For more years than she would care to admit, Pam Long has been coordinating Risen Lord's collection for the Lutheran Child and Family Services Christmas Store. She began her career as an elf at a time when each month, the Risen Lord community focused on a different place of service and has continued coordinating this project ever since. Just as with many ministries of our church, it is her commitment to continue this project that helps us to live into the purpose and guiding principles of who we are.
Pam shared, "This is a passionate mission of Risen Lord and its members...One of our very lean years, I said we just can't ask members for more. When my silly little tree didn't go up, I heard about it, big time! This is definitely a passion of the members of Risen Lord!" The LCFS Christmas Store is an on-going program of the Sharing Place where clients who are referred by social service agencies can come to shop for gifts for their family members. Suggestions for donations are giving to community partners, but rather than "angel tree" programs where someone buys and wraps gifts for a person, parents/grandparents/care-givers are able to select the items that they think a child would like. Not only does this ensure that kids have something exciting to open on Christmas morning, it gives their care-givers an active part in the gift-giving though they cannot afford to do so on their own. It is a way to provide gifts while still giving the adults dignity in the process. Each year, the Christmas Store provides gifts for almost 250 families. In order to help us participate, Pam puts up a little tree and ornaments that contain gift suggestions. Feel free to take several ornaments. As you bring the gifts back to church, place your ornament on the tree. While we are decorating it leading up to Thanksgiving, we give thanks for every time the tree gets a little more decorated. All gifts need to be at Risen Lord by December 1 so that they can get to the store in time to be sorted and chosen by care-givers before Christmas. Suggested gifts include new toys, gift cards While we have often collected gifts, this year, we hope to deepen the celebration and the connection by volunteering at the store. Jobs include greeting and checking in guests, sorting and restocking shelves. The store will be open December 9-12. Volunteers are needed for two three-and-a-half hour shifts each day. If our church has five volunteers during that time, Thrivent will donate an additional $250 to the store. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Pam Long. Thank you for your continuing support of this program!