As Christmas weekend approaches, I am feeling a little bit rushed. With the threat of a second major winter storm in less than a week, I have had to change my routine. Still, some presents won’t arrive at their destination until Epiphany. Just in case I lose power, I have also restocked my emergency supplies. I am excited to have a white Christmas, but I also know many people’s travel plans will be affected as they try to get home or away in the next few days.
Each year at this time, I share with you that I have given a donation on your behalf to one of the charitable organizations which seek to make a difference in the lives of God’s children. This year, instead of choosing one area, I have donated a gift to UMCOR for hurricane disaster relief for persons in Florida and Puerto Rico, as well as support for the people of Ukraine. Our Conference has asked for us to give to the Readers to Leaders fund which will provide educational resources for children in Michigan and our covenant partner nation of Liberia. I have supported this special mission as well.
Last week, on the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting, I watched a brief interview with a few teenagers who discussed how that day has transformed their lives. They shared their struggles with mental health over the past decade. I have made a donation to Mental Health America for these children and others who are struggling.
I have lost a few friends to cancer this year. I have made a donation to the Jimmy V. organization in memory of these persons.
As we look toward celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, may we seek ways to share a portion of what we have in order to make a difference in the life of one of God’s children. I share with you one of the best hymns of the season. God bless us everyone. And Amen.