What’s at the center of Christmas for you? We all have our many traditions — family, food, gifts, the tree — but what should be at the center? Without a doubt, Jesus should be at the very center of Christmas because the baby in the manger is the reason for the season. The promise of hope and new life for us are found in Jesus’ life.
Let’s covenant together to place Jesus at the center. Let’s approach worship and prayer in a bit of a different way with times of silence and reflection built into every worship service. Our goal is to calm the voices and pressures that take our minds off Jesus, who is the center and source of it all.
During these six weeks, we also encourage time for personal and family centering. Use the Magnificent Gifts Prayer Guide as a resource through this season to help you to center on Jesus. Remember in prayer the different mission and ministry partners of Sheridan Lutheran Church.
Consider giving a financial Magnificent Gift
Learn more about the ministries which benefit from your above and beyond gift. You may contribute electronically, using the “give online” button and designating by “Advent Giving,” or give with cash or check using a Magnificent Gifts envelope from the pew or Welcome Center. Make checks payable to Sheridan Lutheran Church. All undesignated Magnificent Gifts benefit Barnabas Community.
Why above and beyond Advent giving?
Christmas is filled with gift giving and receiving, festive parties, music and cheer. The holiday season and the festivities it brings is a whirlwind way to end another year. Often, on the heels of our Christmas celebration, we wonder if we truly celebrated Christmas – the birth of Jesus. In the midst of our holiday traditions, is celebrating Jesus’ birth at the heart of it all?
As a faith community, celebrating Jesus’ birth is who we are. Jesus commanded the church to be the light in the world so that all people would know his promises (Matthew 28). We will proclaim the promise that God has come into the world. We will celebrate Jesus’ birthday!
Throughout the four weeks of Advent we prepare our hearts and homes to celebrate God’s gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We celebrate this season of giving in our faith community and remember the needs of others. Each year we provide opportunities to give to special mission projects serving the needs of those at home and globally. You may place your gift in the special offering envelopes labeled “Magnificent Gifts” located in the pews or at the Welcome Center.
Over the years, the Sheridan community has given generously to various ministry partnerships. For more information on each of these ministries listed below, expand the title. Consider giving a financial Magnificent Gift to support the ministries you are lifting up in prayer this Advent and Christmas.
Barnabas Community: Goal $75,000
This grassroots ministry, led by dedicated volunteers, is more than just a free store and community center reaching out to the city of Lincoln. Barnabas
provides clothing, household goods and other personal goods to those in need. Guests come for clothing, food and community; many single parent families and those who are simply down on their luck; disabled; elderly or new immigrants to America. Food distribution has grown tremendously in 2016, with two free meals distributed each week. Just this fall, Barnabas Community, in partnership with Shared Vision – a non-profit eye care organization, began offering monthly eye clinics. Every month, Barnabas serves more than 800 families.
Haiti Vacation Bible School & School Scholarships: Goal $10,000
Help give 300 children a life-changing week at Vacation Bible School in Jacmel, Haiti
in partnership with the Haitian Timoun Foundation
. Your gift provides all camp materials, daily nutritious meals and clean water. Also included is room, board and stipends for the 50+ local Haitians who help lead the camp. Following the camp, these funds help scholarship students whose families cannot afford to send them to high school.
Greater Church Partnerships: Goal $8,000
Support Sheridan’s strong and historic partnerships with our two companion synods: the Northern Diocese of Tanzania, Argentina and Uruguay as well as our greater church partnerships of ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran World Relief. For 2017, a special donation is given to our German Lutheran Church partnership as we work together celebrating the 500th year of the Protestant Reformation. Each year, Sheridan also sends a mission team internationally, with Habitat for Humanity Global Village, to help build a house for a family in need. Your gift will be used to purchase building materials so a family will have a decent, safe and secure place to live throughout the world
Wish to Give?
You may participate by placing your above and beyond year-end gift in the special “Magnificent Gifts” envelopes or by giving online.
Please prayerfully consider supporting these ministries throughout the remainder of the year.