Despite the burst of deceptively warm weather here in Midlothian, December is in full swing as we journey completely into the Advent season. The city around us is decked in lights and Christmas preparations come in the form of long to do lists and engagement calendars. It is easy this time of year to place “loving our neighbors” underneath all of the daily items that demand our attention. However, this is not only a core value of our church’s mission, but a command of Christ and as such, should be lived out now more than ever in this season.
One opportunity to do this is by participating in the Christmas Box Outreach. As an extension of our Mercy Ministry, packing and delivering Christmas boxes is becoming an annual KingsWay tradition that is of immense value and importance in the life of those in our community. The object of the Christmas Box Outreach is simplistic in nature: fill boxes with food and items for a Christmas dinner and personally deliver them to families in our area who have been identified as needy. Many of the families to receive the Christmas boxes have been connected through our Food Pantry ministry. Yesterday we heard a testimony from Carolyn Troiano—a former recipient of a Christmas box and now a regular attendee at KingsWay along with her husband Bill. Carolyn shared that what was most impactful about receiving a Christmas box was not just the material gifts of food but the time that the delivering family—Chris and Maria Deloglos—took to talk and pray with her family, and personally invite them to come to church. The Troianos are just one face of the many families that KingsWay has the opportunity to step up and care for this season.
Last week, I spoke with Craig Smith, the director of our Mercy Ministry, and he shared that there are three levels of need to be covered by KingsWay families to make this outreach possible:
1. Sponsoring a Box—Craig and his team are asking that families or singles prayerfully consider sponsoring an entire box. There are apple-boxes available to take, wrap, and fill with food items for a Christmas dinner. Things like turkey, potatoes, canned vegetables, hot cocoa, cookie mix, and stuffing are all good options that will bless a family in need.
2. Delivering a Box—This is one of the most important parts of the outreach. The Mercy Ministry has identified 60 families who need a box delivered to their home. This is a fantastic opportunity for families who can’t financially sponsor an entire box but still want to participate. Delivering consists of bringing a Christmas box to the recipients home, expressing relational care, offering to pray with the family, and inviting them to our Christmas Eve Service.
3. Donating Food Items—Even if you are unable to sponsor or deliver a Christmas box, donations of individual box components are so helpful. Whether it is a few cans of food or an entire turkey, your gift will be used to fill boxes and impact our community.
Craig shared with me that he is so passionate about the Christmas Box Outreach because, “It is an opportunity for mercy and outreach to expand and for our fingerprints as a church to be left on the community.” If you have a desire to see this happen, then join us in this mission.
Boxes are to be delivered the week of Christmas Eve. If you feel called to participate in the outreach, have further questions about logistics, or need ideas about what to say when delivering, please contact Craig Smith at email@example.com or Jody Dingwell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Boxes will be finalized next Sunday, December 20th, so don’t hesitate to sign up!