Although some people will be up before the crack of dawn in search of Black Friday bargains, others would rather not set foot anywhere near the mail. They may want to consider Bless Friday instead. The tradition started in Texas and is spreading to across the nation.
Since 2010, Bless Friday has provided an alternative to hectic Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Churches and individuals in Houston, The Woodlands, Katy, Trinity, and Cotulla, Texas, as well as Seattle, are preparing service projects that honor Christ on Nov. 29 and 30.
Houston church efforts will include sending participants to the Beacon, a homeless shelter established by Christ Church Cathedral; helping at the Houston Food Bank; assisting at The Forge, a mission to families in an economically disadvantaged area; holding a clothing giveaway; and preparing the public areas of the Open Door Mission for Christmas. Open Door helps addicted, homeless and disabled men.
At-home activities include packing rice and beans for the Fuente food pantry; making Christmas blessing boxes for the Seafarers Mission at the Port of Houston; and making no-sew pillows for the Amazing Place, a wellness center for people dealing with dementia.
Activities in other cities include assisting at the Good Shepherd Mission in Huntsville, Texas; visiting and playing games with residents in a nursing home in Cotulla; cleaning up a church campus in The Woodlands, and working at food banks in Katy and Seattle.
“Starting your Christmas celebration by helping others changes how you view the season,” said Chuck Fox, founder of Bless Friday. “Children especially may be transformed as they shift their focus from receiving presents to serving others. Join us by choosing an activity that honors Christ, gather together your family and friends, and start your Christmas celebration with service.”
Bless Friday was founded in 2010 in Houston. More information is available at www.blessfriday.org.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice