During the Christmas season, it’s so easy to see how blessed we are to be a part of this Trinity Family. With so many wonderful people in our church & school community here, we are well connected to a family of faith, and a network of friends & resources. As we teach, preach and live out in our daily lives what it means to be a family recreated in Christ, we learn that from our blessings, we can bless others, and that we are called to love one another simply because Jesus loved us first. During the past six weeks we’ve seen, read and/or participated in numerous church and school outreach activities which connected the Trinity family to the community. In the last couple of weeks before Christmas, the CDC family of Trinity continued to reach out in meaningful ways!
The Garden of Exploration VPK class created “Christmas Card Kits” for children hospitalized at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Parents and children donated paper bags, crayons, scissors, glue, stickers, and other fun craft items. GOE students then decorated the bags, and put together the kits so that the children at the hospital can make their own Christmas Cards for their loved ones. The class was able to present 42 complete Christmas Card Kits to an Arnold Palmer representative this week who then awarded each of the children with a “good citizenship” award! These children, their families and their teachers all experienced the true joy in giving this year and it was a blast!
Angel Tree/Prison Fellowship
For nine years now, Trinity Downtown has shared Christmas love with others by participating in the Angel Tree program, helping children who have an incarcerated parent stay connected during the holidays. By reaching out to these families and providing a few basic needs, some gifts, a connection to an incarcerated parent, and a message of hope, we pray we can help bring someone one step closer to Jesus. Trinity families took an angel from the tree and brought in gifts and food – along with an invitation to visit Trinity – to share with ten Angel Tree families (plus two additional families who needed some extra care this year). Although the Angel Tree program asks only that we supply one gift per child, Trinity provides two gifts for each child, food for a Christmas meal, and a Publix gift card for the caretaker.
Trinity’s Garden of Discovery class adopted one of Trinity’s ten Angel Tree families. The students, families and staff of that class responded with gifts, food and gift cards. The children were so happy to shop for and wrap the gifts. In addition to supplying the assigned gifts, the class decorated a little Christmas tree with their own hand-made ornaments and created and signed a Christmas card. Teachers shared that they were “humbled and honored” to be a part of the Angel Tree Project this year and were proud of their students’ servant hearts and gentle Christmas spirits.
Adopting Families In Need
In the Garden of Creativity classroom, a need was brought to light in a local ministry by a Trinity staff member who volunteers there. The Samaritan’s Ministry provides weekly hot meal for disadvantaged families – some homeless, some struggling financially, some living in difficult transitional housing situations. At different times during the year they also provide personal hygiene products and clothing for those families. This year they were contacted to help with 14 families who had not yet been “adopted” for additional support at Christmas – specifically children with incarcerated parents, parents in emergency shelter situations, and single mothers in struggling households. On December 13th, after 5pm, a group email was sent to all CDC families letting them know of this need and inviting them to help meet the need. By the next morning, all 14 families were adopted! CDC Director Patty Moser sent this message:
“Thank you all so much for your cheerful giving this Christmas Season. Last week we sent out a request to have 14 families adopted and the response was overwhelming. In less than 10 hours we had all families claimed and others asking how they can help. We received a bounty of gifts for each family as well as $375 in Publix gift cards. I can’t even express how grateful I am for all of you and your spirit of generosity. Your gifts will make Christmas extra special for so many families.”
Blessed to be a Blessing
We are blessed to be a blessing to others in our Trinity family, in our neighborhoods, workplaces, in our Orlando Communities and in the world. Every act of love & kindness makes a difference and has a ripple effect in the world. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year with family and friends. If you don’t have a church home here in Orlando, please join us for worship at Trinity during the holidays.