Los Altos United Methodist Church participated in the “Advent Conspiracy,” a campaign to encourage the celebration of Christmas by incorporating the basic tenets of “Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More and Love All,” raising more than $76,000 in donations for service-providing organizations.
“The message clearly resonated with many who sought to celebrate Christmas with less of the consumerism promoted in commercial advertising and more of the spirit of love and hope brought to earth by the birth of Jesus,” said Senior Pastor Mark S. Bollwinkel.
The church contributed its entire Christmas Eve offering from all five services to the campaign.
“To intentionally allocate the entire Christmas Eve offering to outside organizations took a giant leap of faith by our Church Council, but we felt it was important for our church to give to others as part of our celebration of Christmas,” said Margie Gong, chairwoman of the Church Council.
The donations will be disbursed to three organizations: Living Water International, Hope’s Corner and Freedom House.
Living Water International provides clean water wells in developing countries. In the past three years, the church has sponsored 10 wells serving more than 7,700 people. This year’s donation will underwrite wells in Nicaragua and other selected countries.
Hope’s Corner offers free breakfasts and sack lunches to hungry people Saturdays at Trinity United Methodist Church at the corner of Hope and Mercy streets in downtown Mountain View.
Freedom House’s mission is to bring hope, restoration and a new life to survivors of human trafficking by providing a safe home and long-term aftercare in Northern California. In August 2010, the organization opened its first safe house in San Mateo County for adult female survivors of human trafficking. The organization plans to open a safe house for minors 12-17 in Santa Clara County this year.
For more information, visit www.laumc.org.