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Fast forward to Christmas Eve — that's when First Lutheran Church, Greensboro, N.C., generates several thousands of pounds of food through "Meals at the Manger."
Worshipers are asked to bring a can or two of nonperishable food items to Christmas Eve services.
|Collected food items at First Lutheran Church, Greensboro, N.C.|
"We put items in a manger and boxes at the entrance, which provides a conversation starter as people are greeted," said Frank Moore, First's director of community ministries and founder of Meals at the Manger.
"It also offers a way to teach children about sharing and putting God's love in action." In 2008, the first year of the project, the congregation gathered 1,500 pounds of food from 1,072 worshipers. The boxes of food were picked up by Greensboro Urban Ministry for its food bank.
Moore calls the collection program a new Christmas tradition, workable for a church of any size. He created a website that includes tips for starting the tradition, a devotion, ideas for artwork, and even a chance to share photos from your church's Meals at the Manger.
For more information, email Frank Moore or call 336-292-9125, ext. 102.
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