This morning, December 20, the congregation opened gifts for Anchor Community Church. We put a Christmas tree in the foyer with ornaments containing a gift idea for the church–paper towels, Kleenex, dish soap, coffee, toilet paper, staples, cleaning supplies, trash bags, reams of paper, etc. These are inexpensive, everyday items the church needs. You take an ornament, buy that product, wrap it up, and bring it to church.
All of the gifts lay at the front of the church throughout the service. At the end of today’s service, the children came up and passed out the gifts to adults in the congregation. The adults unwrapped the gifts, and the children brought them back to the altar. That’s the way we’ve always done it. It’s a very festive atmosphere, with Christmas music playing and general gaiety, with children constantly running back and forth.
I enjoy seeing new people get involved. I remember one young couple, fairly new to the church, who brought gifts last year. It warmed my heart, showing me that they were invested in Anchor–that this was their church. This morning, a woman who has been coming for a few months brought her gifts to the front of the church before the service. Warm again. It’s just a cheap gift, maybe only a few dollars, but it’s a tangible way a person says, “I’m part of Anchor and want to support it.”
Plus, it meets an actual financial need for Anchor. These items would otherwise come out of the church budget.
We’ve been doing this for about ten years, though we missed a few years. I actually came up with the idea, but as is usually the case in households where the husband is a lazy bum, the wife does all the work. Pam gathers gift ideas from people at church, runs off labels, sticks them on spongy ornaments she buys at Michael’s, and places them on a tree in the foyer. I do help with parts of that, but don’t take much credit. It wouldn’t happen without Pam.
Here are some more photos. Click on the thumbnail on the left to enlarge. A lot more photos (taken by me) can be found on the Anchor Community Church Facebook page.