I am sure it must be happening to you as well that at this time of the year begging letters come, seeking donations from a variety of organizations. I am sure most of them need funds to continue their important work, whether it be in medical research, provision of community services or work for other humanitarian causes. I have a select number of causes I support, including Mercy Ships, Médecins Sans Frontières, BSL, Anglicare, The Conversation, Anglican Overseas Aid, and the Christmas Bowl. Other letters I mark ‘Return to sender – not solicited’.
At this time of the year Anglican parishes are encouraged to support the Christmas Bowl alongside their normal mission giving. Archbishop Geoffrey Smith, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia. says in support of this year’s appeal, “it is times like this that we understand that everyone is our neighbour, not only at home but abroad.” He goes on to remind us of the meaning of the great story of the parable of the Good Samaritan that demonstrates the radical nature of loving your neighbour, regardless of race or creed. The Christmas Bowl is an ecumenical appeal that provides us with the opportunity to share our Christmas celebrations by extending a helping hand to those in need.
In our home we place an empty bowl on the Christmas dinner table and invite those present to share in this appeal. Likewise when inviting people for Christmas drinks and nibbles we ask for no gifts but a donation to the Christmas Bowl. Envelopes will be available in church next Sunday at our combined service at All Saints at 10 am followed by Christmas Brunch. Please consider, alongside our food collection for Anglicare.