It began with a parent’s concern during First Lutheran’s member-to-member Care Call outreach a couple of months ago: “…I have attended church at least weekly all of my life and, thus, this time away from in-person services makes me feel worried about our child’s spiritual development. We have devotions, read Bible stories and pray, but I still worry. We look forward to the time when our child can be vaccinated so we can come back to church in a more normal way.”
That’s it. That’s how Advent-to-Go began at First Lutheran Church.
As an expression of the congregation’s care for the needs of young families and children, volunteers gathered resources for observing Advent at home. They assembled and personally delivered pizza boxes filled with Advent supplies to the homes of families with infants and young children. One volunteer drove 115 miles in one day to the front doors of member homes in Waverly, Hickman, Bennet, Palmyra, as well as all over Lincoln. In addition, thick mailer packets surprised families of 3rd-5th graders. A total of 60 households, many with more than one child, received an Advent-to-Go surprise.
A $250 Thrivent Action Team grant and member donations provided the contents. Every household received devotional materials and supplies for making a paper Advent wreath and candles, a playlist of Advent and Christmas music, a nativity set, art supplies for Advent-related projects and special messages from Pastor Erin and Pastor Susanna. Boxes for infants-7 year olds also contained Fair Trade Advent calendars, shakers for the toddler percussion section during Advent music time, a board book or Advent booklet, art projects and a Funfetti cupcake or cookie mix + streamers for celebrating Jesus’ birthday.
Member-to-Member Care = Signs of God’s gracious love among us.
At First Lutheran, we are a community of disciples of Jesus Christ working for the transformation of the world. Throughout our history, we have remained committed to drawing on our Lutheran (ELCA) tradition of using meaningful worship, content-rich learning and warm hospitality to care well for our congregation, the surrounding community and the world.