A Piece of the "Advent Conspiracy"

I’ve been fans of the folks at “The Advent Conspiracy” for a couple of years now. Every December, I like to see the kinds of things they’re putting out, to encourage folks to buy less and yet give more at Christmas.

If you are confused by how one might buy less yet give more, check out this brief video:

What’s great about this kind of “conspiracy” is that it grows best when it grows organically, from the bottom up.

Take what my friend, and fellow Northavener, Vicki Caroline Cheatwood is doing. An old high school friend of hers, Scott Horton, is a military guy stationed in Afghanistan this holiday season and recently contacted her with the following message:

“Many of you have asked what I might want for Christmas in a care package. Thank you for the offer as I am most grateful but, here is an idea. In the season which we focus on GIVING, would you send to me some practical clothing articles, even SOCKS and SHOES which your children have outgrown? I see many victories in this opportunity. I have driven around Afghanistan as winter has begun to set in; children dig through the trash to find things to wrap like newspaper, around their bodies. So thanks for offering goodies, but here’s a chance to give and I will deliver the clothes here like Santa Claus. If this interests you, please send me a note and I will provide you my APO address. God bless you – Have a great Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas – Scott”

So, Vicki’s been putting out the word, via her Facebook, email,and church friends. She’s hosting a “packing party” at her house this Friday night. She’d love for you to donate any gently used clothing that you might have to offer. If you want to be involved, leave a comment below and I will send you info on how to find her house so you can drop stuff by.

Afghanistan is certainly in the news these days, and many people are trying to figure out how they might help. Maybe this is the way *you* will be involved in the “Advent Conspiracy” this year.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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