A Note From Pastor Jon About the Unexpected Christmas Eve Offering

Dear COS Family,

May the peace of Christ be with you. In the midst of this year’s difficult moments, online bible searches have soared as people have sought God’s presence and God’s wisdom. People have looked to the scriptures for passages addressing fear, healing, and justice. These are not new longings. They are as ancient as human existence. The answers that God revealed then are the answers God is still revealing today - do not be afraid, for I am your God, I am with you. As we prepare to celebrate the message of Christmas – Emmanuel, God with us – there are many in our community who do not know the God who has come to be with them. There are many who are in need of relationships that allow them to know that God is desperately in love with them. Many of them worry about how they will pay the bills, put food on the table, or how their children will be clothed for school. Others need a little encouragement to keep moving forward.
You can be part of a different story this Christmas, one that celebrates Jesus and brings hope to a hurting world. We have already shared a blessing with many in our community through our Unexpected Christmas outreach over the last several weeks, but the story that we are a part of isn’t finished, and it doesn’t stop with Christmas. We have an opportunity to continue to impact lives throughout the coming year. We do this by offering our best gift to God for God’s purposes on Christmas Eve. Although we are not meeting in one place, we can still present our gift to God who offered us this greatest gift.

This year, we will be giving our entire Christmas Eve offering away to meet the needs of others in the greater St. Charles community. Our Unexpected Christmas Offering will be used to fill backpacks with food, support for our school partnerships, provide needed clothing and shoes for school aged children and youth, support for our mission partners as they feed those who are hungry through actual food, personal hygiene items, or even as we did the past year, by providing a freezer to store food for those in need. Your offering will be used for community outreach, Neighbor Helping Neighbor, and providing assistance to families in need. Every gift changes a life and shares hope in the name of Jesus for an entire year. You can give online at www.churchoftheshepherd.com, the COS app, or by sending your gift in the enclosed envelope. Together, we will answer the questions of fear, healing, and justice in our community with God’s written word and the Living Word of Christ moving through us. That is truly a story to celebrate this Christmas.

I pray that you will know and experience the presence of Christ this Christmas once more.

Merry Christmas,
Pastor Jon Spalding
Church of The Shepherd
Lead Pastor