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Please find an update from Operation Christmas Child below as well as some information from Hope Together.

Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal continues despite lockdown

In what has been a year of uncertainty for many, our churches can bring great hope and joy - changing a child's life this Christmas. Local churches overseas not only give out our shoebox gifts but share the Christmas message of new life in Jesus with the children.

There are two ways to send a shoebox this year:

  • Shoeboxonline.org.uk  Choose gifts on this website and Operation Christmas Child volunteers will pack and send a shoebox for you. 

Volunteer to check shoeboxes at our Tonbridge warehouse to send thousands of shoeboxes on their way.

From  Monday 14 December to Saturday 19 December we're looking for up to 26 volunteers at a time to check boxes for customs compliance and that all the gifts are suitable for the children. Our spacious warehouse means volunteers can be socially distanced and we have put in place a wide range of other Covid-secure arrangements. Our goal is to process all the shoeboxes from the greater South East. This could be up to 80,000 shoeboxes – more than triple what we checked locally last year.

This will a be one of the few service activities still allowed and is a 'work' context where more than 6 can gather. So this is an unique opportunity for church small groups and youth groups to be together safely as well as individuals and household groups. It's also an activity that's fun and appropriate to invite friends to experience something of the life and community of Christians they know.
     Volunteer by going to SAMARITANS-PURSE.ORG.UK/PCVOLUNTEERING


Hope Together
Christmas promotion - The Message version of Isaiah 9:6 is: ‘His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness.’ HOPE Together will be leading the Church of England’s online Advent service on 6 December on this theme of wholeness and wellbeing as we introduce The Wellbeing Journey. Wellbeing is the subject of the moment and Dave Smith’s new book ‘God’s Plan for You Wellbeing’ expertly tackles it from God’s perspective; the Wellbeing Journey film series is based on the book. We’re encouraging churches up and down the country to run The Wellbeing Journey online or in person from January, inviting all those who attend their Christmas services, both virtually and physically, to join them on this journey. The series can be used to run as a centralised group (Alpha-style) or in small groups or Sunday services, whether online or physically.  The material is suitable for interested non-Christians and would make a great introduction to your church. Find out more at wellbeingjourney.org and sign up to be notified when all the resources are ready.

Youth Wellbeing Journey - The Wellbeing of young people is one of the biggest challenges we face right now and it is also the biggest opportunity to serve them, to help them discover God’s plan for their wellbeing. A representative survey of 4,000 8-24 year olds in Great Britain by Barnardo’s found a rise in issues related to mental health and wellbeing for at least one in three of the participating children and young people. 
     Dan Randall, HOPE’s youth director, says: ‘Can I urge us to engage in the wellbeing conversation and seek God for how we can help young people to go on a journey to discover God’s plan for their wellbeing!’
     Together with KingsGate Community Church, we are creating the Youth Wellbeing Journey, an 8-part video series by young people for young people! We are creating this video journey to run in tandem with the adult Wellbeing series, filmed from the perspective of young people going on their own Wellbeing Journey. Find out more at www.wellbeingjourney.org/youth

HOPE at Christmas - Give HOPE Together's magazine 'HOPE at Christmas' to neighbours, friends and family this holiday season. Order from the online shop.

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