Traditionally on this Sunday gifts are brought wrapped in white paper so that each gift is valued equally and it is the spirit of giving that is honored. The idea was inspired by a Chinese legend of the great King Kubla Khan who, when his subjects wanted to honor him, requested that all the people give a gift wrapped in plain white paper so that every gift would look the same. Each person gave the king what they were able, and the king welcomed them all. The White Gift shares in the spirit of Christ at Christmas. So fittingly, White Gift Sunday celebrates the stewardship of God’s love and giving at the time of year when we remember the coming of the “King of Kings.”

This year your gifts will benefit those who attend the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren group that meets at our church. GRG is a program of the Parent Support Services Society of BC. This group is open to grandparents and other relatives raising a family member’s child. It provides a weekly opportunity to connect with others to talk about new ways to nurture their grandchildren and discuss changes in social life, financial concerns, health issues, etc. Did you know that in British Columbia, according to the last census, grandparents were raising more than 10,000 grandchildren? That’s more than the number of children in BC’s foster care system. More than half are retired and living on fixed incomes and some get no financial support from the government because they do not have legal custody of their grandchildren. They face issues of isolation, financial and emotional stress. Often there is little time and no money for extras that many of us take for granted—coffee with a friend, treating a grandchild to the movies, getting our hair done or other self-care.

To support this White Gift Project, choose a gift tag (includes a suggestion on the back) from our two table-top trees during coffee hour. Bring your donations with you to church on December 13.

© 2017 First United Church, Kelowna

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