Three Christian Reformed churches in British Columbia are taking advantage of the Christmas season to reach out to the families served by their church-run daycare facilities.
Harmony Daycare at Maple Ridge Christian Reformed Church holds a big Christmas concert each year, filling the church to capacity. Church members provide an evening of free babysitting for parents to get their Christmas shopping done. Daycare director Heather Axeland added that the regular monthly dinner hosted for daycare families is extra-special in December.
Willoughby Christian Reformed Church in Langley hosts an annual “Angel Breakfast” for the families of its Covenant Kids Christian Daycare. Church council and other members flip pancakes and cook sausages for over 200 people while the children perform, followed by an invitation to the church’s Christmas services.
“The event is our outreach, blessing the parents with a free breakfast and a message of the Christmas story from the children,” said Covenant Kids director Joni Garratt. “Our hope is to bless our families and pray that the Holy Spirit uses the children to touch their [parents’] hearts.”
At Nelson Avenue Community Church in Burnaby, another 200 family members are treated to Christmas dinner served by church members. Parents also enjoy a children’s performance that emphasizes the true meaning of Christmas. In the past several years, church members have baked a dozen homemade Christmas cookies for each daycare family.
Deacons at all three churches work with the daycares to provide food hampers or grocery gift cards for families who need some assistance making the holiday special.
“All these things are simple forms of outreach,” explained Julie Brown, director of Nelson Avenue Daycare, “Not necessarily ‘preaching’ to the families but showing Christ’s love through simple jobs like serving food and cleaning up. It also gives church members the opportunity to talk with the families and make connections.”