We’re still four weeks away from Advent. But the radio stations are switching over to Christmas music and Christmas merchandise is displayed in stores. Preparations to welcome the Christ-child are already underway. It’s a good time to recognize some children in our lives who are already following in Christ’s footsteps by serving others.
Our youth are incredible. They’re actively involved in their school, their church and their community. Over the summer, 25 youth gave their time by volunteering at Workshops, Inc., STAIR, Kirkwood by the River and the Presbyterian Home for Children during Birmingham Mission Week. All of those agencies are supported by the IPC Foundation, so it should be no surprise that 14 youth were selected to take a seat on this year’s Youth Grant Team. Grant team member Hunt Cochrane wrote the cover story about the team’s work so far. Please read it and join the team for their presentation on November 6. I can assure you- they will knock you off your feet!
The youth also recently went shopping for the Harvest for Hunger Food Drive, which is underway until November 19 to help stock the IPC Food Pantry for the holidays. They purchased and donated 720 items!!!!! They’ll also be assisting the drive by unloading cars and carrying donations into the church on Sunday, November 19 before both the 8:45 and 11 am services. Please consider donating!
We’re also looking for ways to introduce and engage our elementary-age children in service. The 5th and 6th graders will go to the store to stock up for the Harvest for Hunger Food Drive on November 3. This same group is currently preparing to lead the 5 pm worship service on November 5.
In addition, there are service opportunities for younger children. All children will be encouraged to contribute to the toy drive for First Light. They’ll help collect toys for the emergency women’s and children’s shelter for the month of November then deliver the toys and carol. Children’s Ministries director Cindy Coulter explains why these are two wonderful ways to encourage your children to also join God in the world on Page 4.
The dedication and enthusiasm from our youth and children to serve should be an example to us all. If you’re looking for a way to serve, there are countless options from which you can choose to use your God-given gifts. Many of them are within the pages of this edition of The Window. Assist with Holiday House by serving as a hostess, baking cookies for the tea or helping to park cars. Join the new Children’s Fresh Air Farm Garden Club or help the music office. Contribute to the Harvest for Hunger Food Drive, the First Light Toy Drive or the Giving Tree. You can even make an Advent flower donation or purchase a ticket to the Holiday House Tour, which benefits several IPC ministries that provide educational opportunities for women and children. Try to find a new way to live out our mission statement of Joining God in the World, Welcoming Our Neighbors.
All the Best,
William J. Carl III, Senior Pastor of Independent Presbyterian Church