Concord UMC, Catawba shares the love of Christ through their Advent Acts of Worship in 2020

January 8, 2021

By: Rev. Thomas Deane, Pastor

Concord UMC's Advent Acts of Worship in Giving 2020

This Advent, Concord UMC in Catawba began with a challenge to boost their food pantry giving. They collected almost half a ton of food to divide between two local food pantries! The outpouring was beyond generous and the food pantries were in shock. While Concord UMC may not be an incredibly large congregation, they are certainly large-in-heart.
  • The first week's Act of Giving was to perform "surprise" gifts to strangers or those who don't often receive affirmations. They saw gifts of flowers, diapers for shelters, mittens, gloves and scarves for the homeless, dinners bought, groceries donated...the Spirit really began to flow.
  • The second week's Act of Giving was to support and provide hygiene kits, gift cards and adopt families for Rosenwald. The church provided over double the kits that were required by our missional network ( #7), adopted double the amount of families, and gave 20 gifts ( $40 per student!). Through tears of joy, they watched as the Spirit began to increase
  • The third week's Act of Giving was to provide a lunch for the ER staff of both Hickory hospitals ( Catawba Valley and Frye), both day and night shifts. They delivered 140 meals to a shocked and grateful group of tireless workers. One nurse expressed that in her 10 years of working at the hospital, no one had ever done such a thing. And the Spirit of Christmas continued...
  • On the fourth week's Act of Giving, they wrote Christmas cards and delivered them to all the inmates in the Catawba jail...again, fulfilling a ministry hole that had not yet been filled!
As disappointed as the congregation was to return to online worship, they couldn't help but notice that their viewership was in the 200's instead of the normal attendance of 65-70 they would normally expect inside the sanctuary. The Word of God continued to spread, in spite of how quickly COVID-19 was spreading. The year of 2020 may have tried to slow the Spirit of God, it may have played the role of The Grinch this Christmas, but Central UMC saw what so many WNCC churches saw this year - they saw that the Spirit of Christ gives and gives and continues to give, no matter what else might be happening.

And, Concord UMC has decided to keep on working on their Acts of Worship in Giving even into 2021.

(Pictured is only a quarter of the food the church collected for their food pantry challenge!)