The following is a guest post written by Rev. Amy Gopp, Executive Director at Week of Compassion. We’re proud to partner with Week of Compassion; you can help them share their mission’s light with the Week of Compassion travel tin candle.
Advent is a season of anticipation, longing, and profound hope. During these four weeks of preparation, Christians around the world seek the special presence of God and anticipate the birth of a Christ-child whose life will be a testament of God’s compassion for all of creation.
This year, even in the midst of a difficult recession, house foreclosures, shrinking retirement accounts, and high unemployment, we dare anticipate —and announce— the breaking-in of God’s peace, joy, and love in a world marked by uncertainty. Indeed, we anticipate the Light of God.
As Advent preparation gives way to Christmas celebration, it is very easy to become overwhelmed— by invitations, visiting relatives, and of course—all that “stuff” that Santa magically brings.
Celebrating the presence of God, living the compassion of Jesus, and expressing solidarity with those struggling in the midst of disaster, devastation, and displacement — the things that we value most often become difficult to focus on when there are gifts to assemble, parties to organize, and financial constraints.
Through Prosperity Candle, we have the opportunity to enhance our Advent journey with the stories of women refugeeswho are now making a life for themselves in the United States. As they are trained in the craft of candle-making and hone their entrepreneurial skills, not only are they able to survive, along with the families they often support, but they are now learning to thrive.
And now we can accompany them along their path to thrive.
This Christmas, we can reach out to these courageous women by purchasing their candles, and in that exchange support one another.
The Advent votive candlesavailable from our sisters at Prosperity Candle will bring light to this season of longing. They are candles for a cause, providing Christmas consumers gift possibilities that reflect the values we hold dear.
Beyond that, they are literal light in the midst of an otherwise dark world—helping us see our way through this Advent season to the birth of the Light of the World this Christmas.
Rev. Amy Gopp is an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Gopp currently serves as the Executive Director for Week of Compassion, the relief, refugee, and development mission fund of the Disciples church. On behalf of its network of more than 3,500 congregations worldwide, Week of Compassion distributes annually an average of $3-4 million toward global sustainable development and humanitarian relief.
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In the spirit of Women’s History Month, our thoughts are drawn to the many women who contribute to society in a myriad of ways while expecting nothing in return. They are hidden from view. Yet these women are transforming communities and making a positive difference in the world. They are unsung heroines.
March is about celebrating women… something we’re pretty excited about. There is so much to appreciate, so many barriers yet to topple, and so many amazing women to recognize for their accomplishments.
Ah, Valentine’s Day. Every year we look forward to it, but here’s the thing. Ever since Eve Ensler started One Billion Rising as part of her V-Day movement to end violence against women and girls, we’ve felt conflicted about this holiday.