Seeking and Finding Joy this Season

Read below a report of two recent Christmas meals provided by our Evening Service and Downtown Dinner teams. Both are examples of God’s kingdom being shared and a practical way of proclaiming “great joy that will be for all the people”

We have ventured forth to encourage meeting in person, face-to-face, more fully connecting, with others in smaller communities that are part of our wider local and church communities. Joy was found by guests and volunteers alike as we gathered on two occasions just prior to Christmas.

First, an Evening Service Christmas celebration occurred in the gym at NSCBC. This party was lovingly planned for willing group homes guests of differing physical, cognitive, social, and economic abilities. Enthusiastic guests arrived happy to see one another and to participate in all the Christmas activities. Carols were sung, the meal enjoyed, games played, and gifts given. The Christmas story was presented by video for the guests who were then quizzed on the main characters’ identities—aided by church volunteers who dressed the part! It was heartwarming to see the level of interaction by our guests and their increasing trust demonstrated by their willingness to share their individual concerns and prayer needs with us. While meeting via Zoom with our group home friends for so many months has been challenging, it has yielded a new level of connection and has truly been a blessing for all.

Our next gathering of friends was at our December Downtown Dinner meal hosted by NSCBC. While the number of dinner guests has been slowly increasing as we gather together each month, we had no idea how many would come just days before Christmas. The hall was festive and Christmas music played. The doors were opened for coffee at 5:30 p.m. and by the time our “feast” was served around 6:00 p.m., our many tables were comfortably filled. Guests were well fed and enjoyed their time of fellowship. It is with joy we served over 20 very appreciative guests indoors and several people with meals to go. Mini Christmas centerpieces were “gifted” to six happy people!

This downtown meal, served regularly by many churches in the area, affords a safe, warm place for a community of people to gather. They are men and women, young and old, maybe struggling financially, lonely, and sometimes even homeless. At this meal, they are respectfully welcomed and served with the love of Jesus.

I bring you good tidings of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10

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