con·spire: to act in harmony toward a common end

Christmas is coming and during this Advent season we would like to invite you to conspire with us to make a difference in the world. Each year at PDX First we challenge ourselves to find the connection between our Christmas to-do lists and the story of Jesus’ birth, a story marked by a love so BIG it cannot help but give itself away.

This year we are encouraging you to conspire with us to give generously in three ways:

  • give next door

  • give local

  • give global

Here you will find some suggestions as to how we can work in harmony with one another to share God’s love in a way that reflects His heart for people near and far.

GIVE NEXT DOOR

When Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor, what if He meant that we should love our actual neighbors? What if the greatest difference you can make in the world this Christmas is just a few feet from where you sleep every night? Being a good neighbor creates incredible opportunities for us as believers to connect our neighbors to God’s story.

This Christmas we want to encourage you to think about ways you can give and share the love of God with your neighbors.

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Here are some suggestions:

  • gather a group of friends and go caroling in your neighborhood (pass out small treats along the way)

  • bake cookies and deliver them (along with an invite to the Kid’s Christmas Program or the December 23rd Christmas Service at PDX First)

  • invite your individual neighbors over for dinner and connect with them on a personal level (ask about their holiday plans and favorite traditions)

  • host a Christmas party in your home and invite all of your neighbors over for an evening of fun and getting to know one another better

  • invite your neighbors to partner with you to collect items for the homeless (they are thinking about ways they can be generous this time of year and would probably love to partner with you in this way; see a list of suggested items in the “give local” section)

Sharing God’s love may start next door, but it was never intended to stop there. Shortly after Christ’s resurrection He challenged His disciples with these words — “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes into your life. You will tell about Me in the city of Jerusalem and over all the countries of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”

In essence, Jesus is saying that His movement will start next door, but then it will spread throughout the local region and ultimately we are taking this thing global! So, let's explore how we can move from giving next door to how we can make a difference both local and global this Christmas.

GIVE LOCAL

Throughout the year PDX First has the opportunity to work with some amazing local organizations that are meeting the needs of people throughout our community. One of our favorite partners is Because People Matter (BPM).

Each year BPM provides over 25 different services that touch the lives of over 20,000 of Portland’s most at-risk individuals and families. These programs have delivered service opportunities and mobilized over 9,600 volunteers to make a real difference in our community.

We chose BPM as our local partner for this year’s Advent Conspiracy because we absolutely love the work they are doing in our community, but also because of the variety of ways you can give generously.

1. Volunteer: Through BPM you can volunteer in a variety of ways to clothe, feed, and serve members of Portland’s homeless community. For more information, go to bpmpdx.org/volunteer.

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2. Donate Items:

  • hand/foot warmers

  • simple/cheap gloves

  • thick/warm socks

  • disposable razors

  • travel-size toothpaste

  • blankets

  • tarps

*these items can be dropped off in the donation areas in the level 2 and level 4 lobbies.

3. Donate Financially: It is entirely through the generosity of people like you that BPM can continue to see stories of hope, transformation, and relief in our city. Your investment provides a safe space for relationships to grow, for education gaps to be bridged, for meals to be shared, and for encouragement to be given.

BPM has created a campaign page specifically for PDX First so we can track the overall impact our generosity is having as we conspire together to make a difference. You can access our giving campaign on our give page (select AC-Local in the drop-down menu) You can also give through our weekly offerings by designating your gift for “BPM.”

GIVE GLOBAL

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As a part of the Church of the Nazarene, we are members of a global family loving and serving people around the world.

We are currently serving in 162 world areas around the globe. One of those areas is Japan where Anderson and Janary Godoy are serving.

Anderson and Janary got married in 2013 and the Lord opened the doors for them to serve in Japan in 2014. Anderson and Janary are investing their gifts and talents in serving the church in Japan and bringing people to the precious knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord.

One of their greatest needs for effective ministry is a reliable vehicle that will allow them to travel throughout the city streets of Okinawa. Our goal for giving globally this year is to raise $3,000 that will allow the Godoys to purchase a vehicle to assist their ministry to the people of Japan.

You can give global towards this project over on our give page (select AC-Global in the drop-down menu) You can also give through our weekly offerings by designating your gift for “AC-Global.”