Monday, November 28, 2005

Reclaiming Christmas, Part I

Each year for nearly a decade now, the Jeff St. Peacemaker Ministry Team has led the church in the Reclaiming Christmas Project. Recognizing our wealth and bounty of stuff, we've taken to encouraging our friends and family to honor the Christ Child with gifts to those who are in need, instead of we who have so much.

In the years past, we have raised money to build much-needed wells, funding a pharmacy and starting a women's chicken-raising project in various Central America localities. This year, the money raised will go to provide medical supplies in Nicaragua and, for the first time ever, we've branched out to raise money for a small village in Morocco where our friend, Karen, works.

The following ideas are offered as "pondering points" for those who might be considering participation in this project. It may help to give you ideas on how to describe your participation in this project as you discuss it with your friends and relatives. Everyone will have an underlying rationale that is unique to them, so develop your own.

Here are some points that seemed important to us on the Peacemaker Ministry Team:

  1. It's Jesus' Birthday!

We're celebrating Jesus' birthday, after all. We should give in ways that honor the one who said, “What you do for the least of these, you have done unto me.”

  1. Cheap ain't Cheap for Nothin'

Many of the cheap, abundant “gifts” given at this time of the year come from third world countries using unjust labor practices. We do not wish to cooperate in giving unqualified support to an unjust system.

  1. Rich and Poor

In a world where the gap between the rich and the poor is ever-widening, gift-giving that increases the affluence of those already wealthy just seems wrong. The cries of those who suffer tears at our hearts. We cannot ignore them.

  1. Sustainability, Sustainability, Sustainability

The industrial processes that produce most of the products we buy are destructive to the air, land and water in ways that threaten to irreparably damage life as we know it. Where's the joy in that kind of gift?!

  1. 'Tis a Gift to be Simple

There is freedom and joy in simplicity. It is almost universally acknowledged that Christmas has become too commercialized. The Reclaiming Christmas Project is one way of reclaiming the joy of a simpler, more beautiful Christmas.

If you'd like more information on the Reclaiming Christmas Project, you can email Dan at:


At 12/26/08, 7:22 AM, Anonymous fragoo said...

Thank you Dan for this posting. I have felt a greater discomfort this Christmas season than in the past with the busyness and buying of stuff for those not in need. This morning while listening to Take 6's Christmas disc, I felt a call to start a Reclaiming Christmas project in our church - an affluent Methodist church in conservative Lubbock, TX. Your posting has given me a starting point.

Frank Goode


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