As we head into the holiday season at UUCW, some of us may feel a little confused about our options for holiday giving. We hear a number of different asks coming from the Sunday announcements, and without them being laid out “on paper,” they can become a blur! The Stewardship Team thought it would be helpful to publish a summary, in no particular order:
- Annual Christmas Poinsettias
Each year around Christmas, our church has a beautiful way of decorating the Sanctuary and remembering those who have passed on and are still so present in our hearts. A poinsettia can be purchased in their name and listed in the Christmas Service pamphlet. Also, in lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in their name and that money be used for fresh flowers throughout the year. Please see the announcement on the website (https://www.uucworcester.org/2021-11-09-poinsettia-collection/).
- Shoeboxes for ACE
UUCW participates in an annual December event of giving gifts to the refugee and immigrant high-school students of ACE (African Community Education). From the church’s list, select a student, buy gifts that will fill your shoe box or other container of similar size, wrap and return to the church on a day to be announced. The ACE kids so look forward to this exciting day of mystery gifts with their own name on the package, given joyfully and from the heart by strangers. (https://www.uucworcester.org/2021-11-16-holiday-shoe-box-project/)
- Giving Tree
Our annual Giving Tree will be making its appearance on November 27th. You can help decorate it with hats, mittens, gloves, and scarves….new or gently used. Our mission is to gift the items to our Loaves and Fishes food pantry clients. If you have questions, please see https://www.uucworcester.org/2021-11-21-giving-tree-starts/
- Holiday Craft Fair and Auction
Our Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair which will take place on December 4th from 9-3pm. This year, we will also have a UUCW Holiday Auction to go with the fair. Look for more details! We are chock full of amazing crafters and vendors for your holiday or everyday gift needs. Shop Small! Shop Local! (https://www.uucworcester.org/2021-12-04-holiday-fair-coming-soon/).
- UUCW Emergency Fund
In 2020 UUCW contributed $9462.00 to assist families in need in our congregation and community. This money helped pay for homelessness outreach, food, medicine, temporary shelter, utilities, holiday gifts, and transportation. Funds were collected from members and friends of the congregation as well as other communities who partnered with us to provide this outreach. This fund is now empty and has been for the past 4 months due to very high demand this year. During the Winter Holiday season we strive to replenish this fund. There are two ways that we accomplish this. First, the children’s “change for change” collection which had been a weekly ritual during Sunday morning worship gives those attending Sunday morning worship a weekly opportunity to contribute. Because of the pandemic we have foregone in-person collection by the children and have placed a basket on the joys & sorrows table for those who wish to contribute in this manner. Additionally, we invite a special offering during the Holiday services (Solstice – New Years) when we invite you to contribute directly to the fund with one of the envelopes provided. In addition, you may contribute to this effort electronically by visiting https://my.simplegive.com/app/giving/unit90h215 and choosing “Emergency Fund (#4260)” from the Fund drop-down menu. Your contribution makes a huge difference in the lives of the families we serve! (https://www.uucworcester.org/2021-11-24-emergency-fund-drive/)
And, also importantly, don’t forget your regular pledge checks to keep our operations going this holiday season!
The Stewardship Team