Advent simply means "coming" or arrival." Over two thousand years ago the world awaited the arrival of our Savior. King Jesus was born to us to save people from their sins. Today our hearts long for his second advent when He will make all things new. This feels especially real today. This Advent season, join us in celebrating the generosity of God toward us. We are providing three different ways you can choose to celebrate the birth of Jesus with your family, roommates, and/or friends at home this season. You can also join us in celebrating God's generosity by giving generously to serve people in need. We are doing this through our Green Advent Envelope giving.
If you do not have an Advent tradition at home then we encourage you to browse a few options we've provided. We are partnering with a movement called Advent Conspiracy that has four distinct focuses.
We are providing two different options for daily advent readings. The first option is a list of short Bible verse to read each day to focus you on the Birth story of Jesus. This is easy to do with small children. The second option is a free devotional provided by Desiring God that has short readings each day.
Advent Reading List - Short Bible Verses
Free Advent Devotional Downloads
We want to worship God fully this season. Advent Conspiracy has provided us with two different Christmas playlists. The first list are for all people. The second list are for families with young children. These are many of the same songs as the first list but sung by children.
Worship Playlist (families with young children)
A part of Harvest's Advent focus for the past four years have been these Green Advent Envelopes. These envelopes are a unique way we ask our church to consider SPENDING LESS on a few Christmas gifts and GIVE MORE to those in need. The money you save in sending a few relational gifts will be placed in a green envelope and dropped off at the church on or before Christmas Eve. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to two organizations that are making a difference in the world. Love INC and Grace Extended Ministries. Over the past four years we have raised $86,169 that have gone to great organizations that make a world a better place.
The Love INC model serves the community in three ways:
- Neighbors have one-call access to church & community resources.
- Compassionate listening & prayer
- Churches partner with Love INC to provide needed items.
- Harvest Home ( a ministry of Harvest Community Church) provides home items.
Restoring Hope Classes:
- Neighbors learn practical skills & life changing concepts.
Love INC has recently moved into a new office space and donation center. Their previous landlord retired and sold his company that included the building they had been leasing. They had to move. In God's perfect timing, He brought them a new space in the Carnation Building. While still a financial stretch, it was half the going rate. Their new space is perfectly suited to their ministry needs! However, in order to be able to stay at their new location they will need additional financial support.
Grace Extended Ministries (GEM) has a vision to equip pastors and Christian leaders around the world in prayer, grace focused evangelism, reconciliations, discipleship, in order to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. GEM is a training, equipping, and sending ministry, raising leaders that will subsequently train and raise leaders themselves. The Paul/Timothy relationship is an ongoing mentorship that continues to bear fruit in the U.S., Africa, Asia and elsewhere, with our primary focus being Africa.
The effect of Covid-19 has been devastating to many areas where GEM ministers. Many prayer and church plants are in areas where people work each day so they will be able to eat that night. Much of that work has gone away, causing malnutrition and starvation to be very real threats. Adding to that threat is an infestation of locusts in many countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, and far into the Middle East. Additionally, severe flooding has caused many in the countries of Kenya, and Burundi, to lose all they had.
One village in Burundi, where many widows and orphans reside, was devastated by one of these floods. GEM is helping to build 25 houses for widows and orphans there. These houses cost about $675 each to build. In addition, we are doing our best to supply for some survival needs (medicine and food) in other ministry areas. We thank and praise God for the partnership of Harvest Community Church in this.
To learn more about GEM visit their website.
Newsletter from GEM
The pictures below show the Locust affected regions of Kenya receiving seed and meal supplied through GEM. Two of the pictures show the framing and construction of housing in Burundi.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27