GENEROSITY

I imagine many of us have a particular gift we have received that stands out as the best or at least most memorable gift we have ever received. For me, it was a red suede jacket that I received from my parents in middle school. The first time I walked through the mall and saw this jacket — I was in love. It was red. It was suede and it had fringe from one wrist across the whole jacket to the other wrist. I imagine my mom probably thought to herself, “You have got to be kidding me!” But to my great surprise and delight, that Christmas, I received that beautiful jacket.

At the heart of that gift was my parents’ great love for me. They saw how my eyes lit up every time I went to the mall and tried it on. In their hearts they may have been questioning my developing fashion sense, but their love for me eclipsed their better judgement and they gave me the amazing jacket. When I reflect on that gift now, many years later, I imagine that they enjoyed giving that gift as much or more than I enjoyed receiving it. What is the best or most memorable Christmas present you ever received or have given?

But wait, what if the story was a little different? What if I knew my parents could never afford to get that jacket for me so I never mentioned it? Or what if my parents knew they could never get me that one gift that they would love to give because there was barely enough money left over after paying the bills and putting food in the refrigerator?

At Christmas, we celebrate the greatest gift any of us have ever and will ever receive: the love of God in the shape of a tiny human baby. Each year as we remember and celebrate that great gift our hearts are moved to loving generosity. Because we have been so blessed we want to share that blessing with others and see their faces light up with delight. Of course we focus on our friends and family as the recipients of our outpouring of God’s love and our generosity, but that gift so long ago to the world was for every one and is given afresh every day. During this season here at Centenary we celebrate that gift most extravagantly through our Angel Tree ministry. This ministry gives us the opportunity to extend our generosity, maybe not to every one, but it helps light up the eyes of approximately 200 children across two churches, two children’s home, and one school each year.

I hope that this year during the month of November you will visit the Engage page on the Centenary website and adopt an angel or 12. If you would like some help with the online adoption process or would like to assist with the organizing and delivering of the gifts please be in touch with Jeanette Juran or Meg Gaston.

HOW TO ADOPT AN ANGEL

This year's Angel Tree ministry will take place from October 31 through November 28 with gift drop-off from November 28 through December 5. You will be able to adopt or sponsor an angel. Both sponsoring and adopting angels will be digital again this year. Links to adopt or sponsor an angel will be on the Engage page beginning October 31. If you choose to adopt an angel, you will choose a child and receive an email with details on the angel you selected as well as gift drop- off information. You'll shop for gifts for that child, wrap the gifts, and return the gifts to the church between November 28 and December 5. If you prefer to sponsor an angel you will make a monetary donation that will be used by our volunteer shoppers to shop for gifts for one of our angels.I

n addition to adopting or sponsoring angels, there are several volunteer opportunities with Angel Tree. Contact Jeanette Juran with questions [jjuran@ centenary-ws.org; 336-724-6311 ext. 1332].