A longtime Central member and follower of Jesus Christ. Judy loving served her Community Meals neighbors for many years, creating special memories for their families with gifts during the Christmas season. This year her legacy lived on through Judy’s Workshop. Thank you to all who helped carry on her ministry.
Joy, Peace, Family, Celebration, and Hope are words that are often associated with Christmas. Those who participated in Judy’s Workshop & Keepsake Christmas experienced every one of these words. What a beautiful sight to see families come together surrounded by their church and community to celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior.
I don’t know about you guys, but all of my favorite celebrations involve food. So, what better way to kick off this celebration, than with lunch. I love getting to sit around the table with family and friends, enjoying good food, good conversation, and good laughs, and this was no exception.
As part of Keepsake Christmas, we witnessed an incredible team of gifted actors and storytellers take on roles of director, Mary, Joseph, & an angel. Our director/narrator Sarah Sone, did an amazing job of capturing the attention of children and adults as the actors told the story of the first Christmas. As participants watched and listened to the story of the birth of Jesus, they were also led by table leaders in making their own nativity scenes to take home with them. What a powerful and memorable way to hear such an important truth. Whether hearing it for the first time or the one-millionth time, there is no doubt that many children will retell the story to family and friends as they proudly show off their nativity scenes.
The shoppers that were invited to Judy’s Workshop consisted of parents, grandparents, and guardians. They were able to shop for their children ages birth-12 years. Shopping assistants had a wonderful time helping shoppers find the perfect gifts. Once gifts were chosen, shoppers were able to go to one of three wrapping rooms where “elves” helped wrap all the presents. Each child’s gift included a pair of pajamas, socks, underwear, hat and gloves, a book, two toys, and a coloring book with crayons.
It was a day that Judy herself would have been proud of, not just because of the extravagant generosity shown, but more importantly, seeing people coming together and building relationships – just having a good time and enjoying the season.
In total, there were 93 participants involved in Judy’s Workshop and Keepsake Christmas. Sixty-three children and fourteen teenage siblings received Christmas gifts. Without the help of the 42 volunteers and the generosity of many within our church, Christmas would have looked very different for these families. There was such an abundance of gifts that Genesis donated the remaining pajamas and toys to one of their community partner groups, Drug Court.
What a blessing to see so many in our community being touched by Judy’s legacy.
Genesis Director of Children’s Ministry