Advent Calendar Day 1: Angel Tree

Angel Tree Ministries

Starting today, November 27, 2011, the people of St. Margaret’s will again participate in the Angel Tree Christmas ministry. What is Angel Tree Ministries? Here is their Mission Statement:

Every child has a story. For 1.7 million American children, that story is filled with the abandonment, loneliness, and shame that comes from having a mom or dad in prison. For many, it may also include following their parents down the same destructive road to incarceration.

Angel Tree is a ministry that reaches out to the children of inmates and their families with the love of Christ. This unique program gives your church an opportunity to share Christ’s love by helping to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the families of prisoners.

Angel Tree Christmas works by connecting parents in prison with their children through the delivery of Christmas gifts. Every Christmas, thousands of churches like yours help brighten the lives of countless children by purchasing, wrapping and delivering gifts on behalf of their incarcerated parent—not only delivering a message of love from parent to child, but also the true meaning of Christmas—the good news of Jesus Christ.

But Angel Tree doesn’t end with Christmas. For you and your church, that first Christmas connection can be the beginning of a rewarding ongoing relationship with these children and their families. Continue your Angel Tree ministry throughout the year and God will use your church to help these children and their families grow in their faith, strengthen their relationships with imprisoned parents, and fulfill the purposes that God has for their lives.

Read more about Angel Tree Ministries

Advent Calendar 2011

For further reflection

When Mom or Dad is in prison, it is the children who do the hard time, but you can let them know they aren’t forgotten. You can give the child of a prisoner the joy of Christmas this year.

After Thanksgiving Angel Tree Tags will be available. Please take one or more and buy the gifts for the children. Donations can also be made for the party that is given for the families.Return the donations/wrapped gifts to the church on or before December 12th.

Volunteers will be needed to sort through the gifts and organize by families. Please contact Debby at 760-346-2697 if you can help.

St. Margaret’s Parish Life Bulletin for November 27, 2011

Looking for gift ideas this year? Do we have something for you!

Proudly introducing the St. Margaret’s Online Advent Calendar.

Beginning with the First Sunday of Advent (11/27/2011) a new posting will be made everyday to introduce you to a person, an organization, or a fund that embodies the Gospel imperative to “love your neighbor as yourself.” This Advent you will become aware of the many needs that surround us and the many persons, individually and collectively, working to meet those needs.

Every day during Advent come to the Online Calendar to open a new “window” and look upon the world into which Christ is to be born. In quiet and prayer, hear what the Spirit is saying to you.

Advent Calendar 2011

For further reflection
Culturally we are bombarded with messages in this season to go and buy gifts for others. We are immersed in the notion that if we are a decent human being we will go and buy lots of gifts to give to our loved ones; furthermore, if we have been good, then we can expect to receive lots of gifts from our loved ones who have been (like us) buying things like crazy.

Spiritually, of course, we hear readings and prayers about the end of time, the second coming of Christ, and judgment. We hear, too, of the foretelling of the birth of Jesus and we prepare ourselves to remember the birth of Jesus (Christmas) and the revelation of God’s love to the whole world (Epiphany, January 6). This year we enter Advent having just heard that we encounter Jesus in the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the one who is sick and the one in prison; we encounter Jesus in the “least” among us. Matthew 25:31-46

The St. Margaret’s Online Advent Calendar is a response to what we hear the Spirit saying in the Sunday Morning Forum. Sunday after Sunday, in a variety of ways, we hear the truth of the Apostle’s teaching:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead. James 2:14-18, 26

Instead of purchasing another item to give to a loved one you will be invited to consider gifting the money (you would have spent) to a person, organization, or fund on behalf of your loved one.

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