Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Advent Conspiracy

Have you heard about the Advent Conspiracy? It's a movement of churches and followers of Jesus who desire to make Christmas really about Christ! Their message is this:

Worship More. Spend Less. Give More. Love All.

We heard Chris Seay talk about this idea in October and it's been rolling around in my head for awhile now....how do we make Christmas about worshipping Jesus? How do we make it NOT about gifts and money? Can we do both? Can we give gifts to our families AND give money to those who need it most?

West Side Christian Church has taken this idea and run with it, getting their church on board with A Different Kind of Christmas. They're hoping to collect $60,000 in their Christmas offering, sending it to the community they've adopted in Kenya. How exciting is that?! I was at the doctor with one of our kids yesterday, and the doctor was suggesting that maybe it's easier for our kids to understand than it is for us to catch hold of. Our kids can get the idea that a laptop or ipod or Wii doesn't make any sense when there are people living without bathrooms...or clean water....or food.

It's the parents that are having the problem with this (at least I am)....and it's more than just wanting to give good gifts to my children. It's about pleasing my family, making a good impression on someone with the most thoughtful or creative gift. It's about being "fair" with our giving. Ugly, I know.

So how is it going to work for the Magruder family this year? Well, we're trying to give relational gifts this year - - gifts that encourage families to spend time together....we're going to be spending time with friends in our home over the holidays instead of dropping a cookie plate or a little candle off at their house. We're going to attempt to slow the pace down a little bit and worship Jesus this Christmas. Our family is doing some special giving to the Jump for Joel ministry to kids in Kenya, where $3 can feed a child for a whole week or pay for a week's worth of school.

What are some of your ideas for doing things a little bit differently this year?

4 comments:

Shana Stine said...

:)

I love this.

For Christmas this year, I'm doing "relational gifts" and Africa missions as well. Here's are some things I'm doing: For my oldest brother Jared and his wife Krista, I'm buying Rivermen (hockey) tickets for the two of them and coming up to babysit the girls for the night. I ran the idea past Jared (I needed to know dates), and he was/is SOOOO excited. :) For my sister and some of my friends, I bought "Invisible Children" bracelets and Compassion shirts. For my nieces and nephews, I'm getting Swahili alphabet books (so I can teach and read to them, and so they will think of me when I'm back in Kenya). Anyway, those are just a few of my ideas. I'm still not sure about my parents or other brother.... Hm.

In other news, Delta Church (Amelia's church) is doing Advent Conspiracy, and GUESS WHAT!! They are using Jump for Joel as their supporting project!!!!!! :) I'm SO excited. I am continually amazed at how God lays stuff in our lap. :) Awesome. I think we're going to put all of our focus for the next few weeks on getting the furnace/cooker for the orphanage before January. COOKER FOR CHRISTMAS!! (This is what we're pitching to Delta and what I'll probably pitch to the churches back home.) Oh, I just got an idea! I'll write an article for my hometown newspaper!! Sweet.

Wow. I should have emailed you. haha. Sorry.

This is great stuff!!!!

Shana Stine said...

Sorry for the typos. (My perfectionism requires that I type this apology note.)

Grr.

a moore said...

This Christmas we're celebrating by packing all of our belongings again and moving! Wait, that's how we always celebrate Christmas.

Seriously, we're doing books, family games and family toys for Christmas. Things that cause us to play together and laugh together.

Oh and I made the most clever advent calendar that is full of
"Tell a story about a star."
"Tell a story about an angel."
"Put up Christmas Tree."
"Make an ornament."

gretchen lee said...

Shana, great idea....I the idea of sending your brothers to a game together!

Amanda, the advent calendar sounds so cool!! I'm always a little caught off guard by Advent....we started 3 days late...