Since 2010, churches have provided an alternative to frenzied Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Continuing this new tradition, churches in Houston, The Woodlands and Seattle are preparing service projects that honor Christ at Christmas on November 27. These churches ask families and individuals to celebrate Bless Friday® as an alternative to Black Friday.
This year churches in Houston are combining their efforts to bless the community. West University Baptist Church, Crosspoint Church and Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church will unite in blessing a local medical clinic ministry, Casa el Buen Samaritano, by supporting its annual Christmas tradition of delivering cookies to patients and their families. St. John the Divine Episcopal Church and Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church (MDPC) will also send members to The Beacon, a homeless shelter established by Christ Church Cathedral.
In addition MDPC will send volunteers to Vita Living, which operates homes for the intellectually challenged. They will help clients prepare their home for Christmas. Other members will prepare shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts to be distributed by the International Seafarer’s Mission or package rice and beans for the Fuente food pantry. Pastor Alf Halvorson states, “As a nation, we have become so focused on the bargains that we forget what we should value – the gift of Jesus himself and His example.”
The Beacon of Light Christian Center plans a day of fellowship and caring in which members walk the community and share Christ’s vision. Pastor Gasery states, “Our community is economically challenged and some people financially overextend themselves at Christmas. We want to help them reconnect with the spiritual nature of Christmas.”
The Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church (The Woodlands, TX) in conjunction with Boy Scout Troop 1772 will clean and upgrade their prayer garden for the Christmas season.
Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church (Seattle, WA) will send parishioners to help the homeless at the St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle food bank.
Chuck Fox, founder of Bless Friday®, states, “People understand and support our message that when we focus too much on buying things, we lose sight of the real reason for Christmas – remembering and honoring Jesus. We want to begin our Christmas celebration by serving others just as Jesus did. We hope that as people hear our message, they will commit to help others especially during the Christmas season.”
Bless Friday® was founded in 2010 in Houston to change the way Americans celebrate Christmas.
SOURCE: Christian Newswire