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This week's eNote

november 21,2022 by Pastor chip freed

Soon you will be receiving our Christmas Letter regarding our Christmas Offering this year. It is no secret that we take in close to 35% of our operating income at Garfield Memorial Church from Thanksgiving through the end of the year. These have been some of the most challenging years in our church’s history due to our global and national landscape. You all have stood strong in 2020 and 2021, and we need your commitment to finish well in 2022 and start strong in 2023!

In light of that, some might ask, why are we lifting up special projects to give to beyond GMUMC? For over 18 years, I have shared that the worst thing that any church can do is to become inward focused. If it’s all about us, it becomes a club, not a church. The church is always outward focused, seeking to bring Christmas joy and Christ’s message to those around us. Our goal is to bring “joy to the city” (Acts 8:8).

In that light, we are seeking to support several area ministries this year in Greater Cleveland. Our incredible worship teams at both Heritage and Mosaic are leading us to bless two area ministries. Craig McGaughey and our Heritage Chancel Choir have led us to the Eliza Bryant Village (www.elizabryant.org), located in Cleveland. The Village is the oldest continually operating African American-founded long-term care facility in the United States. The Choir will present “Tell It on the Mountain” to residents of the Village on December 11th. In addition, we have an opportunity to bless the Village through second mile gifts which will enable us to fund transportation for residents. A donor has already pledged a matching gift. Go to www.garfieldchurch.org and click on "Giving" and select Eliza; text with the dollar amount (e.g. “$50”) to 216.242.1975 - key word Eliza.

Dre & Leah Bracey and our Mosaic teams are hosting a “Holiday Joy” Concert on December 11th at 6:30 PM in the Family Life Center in Pepper Pike. This event is charging a $20 ticket fee, or $12 each for families of 4 or more with children under 18. (You can also purchase tickets for adult admission on Sundays after the Mosaic 10:00 service at a discounted price of $17). The reason for that is to support some guest artists and also to raise support for “Building Hope in the City” (buildinghopeinthecity.org). One of their missions in Cleveland is to navigate housing for immigrants. Was there a greater need than that on Christmas where Jesus and his family were desperate for housing both in Bethlehem and Egypt? Learn more about the concert and get tickets online at HolidayJoyCLE.com.

Yesterday, we heard an amazing message from an incredible young leader in Christ’s Church in Cleveland! Pastor Lumar Vargas is leading Aviva Church on Cleveland’s West side in Old Brooklyn, a new diverse Latino-Focused Church. GMUMC is partnering with them to raise support for this vibrant witness. Our GMUMC Foundation has committed $5,000 of matching funds for any donation to Aviva Church from now until the end of the year. Go to www.garfieldchurch.org and click on "Giving" and select Aviva; text with the dollar amount (e.g. “$50”) to 216.242.1975 - key word Aviva.

When we say, “Widen the Circle” at Garfield Memorial Church, we mean it. When God widened the circle at Christmas to an exponential degree when the angel declared, “I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10), God invited all of us to get on board. Let’s be extravagant with our love and generosity this season!