by Steve Scoffone
The Father gave us the greatest gift of all, by sending His only Son into the world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 And Jesus met our greatest need by giving His life on the cross for us.
We have a tradition at Central Manor Church. We call it the Birthday Gift for Jesus. It is a small way that we can worship and say thank you to both the Father and the Son. This tradition is new for me, and I am excited about the plans for this gift.
Of course, we can’t wrap a gift and hand it to Jesus. Instead, we will take an offering and use the money to bless others. This year none of the money will be used to bless our own church. Rather, the money will be used to bless the community and the world.
When Jesus was on the earth, He met both physical and spiritual needs. Both are important to God. Jesus gave us both the great commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves and also the great commission to make disciples of all nations. This year’s gift will be used for both.
We will divide the donations among four ministries: two will help serve our community and two will impact other people groups. Here are the four ministries:
1. Align Pregnancy Services – We at Central Manor Church believe in the sanctity of human life. We want to support this ministry that helps women in crisis to be able to keep their baby or find a family who can adopt the child.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb… Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:13,16
2. The Way Recovery Ministry – We want to contribute to a new house that they will be opening to minister to people with addictions.
3. Afghan Refugees – Some refugee families from Afghanistan are beginning to settle in Lancaster. We want to provide support for them as they get settled. Please pray that many would hear a clear presentation of the gospel as they settle in our country.
“He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing.” – Deuteronomy 10:18
4. Global Missions – We just renovated our church building to make it more equipped to minister to people in our community. We will support our ministry partners in Mexico, Jorge Rodriguez, who is currently raising money for a building for their church plant.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8