With the holidays upon us, we’re excited to see how we can engage our community together as a church family.

Jesus beckons us to see, live, and love differently by intentionally taking steps to impact our world. As you and I collectively pray, encourage, meet needs, help out, and serve, the reality of Emmanuel (Jesus with us – Matthew 1:23) comes to life for our neighbors, friends & family, and our city. As each of us is able to engage these things, the results become part of a collective fabric that blankets our community with God’s hope and love this Christmas.

We can accept the call to break from the mold of looking inward, and instead find ways to serve and give generously. Each word, donation, and hour of time given causes the hope of Christ to become tangible for one more person. Through God’s call to love, we can give a clearer picture of hope, and help people say, “Ahh… so this is Christmas.”

For 2017, Grace Church has taken the annual Hope Project to a whole new level. Some of the most prevalent needs and ideas for this season have been fashioned into this year’s Hope Project. Each week, we’ll encourage different and unique opportunities relating to that week. Options for you, your friends, your family, co-workers and classmates are available. So grab a friend, and let’s spread hope together!

Let’s build lasting memories, help those in need, and bring the best of the holidays to the forefront. Hope starts here.

WEEK 1: NOVEMBER 4th-10th

Write a note for a pastor or Leader.

Everyone can use a note of encouragement. You can leave your note at the info desk and we will deliver it, or mail it to the church office (211 N Cleve-Mass. Rd. Akron 44333).

Take a tag from the lobby.

The Hope Project tags directly support a few of the ministries that we partner with in the city. Each gift allows these ministries to use their resources to serve their communities in other ways!

Make a meal for someone.

Bless an elderly neighbor, a single mother who could use a break, or one of your children’s teachers.

Bible Reading/Passage for this week.

Read Micah 5:2-5

WEEK 2: NOVEMBER 11th-17th

Pray for someone you interact with this week.

As someone shares about their life, take a moment to pray with them right where you are.

Sign up to serve at the Urban Vision and South Street Christmas stores.

Sign up to serve at the Urban Vision and/or South Street Christmas stores – help set up the week before or help the kids shop for gifts at the stores on December 16th.

Sign up for Urban Vision Christmas Store  Email Regina to Sign Up

Sign up for South Street Christmas Store  Email Regina to Sign Up

Pack a Thanksgiving meal for someone.

Ask the church office, a local school, or one of our city partners if there is someone who could benefit from a meal on Thanksgiving. Return the meal to the city partner, the school, or the church office a few days before Thanksgiving.

Bible Reading/Passage for this week.

Read Isaiah 11:1-10

WEEK 3: NOVEMBER 18th-24th

Treat a co-worker or friend to breakfast.

Bless someone from work that you recently met or have been wanting to get to know by treating them to a meal.

Have lunch at the Front Porch Café.

Eat at the Front Porch Cafe (798 Grant Street in Akron), run by South Street Ministries – a simple and yummy way to support a city partner!

Take a tag and use Black Friday to purchase the items.

Remember those tags you took at church? Redeem Black Friday by purchasing the items on your tags. Drop them off at church by Sunday, December 3rd.

Take a small gift to someone on Thanksgiving.

Let’s not forget those working on Thanksgiving. This is a great way to show how much you appreciate them!

Bible Reading/Passage for this week.

Read Isaiah 9:2-7


Invite someone new over for dinner.

This could be a co-worker, a neighbor, someone from the gym. Don’t wait for the perfect time, just go for it and have them over!

Plan a game night.

Have everyone bring over their favorite game and their favorite snack. Spend time
getting to know new friends or neighbors.

Sign up to serve at the First Glance Christmas party on December 21st.

First Glance in Kenmore hosts a Christmas party each year. Support their ministry by bringing food, serving, greeting, or babysitting!

Sign up here  Email First Glance to Sign Up

Bible Reading/Passage for this week.

Read John 1:14-17

WEEK 5: DECEMBER 2nd-8th

Pass out Christmas cards at a nursing home.

Whether homemade or store bought, show someone at a nursing home they are not forgotten by bringing a Christmas card to them. A smile and a hug goes a long way.

Fill a stocking with toiletries for Rahab.

Help care for women who have been trafficked by providing needed toiletries (full-sized) for Rahab. Drop them off at the church office or at the church.

Remember to serve at the Christmas stores!

Did you sign up to serve at the South Street or Urban Vision Christmas Store (both on
December 16th) or on one of the set-up days? They are happening this week and next weekend!

Last chance to grab a tag and bring back gifts.

Don’t forget to bring your purchases back to the church by Sunday, December 3rd, with the tag attached. Did you forget to grab a tag? There is still time! Take a tag at services this weekend and return it with your gifts to the church offices by December 6th.

Bible Reading/Passage for this week.

Read Luke 1:5-25

WEEK 6: DECEMBER 9th-15th

Grab a friend and go ice-skating.

Do your kids have friends who are home by themselves often? Or do you know a college student with no family in the area? Take them to Lock 3 and go ice skating together!

Drive around town and look at Christmas lights.

Pack up some hot chocolate, grab a friend, and go check out the light displays around town. Car rides are great opportunities for good conversations.

Leave a gift and a kind note.

Don’t forget about those behind the scenes (garbage men, gas station attendants, mailman, etc.) – serve them by giving a small gift or treat!

Bible Reading/Passage for this week.

Read Luke 1:26-38

WEEK 7: DECEMBER 16th-22nd

Hand deliver Christmas cards to your neighbor.

Take some time this week with your whole family to visit your neighbors and bring them a Christmas card. What a simple way to get to know your neighbors better!

Give up something for one week.

Consider giving up your Starbuck’s coffee or lunch out this week and donate that money to one of our ministry partners, such as The Garage. Or give up an hour of tv and spend that time volunteering.

Remember to serve at the First Glance Christmas party.

The First Glance Christmas Party is this week on December 21st! The First Glance address is 943 Kenmore Blvd.

Bible Reading/Passage for this week.

Read Luke 2: 8-14

WEEK 8: DECEMBER 23rd-29th

Pray for our missionaries.

It is so hard for missionaries to be away during the holidays. Choose a missionary that Grace supports and send them a note.
For a list of missionaries, visit http://bath.graceohio.org/cross-cultural-workers.

Take a small gift to someone on Christmas Day.

Pick someone who has to work on Christmas Day and let them know you are thinking about them by giving them cookies or a small gift.

Watch the Family Devotional video with your family.

Snuggle up with your family on Christmas morning and watch the Christmas Day Devotional together at bath.graceohio.org/devo.

Bible Reading/Passage for this week.

Read Luke 2:15-20