Sharing Christmas

L to R: Susan Spalding and Anna Brezeale from H.A.V.E.N. and Father Bill Breedlove

L to R: Susan Spalding and Anna Brezeale from H.A.V.E.N. and Father Bill Breedlove

Good Shepherd Episcopal Church Hayesville invites everyone to “Sharing Christmas” this Sunday, November 23, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.This annual event supports local charitable organizations that provide many of life's necessities to the less fortunate. Representatives from area organizations will be present to explain the help they give to those who need it the most. Good Shepherd is located at 495 Herbert Hills Road off Hwy. 64E about 1 mile from Walgreens. Red and green balloons will mark the entrance to the church.

These organizations provide food for the hungry, including many children, shelter for the homeless, a safe haven for victims of domestic abuse, school supplies and backpacks, and counseling for troubled teens. In addition, assistance is given to the elderly and repairs are done to substandard houses.

As the Rev. Bill Breedlove, Rector at Good Shepherd, explains, “Sharing Christmas is not intended to replace the age-old tradition of giving gifts to the special people in our lives. Instead, it gives us the chance to add more meaning to that practice by giving a financial donation to those organizations as a gift in the name of anyone on our Christmas lists. I believe sharing our Christmas giving with those whom Jesus teaches us to care about most is an important part of celebrating the true spirit of Christmas.”

A new resident resident to our community recounts his experience with a similar event in his hometown: “About 25 years ago a good friend told me wife and me about something at a neighborhood church called 'An Alternative Christmas.' We got our two young kids in the car to check it out. We were warmly welcomed by several church members and directed to the displays where local organizations provided information. We learned that we could make a financial gift to any organization in the name of a family member or friend; the organization would send a card to that person acknowledging the gift. What a terrific idea, we thought. This added a new tradition to our celebration of Christmas and gave the kids a lesson in helping others.”

Good Shepherd invites anyone in the area who would like to add something new to Christmas traditions to join us in “Sharing Christmas.”