HOUSTON, TX -- Houston and Galveston area churches and Christian organizations are providing an alternative to frenzied Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church (MDPC), Beacon of Light Christian Center, St. Luke's United Methodist Church, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Fair Haven UMC and Mission Milby are each scheduling community service projects on Friday, November 25. These churches ask families and individuals to celebrate Bless Friday® as an alternative to Black Friday.
Chuck Fox, founder of Bless Friday®, states, "I am excited that Bless Friday® expanded in its second year. People get our message that when we focus too much on buying things, we lose sight of the real reason for Christmas -- remembering and honoring Christ. We want to begin our Christmas celebration by serving others just as Jesus did."
He further says, "I'm also pleased that multi-church organizations such as the Presbytery of the New Covenant, The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Texas recently advertised Bless Friday® in newsletters or on their websites. The publicity and endorsement helps us reach more people." More information is available at BlessFriday.org or by contacting Chuck Fox at 713-502-6356.
Dave Peterson, Sr. Pastor at MDPC states, "We want to transform lives as people reconnect to the real reason we celebrate Christmas. I am especially thrilled when children and youth participate. It changes how they view the season." MDPC congregants are volunteering at local ministry partners (Star of Hope, SEARCH), painting a Hurricane Ike damaged home or participating in a service project they can do at home with family and friends. More information is available at bless.mdpc.org or by contacting Jan Roe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-490-9552.
Beacon of Light Christian Center plans to invite the surrounding community to its church, located at 6655 London St. in South Houston for a day of fellowship and caring. The church plans to serve the community the entire day by offering food to the hungry, clothing to those in need, and activities for people of all ages. Pastor Anthony Gasery states, "Our community is filled with people who financially overextend themselves at Christmas. We want to show them a more positive and more spiritual way to celebrate." For more information please contact Myree Francis email@example.com.
St. Luke's will hold a pot luck lunch at the Gethsemane campus where participants will prepare blessing bags of non-perishable food items for distribution to the homeless and needy. Mireya Ottaviano, event organizer states, "Many at St. Luke's want to spend a portion of the day giving thanks by sharing with others and send a message that Advent is about celebrating our values, not focusing on material things." More information is at 713-774-7693.
St. John the Divine will send one group to The Beacon to serve food to the homeless and help with laundry and other practical needs. Another group will go to Agape Development to work in the Urban Garden. For more information please contact Taylor Dawson,firstname.lastname@example.org, 713-622-3600.
Moody Memorial UMC (Vivian Pinard, email@example.com, 409-744-4526) will host a Clean Galveston Day. Mission Milby (Jose Pena -firstname.lastname@example.org, 713-454-6480) and Holycross Lutheran Church (John Jairo y Sussy- email@example.com) will each share lunch in their communities. Finally Fair Haven UMC is also scheduling events (Jairo Ortiz- firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bless Friday® was founded in 2010 in Houston to change the way Americans celebrate Christmas.