Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Reverse and Reach Out

Bring the Light of Christ into your own life and to someone else's.   

Take time to read; to gather around the outdoor Abingdon Advent wreath; and to focus on others by giving.

Each week, during Advent, turn your “want list” into someone else’s “need list". Think about Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem. In a time of uncertainty, Mary and Joseph gathered what they had and traveled to Bethlehem to be counted in the census.

  • Read and reflect on  the story of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem. 
  • Pause to wonder about the lives of Mary and Joseph. What would they eat? Would they be warm? What would they need to care for themselves? What would they need to care for a newborn baby?
  • Create tags for each of four brown paper bags. Each week, fill the bag for the corresponding service agency.
  • Pray. Decide as a household how you will fill your bags. Will you donate money? Will you fill it each night as you light your Advent candles in your home? Once a week when you do your grocery shopping?
  • Bring your filled bags to Abingdon church on the following Sunday. (Bring Week 1 bags to the Advent 2 service, etc.) We'll bless them at the 11:00 worship on Epiphany (January 6, 2021) and then distribute them to the service organizations.

Week 1-- What food would they need for their journey to Bethlehem?

Place non-perishable FOOD ITEMS in bag #1 for those living with food insecurity served by the Bread for Life Food Pantry. Talk about the role of food in your own life. Pray for the families in our community who are living with food insecurity. $10 value.

Week 2 --What did they need for warmth?

Place WARM CLOTHES (socks, gloves, other warm clothing, and more socks) in bag #2 for the homeless served by G.U.E.S.T. Talk about the clothes you wear to stay warm in the winter. Pray for those who have little or no shelter from the cold. $20 value.

Week 3 - How would they care for themselves?

Place BASIC TOILETRIES (toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, soap, shampoo, comb, brush, lotion etc.) in bag #3 for the seniors served by Cary Avenue Adult Home.Talk about the things you need each day to care for yourself. Pray for those who often do not have basic care items or who need assistance in taking care of themselves. $10 value.

Week 4 - How would they care for a baby?

Place BABY ITEMS (classic toys such as rattles, blocks, board books, shape sorters, clothing, etc.) in bag #4 for the infants and toddlers (0-3 years old, cared for by Rural Infant Services Program (RISP). Talk about the many ways babies depend on their caregivers for their needs. Pray for those who receive help through the programs offered by Rural Infant Services Program of the Middle Peninsula as they care for their infants and toddlers who are developmentally delayed. $10 value.