As a parent I have wanted to teach my children things that would make life better for them as they grow up - things that would help them live a life of value, happiness and joy. Even now, I want to be able to buffer whatever pain they may encounter, but I can’t be there all the time for them.
On thing we have tried to do, particularly at Christmas, is to teach them the difference between a gift and a present. Presents are things that show up on lists with sizes and colours. They are found in catalogs that have been circled several times as “hints.” I still remember the dog-eared Sears “Wishbook" my kids carried around for weeks before Christmas when they were little.
Gifts, by contrast, are things that we don’t think to ask for but come anyway. Gifts represent something greater, deeper, more enduring.
This year’s Christmas Eve Family service was a “gift” we gave to the children in our church family and broader community. Everyone had an opportunity to put their name on a heart and come forward to place it in the manger for baby Jesus. Afterwards, I asked a particularly active little boy whether he liked the service. I was amazed by the enthusiasm of his answer: “It was cool, I gave Jesus my heart. Can we do this again next year?”
What a gift! A gift to him, his parents and a gift to me. This family encountered Jesus. That’s why we do what we do here at Amberlea.
It has been a full year of amazing stories like this. A year full of powerful and creative ministry to young families with Messy Church, Vacation Bible Camp, and Breakfast Club. This fall a new Junior High group was launched with a great response from both parents and young teens alike. This ministry has created opportunities for our Senior High school students to both participate and to assist in leading.
A Care Ministry was launched to support those in our community who need special care, visits and phone calls.
All these ministries need your involvement through prayer, your participation and your financial support.
This year our charitable givings have not yet met our budget. There is still time to change that.
Would you consider making a special year-end contribution to help offset the costs of the work that Amberlea is doing?
Amberlea exists to show the community and the world that the gift given to us at Christmas is the Saviour of the world!
Wishing you all a Happy and Blessed 2015!
In His Love, Joy and Peace,
Rev. Mona Scrivens