Operation Christmas Child 2016
Church News | Tuesday, 8 November 2016 |
Sunday was Operation Christmas Child day. Ordinary shoeboxes are decorated with Christmas wrapping and filled with selected contents such as toys, stationery and personal hygiene items and sealed with an elastic band ready to be checked before being shipped off to underprivileged children around the world, children who might not otherwise have received anything substantial to celebrate the Christmas story. The charity, Samaritans Purse, organise the collection and distribution of these filled boxes every year, called ‘Operation Christmas Child’.
At the 10.30am Family Service we were delighted to welcome the local Cub and Beaver groups armed with their filled shoeboxes. The Gospel reading came from John 2: v13-22 and told of Jesus saying how the temple could be pulled down and in three days he would build it up again, Jesus was referring to his death and Resurrection however, the message was not understood by the people of the time and queried how Jesus could tear down a temple that had taken more than 40 years to build and restore it again in three days?
Of course, Revd Carolyn couldn’t resist calling the children down to see how high they could build a ‘temple’ with Lego bricks while she spoke to us. We were all concentrating on the Lego structure which was getting higher and higher! But eventually the children were given permission to knock the tall structure down with a crash. Then referring to the donation of shoeboxes Revd Carolyn said how even the smallest acts of kindness can bring great joy and happiness to people, especially those who have very little and she made special reference to Vera Willsher who knits hats all year around and donates them to the shoebox appeal. Carolyn said that through her small acts of kindness, Vera will ensure that at least 320 young children will be kept warm this year. Vera was then presented with a mounted certificate of thanks.
The children (and grown-ups) were then treated to a puppet performance where they enacted the giving and receiving of shoebox gifts to a beautiful cover version of the Beetles song ‘If there’s anything that you want’ by Jess Thristan.
Then the congregation was invited to present their shoeboxes to the altar, somewhere around 85 in all, where Revd Carolyn blessed them all on their way to the children that might otherwise not get very much…
Revd Carolyn thanks all those who donated a shoebox for their love, care and generosity, hoping that although they are only small acts of kindness they are sure to bring a huge amount of joy and happiness to a child less fortunate than our own.