Tiz the Season!

It's a busy time out there for most people. Some are shopping already in anticipation of Christmas. Tiz the season for outreach. Amazingly many people even in the rush up to Christmas are open to the Good News expressed in practical ways. (Actually they are surprised that people would give up their time to show God's love in in practical ways.) Our serving opens hearts to the good news.

  • In the midst of the rush determine to slow down on the inside and chose to make a difference personally.
  • Notice people.
  • Seek to serve and to care. 
  • Hold a door open for someone. 
  • Offer to carry a persons packages to their car.
  • Pay for someones meal at a restaurant or fast food drive through. 
  • Tip a waitress big and say her name (after ordering, one of my friends says the waitresses name and asks, 'During this season how can I pray for you?')
  • Take a small gift to the grocery check out person just to say thanks. 
  • Visit a hospital emergency waiting room with fresh bagels and coffee offer support and prayer.
  • Visit a nursing home with boxes of Tissues(the good ones). 
  • Take granola bars(buy bulk Sam's Club or Costco's) to the school in your neighborhood and give them to the secretary for the staff and teachers.
  • Invite people to your Christmas Services. You'd be surprised how many people would show up if you personally invited them. Many churches make special Christmas Service invitations to help. Let them know you'll meet them at the main entrance.

Lastly, plan to participate in your church Christmas Season Outreach events.

Here's ours.
Thanksgiving Day Brunch.
Serving Brunch to our friends who come to our downtown Dayton Campus. We'll arrive at 9am, help prep, receive instructions, serve coffee to those who come early, sit and talk with our friends who arrive, then serve a home cooked brunch. This year an unknown lady donated baggetts and bagels from Panera Bread to top off the meal. During our serving we offer hope-full prayer.

Donuts and Coffee the day after Thanksgiving.
We are now the official greeters for one of the largest malls in our area. We show up early 5:30am. We prep our tables. Instruct our team. Then serve Boston Stoker coffee and Krispy Kreeme donuts to the thousands of people who come to shop. (If interested here is the process http://stevebowen.blogspot.com/2008_11_01_archive.html.)

Wrap It Up!
During the run up to Christmas we wrap presents for people free of charge in one of the largest malls in our area for 12 days. I call it the 12 days of Christmas event. We wrap Monday - Thusday 12pm to 2pm and 6pm to 9pm. These are peak hours during the week. On weekends we wrap 12pm to 9pm. We have great conversations, receive many, many thank yous especially from the wrapping impaired men. We also, share who we are, why we do what we do and discretely offer prayer when we sense a need or an opportunity. (last years post http://stevebowen.blogspot.com/2008/12/wrap-it-up_17.html)

Making Christmas Dreams Come True 2010.
Over 300 people serve 1400 attendees who come to our ticketed event. This is the largest event of the year. We target low income children. Over 800 last year attended. We create a wonderland environment, offer a great sit down lunch, paint faces, kids make crafts for their parents, every child receives a personal present, and every family receives a bag of groceries to take home. Last year someone donated Christmas trees.
(the web site is http://mcdct.blogspot.com)

(Last years end of season reflection post(http://stevebowen.blogspot.com/2009/12/whirl-wind-season.html)

In the midst of the the rush there are always opportunities to show God's love in a practical way. Tiz the season.

Turkey's Giving Away Turkeys

This year is our 21st year for turkeys giving away turkeys.

A couple of years ago we adjusted the outreach in order to involve more people, create a safer environment (morning instead of after dark), create less stress (we were creating exact maps from hours of phone calls usually from the same people who were playing the system) and to create a greater sense of team (over 300 people showed up for instructions and to do the outreach last year).

here's what we have discovered:

  • people want to make a difference....this year over 500 boxes went out the first two weekends in November.
  • people like simple...people grab a box as they leave a weekend service. The box has the instructions placed inside the box to help guide people as they purchase the food items.
  • people enjoy the sense of togetherness...We encourage participation: families packing the box together, or joining with friends, or joining as a small group to fill the box. This year we will be kicking off with a worship set and breaking up into small groups for prayer...then introducing team leaders, and receiving instructions and maps.
  • some people like to participate but don't want to go on the outreach...that's ok, participating at any level is appreciated. The 'no go but want to serve people' will bring their filled boxes at 9am instead of 10am and placed into trucks. Last year 150 turkey boxes arrived at 9am.
  • people like the fact that we go to the areas we have consistently served in the past...we will be dividing up into three huge teams, caravaning to the location in order to reach out to 5 low income apartments in Huber Heights, Fairborn, Beavercreek,  Miamisburg, and Centerville.
  • people like the adventure... we go to homes unannounced offer the Thanksgiving meal and offer prayer. When we leave the home we place a small noticeable,  sticker on the door notifying the rest of the team that the stickered door is a home we have served.
  • people who serve begin to see life through an outward focused lense...One family went to a home and offered the Thanksgiving dinner. The single mom invited the family inside to place the dinner on her table. The family noticed...all she had in her apartment was the table. Their perspective changed. Their hearts were softened through the experience and began to view life through a different lense.
Going, serving, praying = caring for others ...an outward focused life.

Thanks so much for helping to make Thanksgiving possible for the less-served of our community!

This year’s date for Turkeys Giving Away Turkeys is Saturday, November 20th. We will meet at Beavercreek Campus at 10am and join team leaders to head out to three different locations: Huber Heights, Fairborn, and Centerville.

How to participate: Join together as family, friends, or a small group to fill up the box with items listed below.

Turkey’s Giving Away Turkey’s List.

  • 2 Cans Corn
  • 2 Cans Green Beans
  • 1 Large Can Yams
  • 1 Can Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 Box Au Gratin Potatoes
  • 1 Box Brownies
  • 2 Boxes Mac and Cheese
  • 1 Dinner Bag Rolls
  • 1 Box Stuffing Mix
  • 1 FROZEN Turkey


  • 1 Pie
  • Fresh Veggies
  • Roasting Pan
  • Fun Stuff

Important Instructions:
If you are going on the outreach... Please leave your dinner box in your car.

If you only want to participate by filling a turkey dinner box and not go on the outreach...Please drop the filled box off at the Vineyard at 9am.