One of our priorities regarding missions and outreach here at Autumn Ridge is a word Pastor Rick has mentioned frequently in his past few messages: intentionality. Our aim is to do everything – locally and globally – with intentionality. From Ridgefest, a community-focused, fun event for families, to the opportunities we are presenting at Love is the Agenda, we believe that each missionary or organization partnership we enter into should be done with a specified purpose.
So as we head into the Christmas season this year, intentionality is at the forefront of our minds. Our Missions Committee, Elders, and Leaders have been asking themselves this question:
How can we meet the immediate need within our local community while simultaneously building relationships with the people we are supporting?
We’ve partnered with many amazing ministries around Christmas time, and we’re grateful for how each one of them allows us to care for people worldwide. This year, we’re excited to partner with local schools and social workers through an organization called Angel Tree.
Beginning November 19-20, we will invite you to join us in supporting local families this Christmas through Angel Tree. Angel Tree is an opportunity to adopt families or individuals who otherwise would not receive a gift this Christmas. We have been partnering with community and school social workers to identify who those people are that we could come alongside as our “Angels.”
In the upcoming weeks, you’ll see that Angel Tree begins with hanging ornaments, representative of our Angels, on Christmas Trees in the lobby. On each ornament, you’ll find a list of items from an individual – both things they want and things they need this Christmas. Once you take an ornament, the fun begins! You get to go out and shop for that Angel, purchasing the things from their list that they indicated as wants and needs (at a minimum, purchasing one want and one need).
After buying those gifts, please bring them unwrapped to Autumn Ridge. We will store them here until it’s time to distribute them to the schools and community social workers to distribute. All gifts are due back to Autumn Ridge by December 13.
Finally, the week before Christmas Break, all purchased gifts will be delivered to the Angel’s schools. Parents or guardians will pick up the gifts and bring them home to give to their children on Christmas day.
With intentionality in mind, we are excited for this opportunity to step into a deeper relationship with local schools to meet the needs of our community. We want to communicate that we are invested in these families' lives and are here to support our local social workers. We encourage our Autumn Ridge families to participate, explaining to your kids that these gifts could be for kids their own age in their schools, opening their minds to see the immediate needs of others around them.
We are thankful for all who join us in Angel Tree this year!