Walk through the building of a special Advent calendar, by Italian illustrator and paper designer Agostino Traini, with Director of Education Ministries "A" Williams.
The Gift of Christmas is a wonderful way to experience the true spirit of Christmas by supporting one or more of the 20 highlighted programs during the Christmas season. Your support of one or more of these programs can be a Christmas Gift in honor of your relatives, friends or neighbors. If you choose, you can receive an angel ornament or card (or both) to acknowledge both the gift and the recipient. You may also make a donation in memory of a loved one.
Alzheimer’s Association * Angels of Mercy Medical Clinic * Avalon–a Center for Women * Blooms that Brighten, Inc. * Colonial CASA * Community of Faith (COFM)–Emergency Winter Shelter * Dream Catchers * Edmarc – Helping Families with pediatric illness, loss and bereavement * Williamsburg Faith in Action * Families of the Wounded * FISH * Grace Inside Prison Ministry * Presbyterian Children’s Home of the Highlands * Hospice House of Williamsburg * Lackey Clinic * Literacy for Life * Meals on Wheels–including Summer Meals for Kids * Olde Towne Medical Center * Saint Francis Service Dogs * Salvation Army
Your contributions will be recorded and bundled to send to the recipient organizations. You will receive acknowledgment and any ornaments or cards that you requested.
Did you ever stop to reflect on how you came to know and love our Jesus? Who pointed the way?
I think for all of us there have been faithful pastors, church workers, Sunday School teachers, and fellowship leaders who have shared and guided our faith journeys. I know that I am so grateful to the caring minister in Manila who started a youth group and helped bring God so personally into my life.
When unforeseen circumstances arise, current and retired church workers can receive the critical financial support they need. Last year, $1.1 million dollars was used for more than 246 church workers who needed vital assistance.
In addition, and just as importantly, the Christmas Joy Offering provides hope and much needed assistance to students. The Offering helps support Stillman College and other Presbyterian-related schools and colleges. It provides scholarships for communities of color and future church leaders.
"The money you give goes to students. Like me, many students often feel like they are hanging on by a thread. Your donation fills in the thread and makes a rope.”
–Kyley Thompson, Graduate of Stillman College
Through Christmas Joy Offering, we reflect on God’s perfect gift to us by supporting those who pointed us to God – and we honor and celebrate students pursuing their education who bring their gifts of service to the world God loves so much.
Please prayerfully consider giving generously. Envelopes will be available at church services, and checks may also be sent to the church office with “Christmas Joy Offering” on the memo line. You will also be able to give online at the WPC website.
If you have any questions, please contact Judy Austin or the church office. Thank you for your support of the Christmas Joy Offering – a 140-year-old Presbyterian ministry!
IF WE ALL DO A LITTLE, IT ADDS UP TO A LOT!
Turn your “want list” into someone else’s “need list” as you focus this Advent season on the journey to Bethlehem. In a time of uncertainty, Mary and Joseph gathered what they had and traveled to Bethlehem to be counted in the census. What would they eat? Would they be warm? What did they need for themselves and a baby?
What food would they need for their journey to Bethlehem? Place non-perishable FOOD ITEMS in bag #1 for those living with food insecurity served by the Campus Food Pantry. Talk about the role of food in your own life. Pray for the families in our community who are living with food insecurity. $10 value
What did they need for warmth? Place WARM CLOTHES (hats, gloves, scarves, socks) in bag #2 for the homeless served by FISH. Talk about the clothes you wear to stay warm in the winter. Pray for those who have little or no shelter from the cold. $20 value
How would they care for themselves? Place BASIC TOILETRIES (toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, soap, shampoo, comb, nail clippers/file) in bag #3 for the housing insecure served by House of Mercy. Talk about the things you need each day to care for yourself. Pray for those who often have to choose between food and basic care items for survival. $10 value
How would they care for a baby? Place BABY ITEMS (bottles, diapers, wipes, etc.) in bag #4 for the infants and toddlers cared for by Nurturing Amenities. Talk about the many ways babies depend on their caregivers for basic needs. Pray for those who are learning to care for their infants and toddlers and themselves through parenting programs at Nurturing Amenities and in other support groups. $10 value
“If we are going to do a theme of ‘Journey to the Nativity’ then we are going to have to have a nativity in the sanctuary this year,” was one of my first thoughts as we prepared as a staff for the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. So, with help from the worship team, education team, and staff we began to figure out where and how we could do this best. We found a beautifully simple wooden Nativity Set that had been donated years ago by a member after a shop that made them closed down in Toano; a simple table that looks like it belongs in the space, and suddenly we have a visual of the journey we will share together that will change every week in our worship space.
If we are going to do a theme of ‘Journey to the Nativity’ then we are going to have to have a nativity in the sanctuary this year.
Throughout Advent, you can watch the scenes as they move and change in the windows and in the front of the sanctuary. We will begin with the animals, and as we hear the stories of the prophesies, Mary’s song, Joseph’s dream, the shepherds in the fields, the birth of God with us, and the visit of the Magi we will also see the nativity change along with the story. We hope that this provides a way for all ages to see the story in a different way and to maybe find themselves at various points along the journey. So, take the time each Sunday from Advent through Epiphany to look for and consider all the characters who are traveling with us on the Journey.
–A Williams, Director of Education Ministries
For the 3rd consecutive year we will be offering yearly Star Words for Epiphany. The use of star words is a reminder of God’s gifts to us and how the Magi responded with their own gifts to the young Jesus. The idea is that intention words, or guiding words, are printed and then distributed at random. Individuals are encouraged to place their star word somewhere they will see it regularly throughout the year to allow consistent reflection on how God has moved through, around, or in connection to that word. Star Words will be available at all entrances on January 1st and 8th! For those who want to see some ways that others have used their star words, we will provide reminders at the beginning of each month in the Looking Ahead emails!