This year, everyone can be part of “Give the Unexpected” outreach at Southeast Christian Church.
It will begin Dec. 8 as volunteers assemble 2,600 gift baskets that include vouchers for a ham or turkey, canned goods, dry goods and a copy of “The Story.”
Those gift baskets will be distributed by members of all four campuses and Southeast partners in the community. People can pick up a basket to deliver to someone they know—a single mom, a family out of work, a senior citizen, someone just getting by. Dates for pickup vary at different campuses.
“Everyone should know someone who is hurting,” said Bill Weedman, who leads Local Missions at Southeast. “If they don’t, they can pray about that and ask God to show them that person. They can reach out to them in a non-threatening way.”
That simple outreach, Weedman says, is a chance to “walk as Jesus walked.”
“We want to empower people to step out of their comfort zones and make contact with people who have needs,” he said. “Delivering a basket of food should not be the ‘end product,’ but the beginning of building a relationship. Every basket will come with a few guidelines about how to deliver it in a non-threatening, respectful way.”
Weedman hopes people will begin praying now about the person they should reach.
Outreach into the community began with the recent Basic Needs Drive as people donated close to 45,000 pounds of food that stocked local shelters, which have increased demand during the holidays.
In September, Local Missions met with partners in the community such as Scarlet Hope, City Life, Southside Ministries and Portland Promise Center to ask how to help them serve people this Christmas. The goal is to empower them to reach out.
Southeast now is the silent partner, working behind the scenes to fortify people on the front lines of ministry.
Talking with ministry partners changed how outreach looked.
“We learned from our partners that it was difficult for people to come to Southeast for events such as the Toy Store,” Weedman said. “That was a great outreach for Southeast, but it did little to empower our partners in the community. We have to remember that it’s not about us.
“In a sense, we serve underground,” Weedman said. “The goal is to lift up Jesus, not Southeast. Many of our small groups are serving at outreach ministry events, cooking and preparing food for parties at prisons, schools and ministry centers. Those volunteer opportunities are available through Local Missions.”
YOU CAN HELP
Friday, Dec. 7, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Help assemble baskets in the Christian Academy Gym at the Southwest Campus.
Saturday, Dec. 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. Help assemble gift baskets at the Sports and Fitness Building at the Blankenbaker Campus.
Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Help assemble baskets in the atrium at the Oldham Campus.
You can pick up a packed basket to give to a family you know during the following times at each campus:
Blankenbaker Campus | Sports and Fitness Building Auditorium
Dec. 10-13 | 10 a.m.-6 p .m.
Dec. 14 | 10a.m.-4 p.m.
Dec. 15 | 4 -7 p.m.
Dec. 16 | 8 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Indiana Campus | Atrium
Dec. 8 | 5-7p.m.
Dec.9 | 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Dec.10-11 | 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Oldham Campus | Atrium
Dec. 10-14 | 10 a.m.-4 p .m.
Dec. 15 | 5-7 p.m.
Dec. 16 | 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Southwest Campus | CAL Southwest Gym
Baskets will be distributed after assembly on Dec. 7
Deliver the Basket
Before Christmas, deliver the basket. Remember, this is an opportunity to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). Be yourself and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.
FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT BASKET ASSEMBLY: CALL (502) 253-8146. FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT BASKET DISTRIBUTION: CALL (502) 253-8360.