Changing Ministry Priorities Drive Change in Traditions

Post a Comment » Written on December 18th, 2009     
Filed under: News
SAMMAMISH, WA (December 18, 2009) – For more than a decade, Pine Lake Covenant Church hosted an annual Christmas luncheon for women in the congregation, but that tradition is a thing of the past.

LuncheonA new tradition has taken its place. The church continues to host the luncheon, but for the second straight year, the special guests were women and children living in transitional housing and homeless shelters.

The church welcomed 53 women and 65 children to this year’s event on Saturday, says Beth Yeager, pastor of community and missions. Men wearing black slacks, white shirts, and red bow ties served the meals (top photo).

A special luncheon and program also were provided for the children (lower photo). The church set up a store where the kids could each pick out a Christmas gift to give their mothers.

Members of the congregation decorated the rooms, provided the food and the gifts for the store. They also drove the guests to the luncheon, says Yeager, adding that 150 volunteers participated in some way.

Kids“It was a great time,” Yeager says.

Changing the tradition was part of an overall strategy of the church to reach its community. “We really want to have a much larger missional presence, and that means freeing us up from some of the things we did so that we could serve,” Yeager says.

Throughout Advent, more than 450 people served others as part of the church’s “Christmas Presence.” Volunteers served in 15 events providing meals, cleaning houses, caroling, partying with incarcerated youth and offering prayers and warm conversation to those who are homeless.

The church continues to seek ways to initiate and strengthen relationships with area shelters and other agencies, Yeager adds.

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