An Epiphany “Christmas Gift” to our Neighborhood
Christmas Eve Offering to Purchase 900 Books for Local Kids
One of the things that has been clear to me over my last five years at Epiphany is that we are a church that has been both blessed with great resources, and that also wants to be generous with what God has given us.
With that in mind, I’m excited to announce an opportunity to do that this Christmas Eve, when we will work together to purchase almost 900 beginning English books for Coates Elementary School in order to help our local kids become more proficient readers. This is a real challenge in our area, where there are many new immigrants who don’t know, but would like to learn, English, and many, many children (according to Fairfax County Public Schools, a full 45 percent of the student population at Coates) who only have limited command of the English language.
While purchasing a small library of books (and some requested English teaching aids for teachers at Coates) might sound like a lot, it’s actually a manageable project for Epiphany. Individual books that meet this need at about $4 each. The vestry has agreed to set aside the offering, up to the approximately $4,200 needed, from both the 5pm and 11pm Christmas Eve services for this project.
To be part of this chance to serve a real need of our neighborhood in Jesus’ name, just give your financial gift on Christmas Eve, and divide by it four if you’re interested in knowing how many books your donation will purchase. Our plan is to have sample books of the kind we will be purchasing available to see at church in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
A team from Epiphany led by Jan Coffee, Barbara Noble and some of teachers who are members of our congregation, will then buy the books, using sources recommended by the library team at Coates. We will bless them, and deliver them to the school in January.
I’m excited to see us have an opportunity as a church to give what will be a significant gift to the students and teachers at Coates Elementary School. Our goal as a church, and my goal as your rector is to see our church become a powerful force for spiritual and material good in this place. This is simple, and effective way with can join together to do that this Christmas.
The Rev. Peter Frank, Rector